Other Activities to Try

(for the evening or in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep/your trying to follow the sleep course rules)

Try not to do mindless activities that you don’t really enjoy before you go to bed or in the middle of the night. You need be providing your brain with something pleasant that makes you happy. This is not to make you sleepy (no activity can do that, as you know now it’s more to do with your sleep drive!), but rather, it’s to avoid negative associations and anxieties that you usually associate with bedtime which WILL stop you from being in the right state for sleep. Remember these activities are for outside the bedroom.

1. Reading books, magazines or journals – whatever you find interesting – you could start with ‘101 things to do when you can’t get to sleep’ By Dusty Sandman ☺

2. Audio books – you can get a free first audio book here: https://www.audiobooks.co.uk/

3. Making things and being creative such as Christmas cards, gifts – https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/homemade-gift-ideas-1251561

4. Watching a television, film or documentary you love (don’t worry about the light – just reduce the brightness down! It’s more important to reduce anxiety and provide a better distraction than lying in bed awake at this point!). Get a free first month with Netflix – https://www.netflix.com

5. Colouring in (you can purchase some lovely books or make your own designs!)  – https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_1?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A11357541011%2Ck%3Acolouring+in&keywords=colouring+in&ie=UTF8&qid=1543483323&rnid=2941120011

6. Grown up jigsaws and puzzles- https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_2?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A3226149011%2Ck%3Aadult+jigsaw+puzzles&keywords=adult+jigsaw+puzzles&ie=UTF8&qid=1543483245&rnid=2941120011

7. Late night stroll (get mindful and use your senses to feel the world around you! What can you hear, touch, smell, taste and see?). Don’t use this one in the middle of the night, more for the evenings.

8. Meditation – YouTube is a great resource for this, try this one and then if it’s not for you, try you – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i50ZAs7v9es

9. Yoga or gentle stretching – use YouTube for lots of free videos!

10. Using your hands in a hobby like knitting, sewing or crochet

11. Learning a new skill such as painting, drawing or building a model 

12. Watching ASMR videos Online – Try starting here with this video I did with an ASMR artist, and explore YouTube for more that suit you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHE3fFgTr2U&list=PLTcqMq5__xjCQf62nCdFGVYOYCeVLT43K

13. Listening to relaxing audios – Try starting here with my relaxation audio: https://soundcloud.com/user-384807935/imagery-technique-whisper-asmr

14. Think about those you can help tomorrow: Who can you be kind to? Doing things for others makes us feel good, thinking about other things other than ourselves, can relive the brain of it’s usual concerns.

15. Keep a gratitude diary – what are you grateful for? Turn those negative thoughts around!

15. Write your own journal – this will help you to organise and digest your thoughts and feelings.

Activities you can try action plan

Planning what to do when you are awake during the night or before you go to bed will make the experience a more pleasant one and reduce associated anxiety. Make sure you have set up the area where you will be relaxing until you are ready to try to sleep again. You may wish to set up headphones so you can watch TV or listen to music without disturbing anyone else, for example. Use this space to plan this time: