Woman shares therapist's trick for falling asleep when you’re tossing and turning

Marie Claire Dorking
·4-min read
A woman has shared a sleep hack to TikTok. (Posed by model, Getty Images)
A woman has shared a sleep hack to TikTok. (Posed by model, Getty Images)

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to fall asleep.

As our minds continue to be consumed by lockdown stresses, it seems many of us are struggling to nod off right now.

And all the spritzing of our pillows with lavender and relaxing pre-bed baths don’t seem to be helping.

Thankfully one woman has shared a nifty night time trick to help members of the #wideawakeclub drift off.

Watch: How to improve your sleep

The sleep hack was actually passed on by the woman’s therapist and she believes it has been a key factor in helping her beat middle-of-the-night insomnia.

Posting on TikTok, Emily Brochu revealed that if you just can’t seem to drift off to sleep, getting up and writing down everything that’s on your mind could make a big difference.

Read more: Sleep calculator reveals precise time you should go to bed to not feel tired in the morning

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

In the short explanation video Brochu explained that she was struggling to get to sleep one night after having a lightly caffeinated drink, as her mind was racing.

After tossing and turning in her bed, she remembered a sleep hack shared by her therapist and was amazed to find it worked.

She went on to explain that her therapist had recommended setting a time limit for getting to sleep and if you’re not in the land of nod after that you should get up and write down everything you’re thinking.

“Do it until you’re tired and then go back to sleep. It works,” she added.

Read more: Weekend lie-ins 'rarely sufficient to erase sleep debt'

Sleep experts don't recommend lying in bed struggling to sleep for hours on end. (Posed by model, Getty Images)
Sleep experts don't recommend lying in bed struggling to sleep for hours on end. (Posed by model, Getty Images)

Brochu also explained the theory behind the sleep trick: “If you stay in bed, your brain will eventually connect with ‘I’m supposed to be awake when I am here.’ You don’t want that connection to make you stay up super late, and when you go to bed you’re gonna be tired.”

Since Brochu shared the simple get-to-sleep method, the video has been liked over 861K times and received tonnes of comments from tired and grateful viewers.

“I love this. The reason I stay up is because if I don’t think of everything right that second I think I might forget. But if it is on paper, no problem,” one wrote.

Watch: Pandemic linked to good night’s sleep for many

Others said they’ve discovered similar snooze tricks have helped them sleep.

“I’ve recently been writing down all my thoughts in my journal before I go to bed and it helps me clear my mind so that I’m not thinking about every possibility,” one wrote.

“I just count in my head until I pass out,” another commented.

Read more: Couples that sleep together sleep better, study finds

What the sleep expert says

Sleep expert James Wilson, AKA The Sleep Geek, says setting a time limit of how long we should be waiting to get to sleep is a good idea.

“I usually recommend 30 minutes,” he explains. “The reason is after about 30 minutes our stress levels rise and the hormones that wake us up kick in.”

Wilson says it is at this point we need to do something to encourage our heart rate to drop again, as we need to relax to fall asleep.

However, he doesn’t think taking a moment to write down your thoughts is a technique that is suitable for everyone.

“There are loads of different way to help us do this and I have some people I work with who write things down,” he continues.

“Generally, I find it to be an approach that is too engaging and puts our brains in wake up mode as we turn the light on and start to think.

“If you sleep with someone it would also disturb your partner.”

Instead he suggests listening to something could be an effective way of falling asleep.

“Maybe a spoken word book, a podcast or the radio,” he adds. “It allows your mind to wander and sleep comes again.”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Watch: Simple steps to a healthier life