If you find writing helpful, try writing a gratitude journal. Before you go to bed, try and write down at least 3 things that have gone well, or that you are grateful for.
Many people with who are unwell have sleeping difficulties at some point during their illness. There can be a number of reasons for this, including anxiety and symptoms such as pain and breathlessness. These symptoms can often be treated, so speak to your doctor about them. For example, if you have pain, ask your doctor about long-acting painkillers that will last through the night. Some people may benefit from having a short nap during the day. However, too much sleep during the day can cause problems sleeping at night – try limiting yourself to one or two sleeps each day if you can’t sleep at night. If possible, avoid sleeping in the late afternoon or evening. If you do have difficulty sleeping at night, remember your body will still benefit from lying quietly in bed resting, even if you’re not asleep.
Sleeplessness can sometimes be a sign of depression. Talking through your worries and concerns may be helpful. Some people benefit from counselling or relaxation therapy. Sometimes a short course of sleeping pills can help you get back to a regular sleeping pattern or help you through a particularly difficult time. They usually work by helping you get to sleep, so they’re best taken before bedtime rather than in the middle of the night.