Therapist's simple trick for when you can’t get to sleep

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

We have all at some point experienced the dreaded feeling of tossing and turning in bed, only to suddenly become fully aware that you are not getting to sleep.

Your body might be tired but your brain is on like a lightbulb, you have cycled through every dilemma in you life several times over, you're wondering why Miranda never got a good hair cut, not even one, on Sex and the City and your battling with the dread of knowing you'll be a zombie tomorrow.

woman asleep represents hack to get to sleep
If this is does not represent your regular sleep, read on. Photo: Getty Images

It's dire straits for sure, but it turns out there's quite an easy way to break this cycle of sleeplessness and brain noise – get out of bed, and get it down

Yep, one woman took to TikTok earlier his month to share the frustratingly simple hack she says she was taught in a therapy session, and consider us converted.


User Emily Brochu uploaded a video outlining how and why the practice works, explaining she used it recently after accidentally consuming a caffeinated drink.

Emily TikTok sleep therapist tip
TikTok user Emily shared a therapist's tip for getting back to sleep. Photo: TikTok

“So a therapist gave me this trick for when you can’t sleep, I’m gonna share it with you for free cause I paid for the information,” she said.

"If you're not sleeping within 20 minutes, get up and write down everything that you're thinking about and do it until you're tired and then go back to sleep. And it works."

In the video she shows a couple of pieces of paper covered in notes and doodles, her own musings put down on paper from the night before.

TikTok sleep hack
Mapping your thoughts out on paper is a game-chaning way to get back to sleep. Photo: TikTok

She goes on to explain its really the act of getting out of your bed that is crucial.

"The reason it's important to get out of bed is that if you stay in bed your brain will eventually connect with 'I'm supposed to be awake when I am here'," she explains.

"You don't want that connection to make you stay up super late, and when you go to bed you're gonna be tired."

The handy tip can help you get back to sleep, but it's also important to try and get to the bottom of why it is your sleep is out of whack in the first place,

Experts confirm to Yahoo Lifestyle that the rumours are true – if you're struggling to snooze your phone is very likely the main culprit.

Sound impacts sleep cycle. Loud music.
Your sleep cycle can be thrown off whack by your phone. Photo: Getty Images

“Our energy tends to run in 60-90 minute cycles and the cycle just before we go to bed is key to getting a good night’s sleep,” explains Dr Ramlakhan.

“When light levels drop in the evening, our circadian timer switches on and stimulates the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

"However, the use of tech before bed disrupts this natural process.”

Dr Ramlakhan says that screens on phones and tablets emit blue light which suppresses the production of melatonin from the brain’s pineal gland and stimulates the production of the chemical dopamine which makes us feel alert and ‘switched on’.

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