Sleep is a hugely important part of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re not getting enough sleep, for whatever reason, it can have a big impact on your mental health and your ability to concentrate during the day.
If you’re struggling to sleep because of things you are worried or stressed about, not sleeping enough can make those things seem much worse.
One girl contacted Childline because she was finding it difficult to sleep at night.
She said: “I have so many things on my mind and I can’t help thinking and worrying about them, until it gets worse and worse. Some nights, I end up just crying with worry.
“I used to have to cry myself to sleep some nights, but now I have found that if I call to my mum or dad, they come upstairs to my bedroom and sit next to me on the bed.
“This helps a lot, but I haven’t told them how much I worry.
“Instead they think I cry because I can’t get to sleep, but if I have someone there to comfort me it helps a lot.”
We know, from the thousands of children and young people we talk to, that issues with sleep can come from struggling with difficult feelings or memories, worrying about homework of exams, difficulties at home, having an unhealthy routine or diet, or anything else that could leave them stressed and worried.
On our website we also have plenty of tips and tricks to get a good night’s sleep.
These include spending some time relaxing before bed, perhaps reading or taking time to unwind, or simply thinking about your breathing.
An overactive mind can also be a problem when trying to get some rest.
It’s difficult to switch off when social media notifications, texts and phone calls keep your brain whirring around, so we recommend shutting off phones and turning off social media.
But sometimes, when someone is worried and has a lot of thoughts that won’t go away on their own, the best thing to do is talk.
Childline counsellors are available any time of day or night, so if a child or young person wants to speak to someone about anything that may be keeping them awake at night, there is always someone to listen.
For free confidential advice and support about any worries, children and young people can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or www.childline.org.uk