Our bodies always let us know when it's time to rest, so it can be particularly frustrating when you take your cue only to find that you can't actually sleep. But now one simple trick to help you fall asleep faster is doing the rounds online - and if you find it hard to induce sleep by counting sheep at night-time, this could be the answer to your bedtime woes.
Sleep doctor and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine Dr. Michael Breus shared his top tips for heading off to the land of Nod, faster in a YouTube video from the Business Insider account. And he had some pretty interesting suggestions. Breus said that counting backwards, from 300 in groups of three is the best way to find yourself asleep. Talking in his video he said: "the truth of the matter is that it's mathematically so complicated you can't think of anything else and it's so doggone boring, you're out like a light". As Patrick Allan from Lifehacker noted: "[These are two things that are sure to help you finally get some shuteye." Other tips from Breus include falling asleep in front of the TV; he says that most people aren't really "watching" the screen anyway, it's just a distraction to relieve anxiety from the things that really keep them up at night.
He also advises that those who can't switch off in the evening to "stop worrying" and to try keeping a gratitude journal" (where you mark down all the things that make you happy) as it can be a good way to induce positive thoughts before bed. However for some of his other patients, a "worry journal" works best. This is where they write down what's bugging them a long time before they head to sleep so the anxiety doesn't "take over" and it can encourage sleep after daily stressors and anxieties have been offloaded.
Here are all the tips from Breus in his video below: