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Relaxation techniques to help you sleep

Relaxation techniques to help you sleep

Having trouble getting to sleep?


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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Getting a good night's sleep can often be more challenging than it seems. There are so many things that we do or that happen to us during the day that can have an impact on our sleep and sometimes these things can be unavoidable. Although there may be things that are out of your control during the day, there are certain things you can do in the evenings and at night to help you relax and get a better night's sleep. Falling asleep may not happen instantly, but by practicing these things overtime you can help create a bedtime routine that works for you. 

How can I improve my sleep?

Ways to improve your sleep: 

  • Identify how much time you need to sleep at night, and try to schedule enough time to get that sleep
  • If there are things that are preventing you from going to bed, consider if those things are really more important than getting sleep and looking after your health. For example, could you skip that last half hour of watching TV or wait until tomorrow to play the next level of that video game?
  • Realise how good that feeling is when you are well rested and use it to motivate yourself to stick to your healthy sleep pattern
  • Work on reducing your stress levels
  • Park your worries by writing them down and refocus your awareness and attention on soothing activities that make you feel happy and relaxed
  • Focus on your breathing and imagine you’re in a very peaceful and relaxing setting
  • Try relaxing every part of your body, starting with your feet and moving up

Try this relaxation technique to help soothe you:

  • Imagine you’re in a very peaceful and relaxing setting
  • Focus on your breathing
  • Tense your muscles as you inhale and relax as you exhale
  • Start with your toes: inhale – tense your feet – hold the tension and exhale slowly – relaxing the feet as you exhale
  • Inhale – tense the feet and lower legs – hold the tension for five seconds – exhaling slowly – relaxing the lower legs and calves as you exhale slowly
  • Continue until you’ve tensed and relaxed the whole body
  • Keep focused and try not to engage in any other thinking while you do the relaxation exercise

This isn't working - what else can I try?

There are many things you can to do help with your sleep. Check out these 10 great ways to improve your sleep. If these still don't work, you should go to your doctor, who'll be able to discuss your options with you. 

Feeling overwhelmed or want to talk to someone right now?

If you are a customer of the 48 or An Post network or cannot get through using the ‘50808’ short code please text HELLO to 086 1800 280 (standard message rates may apply). Some smaller networks do not support short codes like ‘50808’

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Published April 26th2015
Last updated July 9th2018
Tags sleep mindfulness mental health
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