According to The Sleep Council’s ‘The Great British Bedtime Report’ from 2013 more than a third of UK adults get by with just 5-6 hours of sleep, and 27% are experiencing a poor quality of sleep regularly. Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your physical and mental health, it helps us to concentrate, deal with stress and, obviously, be more alert. If you have a mental illness you are more likely to experience sleep problems, so here’s a list of 5 things that may help. Some are pretty standard, and some are ones that help me out!

1. Having a bed time

I know, you’re not five anymore, so a bedtime probably seems a little childish, but setting yourself a time to go to bed and a time to wake up can help your body get into a good sleeping pattern. Another important thing is the routine before you get yourself into bed, for me, I wash my face and brush my teeth, you may decide to go back to the basic routine of bath, book, and bed (which works for some reason).

2. Under the sheets

When you’re in bed it’s very unlikely you are just going to close your eyes and fall straight asleep (if only…) so you need to do something that will relax you enough to make you fall asleep. I know all the studies say no screens at bedtime, but I have to hold my hands up and say I’m always on my phone at bedtime. I usually just watch something online, at the moment I’ve been watching Gordan Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (specifically the US ones but I have run out of ones I haven’t seen!), or I’ll watch Vine compilations and if I’m getting really desperate for sleep I watch tiny kitchen videos, I don’t know what it is about watching people cook tiny food in a tiny kitchen that sends me to sleep but it does and I would really recommend it!

3. Sound of the slumberground

I don’t usually use music to send myself to sleep, but I do find that if I’m stressing and overthinking that putting on a sleep playlist on Spotify really helps me chill a little. There’s been quite a few talks at the moment about ASMR videos, which according to Wikipedia is: ‘a term used for an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine.’ It’s a little weird for me but does seem to relax some so it might be worth giving it a go!

4. Sort vegetables out alphabetically

My mum taught me this one, basically you close your eyes and pretend you are in the veg aisle of a supermarket and you list as many vegetables as you can alphabetically, so for C you could have celery and cucumber (there’s more but I’m not spoiling it for you!), you may find some letters don’t have a vegetable so just move on from those. What this does is distract you from whatever you were thinking about any kind of bores you and makes you go to sleep. If after listing the veggies you still aren’t asleep you could move onto fruit etc.

5. Read!

I’ve got to be honest, there’s a part of me that loves not being able to sleep as it means I can spend time reading without feeling guilty! Reading quite often sends me to sleep during the day so if it does it at night it’s great! Plus, if it doesn’t, then I get ahead in my book!

What are your sleep tips?