On Air Now
The Smooth Drive Home with Tina Hobley 4pm - 7pm
19 January 2018, 14:51
How many times have you found yourself just lying there in bed with zero chances of falling asleep?
You've tried counting sheep, having a quick shower, going for a stroll around the house or having a glass of warm milk, and nothing.
Well, there's a simple trick that experts have claimed will make you fall asleep more than any other: make a list.
Essentially, a quick to-do list of any tasks or jobs you haven't got round to doing. Maybe chores around the house, tasks to complete at work, albums you want to buy, that kind of thing.
Dr Michael Scullin and his team at Baylor University in Texas studied 57 adults aged 19-30 and split them into two groups, and then they both slept over in a lab.
Each group was then given a writing task. The first wrote about things they had already completed, while the second wrote a list of tasks they still needed to do.
The researchers discovered that those in the second 'to-do list' group fell asleep a whole 16 minutes before the other group.
Writing in the journal Experimental Psychology, researchers said thinking or worrying about future tasks “is a significant contributor to difficulty in falling asleep."
"The more specifically participants wrote their to-do list, the faster they subsequently fell asleep, whereas the opposite trend was observed when participants wrote about completed activities."
We're definitely going to give this one a go next time we're staring at the ceiling in boredom.