Sleep Problems

When your parents are splitting up, anxiety can cause difficulties with sleeping. This is a perfectly normal reaction to stress (see our guide to stress).

However, a good night’s rest is vitally important to your health. It protects you physically and mentally, and it will help you manage during this difficult time.

Scientists have found that anxiety and stress both directly impact sleep. When you feel anxious, your heart rate increases. This causes your brain to race, too. With an alert mind, you can feel too stimulated to sleep.

To make matters worse, an active brain triggers other worries – so it’s even harder to sleep. It can feel like a vicious circle.

What can I do?

Try some of these exercises and techniques:

  • Write – Sometimes, sharing your thoughts with others during the day can help you stop worrying in the middle of the night. Use our Share Your Story tool or talk to someone but try not to use digital devices at night – the light from mobiles and tablets affects sleep for the worse.
  • Breathe – Place your hand on your heart and listen to your breathing. Breathe in deeply for four seconds, and then breathe out slowly. Repeat. This will help slow your heart rate, which in turn slows down your brain activity.
  • Speak – Speaking aloud overrides thinking, and this can stop negative thoughts in their tracks. Try using the following technique; instead of thinking “I don’t know what is going on”, say aloud “I will talk to someone about what is happening”.

Where can I find help?

  • If you need someone to talk with and would like support from our partners, The Mix, use this tool to find more content, a freephone helpline, online forums, apps and more: open tool.
  • Use our Share Your Story tool to write down your thoughts and read about others feeling the same.

If you feel you need further help with your sleep, speak to your doctor (GP). They will understand. Tell them how you are feeling and they will discuss the best options for you.