If you have trouble sleeping your GP can assess and help you.

Good ‘sleep hygiene’ is the first step to a refreshing night’s sleep; like keeping regular hours, having a wind-down period before bed, not drinking caffeine too late in the day and avoiding the use of alcohol to go to sleep (it wakes you early anyway).

Nowadays we need to be aware that screen time late in the day can keep us awake by interfering with our ‘biological clock’. The blue light indirectly tells your brain that it is daytime and keeps you alert. Early morning exercise in the sunlight can be helpful to ‘reset’ things.

Another common problem is having a busy brain with thoughts ‘ruminating’ around in your head keeping you awake. A helpful tip is to make a note of any thoughts that you need to attend to the next day so you can put them aside for the night. ‘Mindfulness’ exercises can help for the rest.

These techniques have similarities to meditation and help you acknowledge your troublesome thoughts but reduce your focus on them. It takes practice! Look up these useful free apps to help you learn mindfulness skills; “sleep school”, “smiling mind” and “ACT coach”.

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