Sleep and our mental health are closely linked - so when one is struggling, the other one tends to suffer as well.

A lack of sleep - or insomnia - makes us tired, which affects our ability to get through each day. This can, in turn, affect our self-esteem and cause stress, which can then cause a lack of sleep - and the cycle starts again.

You may find it hard to drop off at night, or find yourself waking up in the small hours - or far too early in the morning. Sometimes this can be because of panic attacks, nightmares or flashbacks. Alternatively, you may be sleeping too much, even at times when you need to be awake.

There are many different reasons you're struggling to maintain a good sleep routine, including worries about money, relationships or work, health conditions, shift work, drugs and alcohol intake or past trauma.

There are a number of steps you can take yourself to try and improve your sleep routine, including:

  • Sticking to an established bedtime routine
  • Relaxing before bed, by doing something calming or meditating
  • Completing a sleep diary to pinpoint anything that may be preventing you from sleeping
  • Ensuring your sleeping area is comfortable
  • Turning off devices in the bedroom
  • Considering changes to your diet, introducing physical exercise and increasing the amount of time you spend outdoors

If after taking these steps you're still finding it difficult to maintain a manageable sleeping pattern, you may need to reach out for extra support.

NHS Talking Therapies offers a range of therapies aimed at helping you to deal with sleep problems and should be your first port of call if you’re looking for support. You can self-refer online.

If your sleep problems are particularly severe, you may be offered medication as a short-term measure.

Orcha Apps LibraryThis library lists thousands of NHS-approved health apps by condition, making it quick and easy for you to find support.

Every Mind Matters: This Public Health England campaign shares hints and tips developed with experts and approved by the NHS.

NHS Stress Busters: The NHS have brought together ten tips to reduce stress levels and link to useful resources centred around exercise, time management and accepting change.

NHS mental wellbeing audio guides: The NHS have put together a series of audio guides to help you cope with sleep problems.

British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association: Information and support for people affected by snoring and sleep apnoea.

Five ways to wellbeing: The New Economics Foundation have developed these five steps to looking after your wellbeing.

Found a useful resource we haven't included? Know an organisation or group we could be signposting to? Contact us and let us know!