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To Sam


Hi Sam

When I can't sleep at night' mum said sit quietly or read a book but I still can't sleep. And I'm upset! 100% upset😫😿😢

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be very frustrating and upsetting when you can’t sleep at night.

The average amount of sleep recommended for a young person is around 8 to 9 hours per night. And going without sleep for a period of time might make you feel low or struggle with memory and problem-solving tasks. It may also cause physical effects like wanting to eat more unhealthy foods or eating at irregular times. In some cases, lack of sleep can make people feel irritable or negative.

There can be many reasons for not being able to get to sleep. For some people it could be that they have things on their mind or are upset about something like worries about school or being bullied. These things could feel even worse if you can't sleep.

It can help to write things down. Writing it down sometimes means your mind can let go of it and rest. It also means that next day you will have a record of things that were on your mind that you can try to do something about.

You could also use distractions. For example, you could read a book. Other things you could try are listening to relaxing music, or having a warm drink.

Maybe it would be good to try and work out what is stopping you from getting to sleep. When you know this you can try to sort things out and get some help with the problem and hopefully clear your mind so that you can sleep.

It's important to remember that if you feel not sleeping is having a big impact on your health, you can talk to your GP about it to get their advice. You could also talk to other young people about sleeping on the message boards. And you can always contact a counsellor who will listen and support you.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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