Sleep

Lots of young people find getting to sleep, staying asleep or waking up a real problem. Disrupted, broken or insufficient sleep can really impact on our mood and ability to cope with daily life.

Here are some ‘Sleep & Wake-routine help points’ that young people alongside our staff have put together to help you:

1

Try to do some light physical exercise / activity during your day for 30-45mins. This can be pet walking or going for a walk. Doing this particularly in the morning helps with routine.

2

Have a regular night time routine; do things roughly in the same order at the same time each night to get your body and mind ready for sleep. Getting night clothes on, brushing teeth, switching off technology and having the same bed time. Do not change the time you go to sleep or wake up by more than half an hour at a time each day.

3

Helpful possible routine for all to try at least 1 hour before bed:

  • No screen device (phone, gadgets, TV/PC). See if this works for you
  • If not avoid blue-light late at night (turn on ‘Night mode’ or screen filters)
  • No activity increasing body temp e.g. exercise, shower or bath
  • Avoid full stomach or hunger, e.g. try not to have dinner immediately before you go to bed
  • Reduce sensory difficulties (if any), i.e. have a comfortable environment and limit external stimulation (input) if possible
  • Use dim light
  • Low volume and monotonic music (White noise, Shipping forecast)
  • Relaxing/Comfortable Story-telling (including audiobook, apps etc)
  • Set comfortable room temperature, i.e. turn the radiator up or down, open window, if you can (18C/65F ideal for bedroom at night).
4

Avoid alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine, sugary drinks or foods before bed. This includes avoiding technology like phones, tablets, TV etc. Avoid or limit caffeine at least 6 hours before bed, as there is still lots of caffeine left in your body after this time, keeping you awake.

5

If struggling to sleep, get out of bed. If possible, if you can’t go to sleep within 30mins. Spend time doing something calm e.g. activities (reading, listening to something ‘boring’, drawing on paper). Go back to bed again following an increase of sense of tiredness.

6

When waking gain Sun Exposure: It is important on waking to gain exposure to sunlight as soon as you wake up for resetting your brain clock. Open your blinds or curtains to let light in. You can also explore sun light lamps / alarm clocks.

7

Create a calming and peaceful environment. Rooms that are dark and cool are best for sleep.

8

Avoid using your bed for studying, reading or listening to music. Your bedroom can be used for many purposed such as education, gaming, socialising. Keep your bed to be used for sleeping.

9

Make sure you’re as organised as you can be for the day ahead so that you are not worrying or thinking about what you have to do or what you might need.

Sometimes people find it hard to sleep because they have many thoughts going round in their mind. We would recommend reading our advice on anxiety and depression on this website, for ideas and strategies which might help you manage these thoughts.

Also please don’t give up right away if you don’t see instant results. It might take a few weeks for your body to adapt to the changes. Please try these sleep techniques at least for 3-4 weeks to get the best outcome. Sleep like any skill takes practice.

Remember; being tired is as dangerous as drink driving. Sleep loss can impact on contraction and your judgment, so if you are tired do not drive.

Watch: Previous Next

  • Sleep difficulties described by Anna Freud Centre
  • How does your body know what time it is? (credit TED-ED)
  • 6 tips for Better Sleep (credit Sleeping with Science, a TED Series)
  • 5 tips for falling asleep quicker, according to a sleep expert (credit Tech Insider)
  • What happens to your body and brain if you don't get sleep (credit The Human Body)
  • Sleep difficulties described by Anna Freud Centre
  • How does your body know what time it is? (credit TED-ED)
  • 6 tips for Better Sleep (credit Sleeping with Science, a TED Series)
  • 5 tips for falling asleep quicker, according to a sleep expert (credit Tech Insider)
  • What happens to your body and brain if you don't get sleep (credit The Human Body)