Home Health The simple trick that can help you 'fall asleep in minutes' as...

The simple trick that can help you 'fall asleep in minutes' as one in three Brits struggle


Sleep expert shares top tips on how to set up bedroom to get the best night’s sleep

An expert has shared an incredible simple hack which will “put you to sleep in minutes” – and it has just five easy steps.

Sleep is a vital part of life, needed to repair and restore our brains and bodies. To ensure we are fully “charged” for the day ahead we typically need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.

However, this can prove easier said than done. Sometimes, no matter how tired we are, the act of falling asleep can evade us.

In fact, according to the NHS, one in three of us will experience sleep problems at least once in our lives.

This can have a number of root causes, from anxiety and stress to illness, injury and pain among other issues.

With this in mind, one expert revealed a technique we can all try to make sure we get a restful night’s sleep.

READ MORE ‘I’m a sleep expert – here are four reasons you should never turn the fan on’

Woman sleeping

One in three Brits will struggle with sleeping at some point (Image: Getty Images)

Speaking to Gloucestershire Live, Sammy Margo – a sleep expert and physiotherapist at Dreams – suggested a technique called the cognitive shuffle.

Rooted in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), the cognitive shuffle is designed to distract the mind from thoughts that hinder sleep.

It involves engaging in a mental task that is absorbing enough to reduce anxiety but simple enough to signal to the brain that it’s time to rest.

Sammy said: “Now, more than ever, it’s important to recognise the significance of prioritising our mental health.

“The way we think and feel strongly influences our sleep patterns, which in turn, affects our overall quality of life.”

Woman Trying to Sleep

This technique can distract the mind while you try to sleep (Image: Getty)

There are five steps to perform a cognitive shuffle

Identify negative thought patterns

Sammy said: “Begin by recognising the recurring negative thoughts or worries that may be affecting your sleep.

“These could include concerns about work, relationships, or uncertainties about the future. You should note how often they occur and the emotions they provoke. Being aware of these patterns is the first step towards addressing them.”

Challenge and reframe

She explained: “Once you’ve identified your negative thought patterns, it’s important to challenge them.

“Ask yourself questions like, ‘Is there any evidence to support this thought, or what advice would I give to a friend in this situation?’

“This process of cognitive restructuring helps you to examine these thoughts more objectively. Then, reframe them into more positive or realistic alternatives.

Tips for sleeping

Other tips for falling asleep (Image: Express.co.uk)

“For example, if you’re worrying about an upcoming presentation, remind yourself that you’ve prepared thoroughly and are capable of handling it well.‘’

Practice mindfulness

“Integrate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine to develop greater awareness of your thoughts and emotions without judgement,” Sammy said.

“Set aside time each day for mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and traditional yoga methods, such as alternate nostril breathing, which involves alternating between breathing through the left and right nostrils.

“During these practices, observe your thoughts as they arise, allowing them to pass without becoming entangled in them. This cultivates a sense of calm and non-reactivity, reducing the impact of negative thoughts on your sleep.”

Create a bedtime routine

Sammy advised: ‘’Establishing a bedtime routine that incorporates cognitive shuffling exercises to signal to your brain that it’s time to unwind and prepare for sleep.

“This routine might involve activities such as journaling about positive experiences from the day, practising gratitude, or engaging in relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation or visualisation.

“By incorporating these exercises into your nightly routine, you create a calming ritual that primes your mind for restful sleep.’’

Give it a go

She added: “Tonight, consider engaging in a cognitive exercise by selecting a random word. From there, challenge yourself to brainstorm additional words, each starting with the letters of your chosen word, and then vividly visualise each of these objects.

“This process helps redirect the mind’s focus away from stress-inducing thoughts.

“The word needs to be completely neutral and have no repeating letters, let’s use ‘BED’ in this instance, think of words beginning with B and imagine them, e.g. bucket, binoculars, basketball, brush.

“If you can’t think of any more words for the letter, move on to the next letter in that word, and if you go through the whole word, pick another, and start the process again.’’

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