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Sleep: things that may help right away

You could try:

  • confronting your sleeplessness. If you're lying awake, unable to sleep, do not force it. Get up and do something relaxing for a bit, and return to bed when you feel sleepier
  • taking a bath or shower. A warm bath or shower, not hot, will help your body reach a temperature that's ideal for rest
  • writing everything down to help clear your mind, as it can be hard to switch off after a busy day. This could be anything that’s happened during the day, or a to-do list for tomorrow. After that, you could also jot down 2 or 3 nice or positive things to be grateful for
  • a relaxation exercise. Apps like Pzizz can help relax your body and mind with a series of audio tracks
  • reading a book or listening to the radio. These can help distract your mind and help you relax enough to sleep. Avoid using smartphones, tablets or other electronic devices as the light from the screens may have a negative effect on sleep
  • avoiding caffeine or sugary food and drink, and instead opting for a warm, milky drink or herbal tea

There’s always someone to talk to for free

If specific thoughts and feelings are preventing you from sleeping, you can talk about it:

  • Over the phone. If you're struggling to cope, or feel overwhelmingly low, Open Door has a mental health helpline. Call 0800 138 7276, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Online. Sign up to Kooth, age 10 to 25, or Qwell, age 26 and over, to talk to a qualified professional or other people in the community