How to sleep better during lockdown

We’ve noticed a few more referrals to our Cotswold Community Wellbeing Service for people struggling with sleep so we wanted to share some of our knowledge on how to get a good night’s sleep.

As well all know, sleeping well is vital to our wellbeing. It’s become a challenge during the latest lockdown and so one of our dedicated Social Prescribers, Carol Stockman, has looked at four barriers to sleep and how you can combat these.


Sleep Barrier – General Worry

  • Write down worries before bedtimes, so you can deal with them in the morning. If a worry comes into your head, remind yourself that you will be dealing with it tomorrow.
  • Focus on slow breathing, listening to and feeling your breath.
  • Distract yourself with audio book or podcast.


Sleep Barrier – Trouble switching off a busy brain

  • Avoid activities that energise you or get you thinking too much before bed.
  • Get into a routine e.g. have a warm shower, hot drink, read a few pages of a book. This can help settle you and create associations with sleep.
  • Dim the lights before bedtime if you can.
  • Don’t eat too late at night. Avoid caffeine after late afternoon.
  • Avoid naps during the day.


Sleep Barrier – worry about getting to sleep or trying too hard to get to sleep

  • Remind yourself that you will be able to cope even with just a few hours of sleep.
  • Try any of the relaxation or distraction techniques mentioned in the solutions to the previous sleep barriers.
  • Try not to sleep – this may seem strange but there is evidence that it works for some people.
  • Get out of bed and do something relaxing, then return to bed when sleepy.


Sleep Barrier – not getting enough sleep

  • Reset the value and meaning of sleep – it is not for the weak, it improves everything.
  • Prioritise sleep and plan when to go to bed and wake up. Going to bed and walking up at consistent times has been shown to improve sleep.
  • Keep your bed for sleeping, not working or checking your phone, computer, tablet.
  • Keep electronic devices out of the bedroom so that you don’t check them during the night. Blue light wakes your brain up and disrupts melatonin release.

Extract from A Toolkit for Modern Life (53 Ways to Look After Your Mind) Dr Emma Hepburn

We hope those will come in handy but if you need more help then our team of social prescribers can help you further with expert advice so if you are struggling with getting a good night’s rest (or any other worries about your wellbeing) then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Head to our Community Wellbeing Service page for all the details.