I can't sleep!


Do you find it hard to get to sleep?  Or maybe you wake up a lot in the night?  Perhaps you have nightmares? Some kids sleepwalk or sleep talk at night.  These problems are very common, which means lots of kids have them.  



If you have lots of worries on your mind, this could be a reason you have trouble getting to sleep. 


Some people like to keep a notepad or anti-worry box next to their bed so they can write down their thoughts and worries.  They can get them out of their heads and put them away in the box.  This helps to clear your mind and get you ready for sleep.


Switched on?


What are you doing before bed?  Are you too 'switched on' or hyped up?  Our minds and bodies need to wind down and relax in the evening before bed.  One problem is that we are all so busy doing things like homework and watching TV and playing on our gadgets that we don't properly switch ourselves off before sleep.  Have a think about winding down a bit earlier and see if that helps.




"The good news is that we can learn to relax our minds and bodies, and this is great for getting ourselves ready for sleep. " 




You might need to relax your body if it is 'hyped up'.  You can do this in two ways.



Lying down in your bed, breath in deep and slow from your tummy and hold it for 3 seconds (count to 3 in your head).  Then slowly let go of your breath.  Do these slow relaxed breaths 5 times. You will relax more and more with each breath.  


You will know if you are breathing the right way by putting your hand on your tummy.  As you breath in from your tummy your hand will be lifted up by your tummy breath. This type of breathing fills the whole body and is super relaxing!


Muscle relaxation

You can squeeze your muscles one at a time and then release them (let them go).  Start with your feet and toes.  Squeeze them up tight, hold while you count to 5 then let go.  Then do your leg muscles, then your hands and arm muscles. Next lift your shoulders up towards your head.  You can even relax the muscles in your face by pulling a funny face and letting it go.  Notice how your muscles and body feel more relaxed after you have tensed them up and let go.  


As your body relaxes, your mind also will relax.  You can also do more to relax your mind. 


Mind relaxation

We can use our imaginations to relax. We can keep our mind focused on something like imagining a great place you went to on holiday, or thinking about your favourite thing to do.  


Some people like to count backwards starting from 100. Do something to keep your mind distracted from thinking about sleep.  Some people like to meditate or listen to calm music.  There are lots of apps for devices which you could listen to to help you relax before sleep. 


The thing about sleep is, the harder you try to do it, the harder it becomes!