Stress stops me from sleeping


To Sam


I can't sleep properly at night. I just keep on thinking about things that could happen to me for all different reasons!

When I do feel sleepy, I just close my eyes, and try to think of happy things; but some how the bad stuff comes into my head and will not go until I sleep. I would curl up into a ball, my toes would be really wiggling like crazy and they will not stop!

What should I do?

Do you think I am just stressed out for no reason?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Stress can affect us in so many different ways, but when it affects our sleep it can start to affect other parts of our lives too. And getting the right amount of sleep is important because otherwise you may be too tired to concentrate and your moods may be affected.

Everyone’s different when it comes to sleep, so it’s hard to say exactly what will work for you. But there are some things you can try to help you sleep and see if they help.

When it’s overthinking that stops you from sleeping, you could try distracting yourself by doing something like reading. Reading is a great way to occupy your mind until you’re so tired that you fall asleep. You can be thinking about the book you’ve read as you drift off and it might stop you from having those bad thoughts. And if you're feeling down a lot, you might want to talk to an adult you trust about how you feel. They could help talk through what's going on.

Getting the environment around you right is important too. Having the right temperature in the room and light level that you’re comfortable with can make a huge difference. Sometimes having some background noise can help too – either music playing quietly or something like a fan that can make a small amount of noise.

I hope these ideas can help you but if you’re really stuck you can always try and talk to a counsellor for more help. You could also look on the message boards where lots of young people have offered tips to help you sleep.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter