If your friend is having sleeping difficulties that are affecting their functioning and their mood then there are a number of things to suggest. However, maybe take the time to ask if there is anything bothering them, or what ideas they may have about their sleep problems. These simple questions could actually elicit a cause and it is good to talk about this with your friend, giving them lots of opportunity to talk and lots of listening on your part.
If a cause is not known then you might be able to give them some information about sleep. You could ask them what their approach is first so you don’t end up suggesting things they have already tried.
One of the main facts about sleep is that 8 hours should be set aside for sleep and only sleep! Your friend needs this time to recharge. They are probably fooling themselves if they think they are one of the people who doesn’t need 8 hours. Lack of sleep accumulates and makes you feel crappy.
If your friend has a problem falling asleep, suggest the following:
- Don’t try and solve problems in bed by thinking about them – think about them somewhere else but not in bed
- Do some reading – but not study reading, something relaxing
- Don’t study in bed
- Don’t use the computer in bed
- Position your clock so you can’t see it in bed
- Do a simple relaxation or meditation exercise
- Try a meditation course
- Boring things help you sleep!
Doing a web search on “Sleep inducing meditations” or “Better Sleep” for example, will bring up detailed information on tips for getting better sleep.
If sleeping difficulties are still troublesome after your friend has tried some of these practical steps then it may be a symptom of some underlying problem that could benefit from a visit to a health professional. You might be able to suggest making an appointment to see a General Practitioner or counsellor for example.