31 Mar Sleeping Problems
My Dad has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. I feel so tired all the time and exhausted but when I go to bed I can’t get to sleep. Should I get some pills to help me?
When we are stressed, anxious and worried it is very common for our sleep patterns to get thrown out of kilter. This then impacts on our energy levels and on our mood; we often then feel low and become overwhelmed all too quickly. If you are very worried then a visit to your GP might help you talk about all the things that are worrying you.
It might also be helpful to try some of the following techniques. When we lie down to go to sleep and we are stressed or worried, it seems that although our bodies are tired our minds seem to wake up and want to chatter constantly.
Trying to cut off from this chatter is the key; very difficult but it’s not impossible with practice. Find some guided relaxation music that will talk you through the process of focused relaxation of your body. Then focus on your breathing so that you don’t get caught up with all the thinking that your head wants to partake in. With practice your mind will recognise what it needs to do and go off to sleep; just like you learned to do as a baby!
Make sure you feel comfortable and cosy, have your favourite soft toy / hot water bottle / blanket; all techniques to self soothe. It is often not just one thing that works but several different options that you can experiment to find out what works best for you. Having a warm bath and or a hot milky drink are all things that other people have tried and say help with their healthy bedtime routine.
Many professionals are saying that having screens on in the bedroom are disrupting sleep severely; why not make your screen work for you rather than against you; download an app that supports helpful and healthy sleeping. Certainly, turning down the ‘blue light’ will have an impact on the levels of melatonin your brain makes (this is the hormone affected by daylight hours that makes us sleepy).
We often share tips and advice for relaxation and healthy sleeping in our WeAre Hope Facebook group, send us a request to join and you can share what works for you with lots of other young people who are in similar situations.