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To Sam

Cannot Sleep

I literally cant get to sleep. I play on my phone or look on this website at night. In fact this letter is being written at 1:29 or something!

I think I have insomnia because I have had difficulty sleeping before, but never this bad!

From m******

Ask Sam


Hi there

It can be really hard when you're lying awake and sleep just won’t come to you. It's actually a normal part of most young peoples’ body clocks that they tend to feel more awake later at night and tired in the morning. Some countries have even changed the time school starts to better fit in with this but unfortunately we don’t have the power to do that!

Everyone is different when it comes to sleep but there are a few things you can try that can make a difference . I know it can be tempting to check your phone or tablet at night but screens are designed to keep you alert so are best avoided as much as possible.

It's easier to sleep if it's dark and cool as these are the clues your body looks for to tell it that it's night time. Getting as much sunlight during the day as possible will also help with this. Eating patterns can make a big difference as having too much late at night means your system needs to keep working instead of shutting down. There are lots of meditation exercises around that work for some people but even imagining a quiet, calm place can help you to relax.

Most of all though it's really important that you try not to worry about it as that in itself will keep you awake. If you don’t feel tired then read a few pages of a book or listen to some music and try to just rest until sleepiness sets in.

If you feel like you are you worrying about something it can be useful to write down what is on your mind and tell yourself you will deal with it in the morning. That can help stop it from going round and round.

If you still struggle with sleeping, it can sometimes help to see your doctor.  Don’t forget though that Childline is there for you if you do have any worries on 0800 1111 or by using their online chat or email.  The message boards are great for getting ideas from other young people too.

Take care


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