Useful Tips

Does counting sheep help to fall asleep?


I don’t know how to count sheep, why sheep, and where to get these sheep and where to put them, although I heard more than once about the fact that counting sheep helps to fall asleep.

It happens that some thoughts do not let you fall asleep, and they haunt you. To distract and still fall asleep, you can use a leisurely monotonous score. Imagine a herd of animals. Personally, I count elephants. And imagine that this herd in some narrow place passes one after another. For example, he leaves the corral or crosses a narrow bridge. It is necessary to consecutively and leisurely represent one animal after another and count them. Imaginary animals do not have to run fast, they walk slowly and slow down your thoughts in the same way. Some 150-200 lambs and you are already sleeping. )))

Why did people start counting sheep before going to bed?

It is not known where this tradition came from. According to some assumptions, the myth went from the shepherds, who counted the sheep before going to bed, to make sure that the whole herd was in place. The realization that all the sheep were whole was supposedly calming and helping to fall asleep. According to another version, the process of counting sheep was so boring that shepherds began to sleep.

Do sheep help to fall asleep?

According to research conducted at Oxford University, it turned out that counting sheep before bed is harmful. Scientists selected 50 people suffering from insomnia and divided them into three groups:

  1. Those who were supposed to mentally count the sheep.
  2. Those who were supposed to imagine a beautiful landscape.
  3. Those who were asked to fall asleep, as usual (so that there was something to compare the results of the first two groups).

As it turned out, people who counted sheep slept the longest. At the same time, subjects who represented a calm landscape fell asleep on average 20 minutes earlier than people from the third group. The results of other experiments also confirm that counting sheep at bedtime is far from the best idea. Scientists suggest that counting sheep is such a tedious task that it annoys us more than reassures us.

How to count sheep to fall asleep?

Despite this, experts say that the process of falling asleep is a purely individual matter. It’s absolutely not important what you imagine before going to bed, the main thing is that “this” relax you. Accordingly, if you are a fan of sheep and mathematics, then this method may well suit you.

Since far from every house in the 21st century there are sheep, and to imagine and count a flock in the head is not for everyone, people often imagine sheep jumping one after another over the fence. Here is a brief instruction:

  1. Lie down and close your eyes
  2. Imagine a clear night sky with the moon and stars
  3. Imagine a lawn divided by a low white fence
  4. Imagine white, fluffy, kind lambs
  5. Imagine the sheep jumping over the fence one by one
  6. Count each sheep that jumped over the fence. You need to count calmly, out loud or in the mind.

More detailed instructions (with pictures) can be found here. There is also another, faster (and apparently effective) sheep counting method proposed by Mr. Bean:

How to fall asleep faster and what can not be done before bedtime?

Counting sheep before going to bed is not for everyone. In addition, there are a few other things that will help you fall asleep faster:

  1. Take a warm relaxing bath before bedtime.
  2. Change the bedding. Fresh bed is a strong psychological push to sleep (especially after a bath).
  3. Have a clear schedule. People who are used to falling asleep and waking up at the same time are much less likely to experience insomnia.
  4. Refuse fatty and sweet foods. Doctors do not recommend eating fast food, ice cream and cakes before bedtime.
  5. Abandon phones and tablets in bed. The light emitted by the devices stimulates the brain and does not allow it to relax.
  6. Avoid playing sports at least 3 hours before bedtime. The heart rate, as well as the excitement of the whole body after exercise will be too large to fall asleep.
  7. Do not drink caffeine or alcohol at least a couple of hours before bedtime. Caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, and even chocolate, can make it very difficult for you to fall asleep. The same can be said about alcohol: even if you drink and “cut out”, you are unlikely to be full of energy in the morning.
  8. Avoid bedtime emotions. Strong laughter, quarrel or enthusiasm will excite your body, significantly postponing sleep.
  9. If you are unable to fall asleep immediately, do not force yourself to sleep. Try to get up and do something for a while, for example, read a book. When you feel that you want to sleep, you can return to bed again.