Laying in bed and not being able to fall asleep is incredibly frustrating. It might be easier with some luxury sheets, but not being able to give your body and brain the rest it desperately needs is unhealthy. Being caught in this vicious cycle can feel overwhelming and debilitating. You used to get a great night’s sleep of eight hours and now you struggle just to get two or three hours. You have tried to relax and drink some warm milk before bedtime. You started taking long walks and riding your bicycle again but nothing seems to be helping your insomnia.
What about counting sheep? What is counting sheep? Counting sheep is a mental exercise used in some Western cultures as a means of putting oneself to sleep. In most depictions of the activity, the person envisions an endless series of identical white sheep jumping over a fence, while counting them as they do so. The idea is to induce boredom while occupying the mind with something simple, repetitive, and rhythmic, all of which are known to help humans sleep.
Does counting sheep work? There is no clear answer because no scientific studies have specifically addressed the counting sheep technique. The practice is largely a stereotype, and rarely used as a solution for insomnia, it has been so commonly referenced by cartoons, comic strips, and other mass media, that it has become deeply ingrained into popular culture’s notion of sleep.