First and foremost- don’t fret. If you are awake and not able to sleep get up and do something until you feel tired, then head back to bed.

Keep your bed for sex and sleep only, so when you get into bed you’ve trained your brain that this is all about sleep.

Some people have told me that having the radio on very quietly in the background is calming and comforting, and helps them to drift back to sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone that is really important in getting to sleep. There are a number of things that can help with the melatonin cycle (and therefore help with sleep):

  • Getting out into the sunshine during the day is really important.
  • No caffeine after midday.
  • It has been suggested that some foods help with the production melatonin – pineapple, rice, sweetcorn, bananas and oranges, and maybe a warm milky drink just before bed.
  • Light from computer and TV screens suppress the production of melatonin, so turning these off an hour before bed and turning down the lights can help with the production of this very important hormone.

The Cancer Society has a great information sheet on sleep problems – have a look here for more tips:


Counsellor, Cancer Society Wellington

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