Many of us go through times when we simply can’t get to sleep, however tired we might be. ‘Switch off’ is the usual advice, but that is often easier said than done.

Try this 3 step wind-down plan to help you get that all-important sleep.


There are plenty of top tips for creating a relaxed environment for sleep. Most importantly, a bedroom is a place for sleeping. Ban all blue light screens! Buy yourself a no-tick alarm clock and a few good books, or a white-light e-reader.

Invest in some good thick curtains or blackout blinds, and treat yourself to some comfortable bedding. New pillows are not expensive and can make a world of difference to sleep quality.


There are very few problems that you can deal with at 4am, so ‘park’ them for another day. It may help to make a ‘to do’ list, which will stop you stressing about forgetting anything.

Other good ways to relax are a familiar book kept just for bedtime, or even a soothing voice-only podcast.


With everything else turned off, it is now time to do the same for your brain. Try these two mindfulness exercises to get you into the sleep zone.

First, sit in a comfortable chair, ideally in the bedroom. Spend a few minutes thinking about what you feel as you sit there. Think about the pressure of the chair against your back and head, the feel of your feet on the floor and where your arms are lying. Spend a few minutes working round your body, feeling every inch of it and concentrating on easing tension.

Now get into bed and turn off the light. Settle yourself comfortably with the right amount of covers for the temperature. Imagine a ‘virtual duvet’ being drawn up your body, starting at your feet. As it moves towards your head, think of it as bringing sleep with it and shielding you from all worries.

Sweet dreams!

The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Jim R.
28 August 2018

Jim R.

Sometimes I find that however much I tire myself at the gym, I can still end up wakeful. I'm always a bit sceptical about this kind of touchy-feely stuff, but perhaps it is time to give it a try...

Debra G.
23 August 2018

Debra G.

its all about the 'to do' list for me. If there's a lot going on I absolutely tend to fret about forgetting stuff!

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