Sleeping better

The most common sleep problem is falling asleep, but we can also struggle with staying asleep or wakening very early in the morning. If you’ve been struggling with these problems for several months now, here are some small changes you can make that are proven to work.

Small changes made a big difference to Chloe’s sleep

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Breathing and relaxation exercises for stress are available on NHS inform. The audio playlist of 5 tracks take between 2 to 20 minutes to listen to.

Sleepio is an online sleep improvement programme to help tackle poor sleep and insomnia.

For information and support for helping your child get a good nights sleep, visit the Sleep Scotland website.

NHS inform has a sleep problems and insomnia self-help guide.

Chloe says not to ignore the small stuff:

  • Find a bedtime routine that works for you.
  • Listen to sounds that help you unwind.

Fraser shares his tips for falling asleep

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To hear about how taking a hot bath could help you get to sleep, listen to Dr Michael Mosley’s 14 minute online BBC radio podcast ‘Just one Thing’.

For a range of audio resources to help you practice Mindfulness for stress and relaxation, visit the Mindfulness Scotland Website. The resources are between 5 to 20 minutes long.

Find a range of different services, groups and activities in Scotland and near you.

In their article Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress, Headspace explain the power of breathing exercises and why they can help you.

NHS inform has a sleep problems and insomnia self-help guide.

Fraser advises:

  • Put your phone away before bedtime.
  • White noise works for some people.
  • Avoid watching TV just before bedtime.

Avoid having phones, computers or TVs in the bedroom, as they can be a distraction and deprive you of sleep. (Sleep Foundation)

Pete, a GP, has some tips to improve your sleep


  • get outdoors in the sunshine as much as possible
  • reduce your caffeine intake
  • go to bed and get up at the same time every single day
  • turn off tech, devices and phones at least 90 minutes before you go to bed

If you have a cup of coffee at midday, a quarter of the caffeine is still in your brain at midnight. (Matthew Walker)

Tony advises how you can improve your sleeping pattern

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NHS inform’s sleep problems and insomnia self-help guide is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This may take around 30 to 40 minutes to work through.

Search Scotland’s Service Directory for mental wellbeing support near you.

Tony suggests that you should:

  • have a relaxing bath or shower before bed
  • avoid having spicy meals before bed
  • avoid drinking alcohol before trying to sleep
  • empty your mind by writing your thoughts down
  • try meditation or mindfulness

If worries about money, work or housing are keeping you awake, here are some organisations that can help.

Show organisations that can support you

Financial support

Employment and training support

  • Start Scotland have resources to help you look for work, including health and wellbeing support and self-employment
  • The UK Government have information about support, training and advice on finding a new job
  • Skills Development Scotland has information on employment and career related training, learning and skills

Housing support

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