Sleep is as essential for good health as is oxygen, food and water.

Sleep is important for restoring physical and mental health. It refreshes the mind and repairs the body.

A lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation, can cause fatigue, poor concentration and memory, mood disturbances, impaired judgment and reaction time, and poor physical coordination.

Often when we struggle to get to sleep, we will be thinking things over in our minds or following random thoughts that enter our heads.

These thoughts stop us from falling off to sleep or stop us getting back to sleep if we wake during the night. When we can become aware that we are thinking these arousing thoughts we are then in a position to stop them and get back to sleep.

Often our thoughts are sneaky and continue to creep in and we will be in the middle of a stream of thoughts before we even know what we are thinking.

A technique I learnt through my counselling kinesiology which I use and I encourage my clients to use is a combination of counting backwards and catching yourself thinking. The repetitive task of counting backwards requires you to focus on counting which stops other thoughts.

If we were untroubled by thoughts, then we would bore ourselves to sleep! Troubling thoughts will wake us up and when these thoughts come up again they prevent us from counting – we forget where we are with our counting and we become aware that thoughts have crept in again.

By gently returning our focus back onto the counting task, we teach our mind to let go of arousing thoughts to enable us to fall deeper and deeper into relaxation and sleep will follow.

This exercise:

  1. Write in your mind’s eye 100
  2. Write in your mind’s eye deeper
  3. Write in your mind’s eye 99
  4. Write in your mind’s eye deeper
  5. Write in your mind’s eye 98
  6. Write in your mind’s eye deeper
  7. Continue on slowly and if your thoughts appear again then that is okay, just release that thought and begin again.

Please note when I have mentioned mind’s eye – I am referring to your imagination or your thoughts.

The first night that you practice this you may feel like the counting was keeping you awake. Continue to practice this as you will notice the more you do this, the easier it will become. Practice makes perfect.

You will become so good at this, that you will fall asleep before you get to 98! I know I do most nights!

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  • I need a good nights sleep. I just want to go to bed one night, go to sleep and not wake up til the morning. That hasnt happened for I don’t know how long so I guess it won’t be happening at all


  • I am so exhausted that I pretty much fall asleep straight away. Much to my hubby’s disgust as he struggles with going to sleep.


  • What a wonderful technique. Unique and simple and I can’t wait to give it a go. Thank you so much.


  • I will give this a try, my anti brain keeps me awake. I take stress to bed so anything that stops the relentless race track of thoughts will be welcomed. Stay tuned.


  • I’ll definitely need to try this. Thank you.


  • Thanks for sharing; very interesting.


  • thank you hope this works I am a terrible sleeper


  • I’m definitely trying this counting backwards method


  • Will be trying these tips ty!


  • Good suggestion, I will try this whenever I find I can’t drop off to sleep. Thanks.


  • Sounds like a plan; if only my 4 year old who hates sleep, would take hints lol. Thanks


  • I am a very light sleeper and it doesn’t take much to wake me. The only time counting has any effect at all is when I am about to have an operation. I find white noise helps sometimes. Another trick is to read a few pages of a book and fall asleep. However it really frustrates me if I am watching something special on TV I am likely to fall asleep unless I get up and walk around. I daren’t close my eyes during an ad.


  • Thanks very much for sharing. Photo on Canvas


  • So true a lack of sleep alters my mood, and can tell the difference when ive had a full nights sleep


  • I wind down each night by closing my eyes and giving thanks for the things that came to me or happened during that day. At some point I fall asleep because I often wake up in the morning wondering if I’d finished that process!


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