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A boy sitting on a bed with his head in his hands

Many problems with sleep are because you're badly worried about something. Sometimes you're worried but you've blocked it out during the day. At night it comes back and nags at you. Then you worry about not sleeping. This can go on for days (or nights!).

If it's already midnight

If it's already midnight, the only way to get to sleep is not to care about it. Resign yourself to being tired, get up and do something else for a while. Don't lie there tossing and turning. Sleep will come in its own time.

Help yourself tomorrow

You can make it better tomorrow, however. If you're not sleeping because you're depressed, then you should try to talk to someone about that - your mum or dad or any adult who will really listen to you. Your doctor will be able to help as well. If you're not sure why you can't sleep, try these practical tips:/

  • Lay off tea, coffee and coke after 6pm. They're all full of caffeine.
  • Try having another sort of hot drink instead. (herbal tea, blackcurrant juice, something milky)
  • Spend some time relaxing between finishing homework and going to bed - up to an hour. Baths are very good.
  • Take some exercise during the day or in the evening.
  • Read something relaxing in bed - not thrillers!
  • Listen to soothing music.

Sleeping tablets are a last resort - but they are addictive if taken every night for more than about 10 days. Better to sort out your worries if you can.