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Sleep difficulties


It’s common to experience sleep difficulties, and they often happen when you feel you need sleep the most! Common sleep difficulties include having trouble falling asleep, worrying or thinking too much in bed, or waking up frequently and having trouble getting back to sleep.

Sleep difficulties can sometimes occur due to relationship problems, financial problems or other stressors such as study or exams. However, sometimes by the time the stress has resolved, the sleep difficulties may have turned into habits that can be hard to break.

Other things that may impact your sleep include:

  • too much caffeine or alcohol;
  • not having time to wind down before bed;
  • eating or drinking too late in the day;
  • medical conditions or pregnancy;
  • jet lag; and
  • shift work.

Tiredness from sleep difficulties can impact your memory, concentration, health, and social and emotional wellbeing.

What to do

If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are plenty of things you can try to encourage better sleep.

  • Avoid napping during the day.
  • Sleep with your environment cool, dark and quiet.
  • Move your body during the day for at least 20 minutes, this could be walking, dancing, yoga, swimming or something else that you enjoy.
  • Stop using technology 1-2 hours before you go to bed.
  • Try to notice when you start to feel drowsy or sleepy during the evening and aim to go to bed then.
  • Try to stick to a routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.
  • Do something calming to wind down before bed, this could be taking a bath, doing yoga, reading a book, or something else that you find calming.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake.

Getting support

If you’d like to seek support, there are services at Deakin that can help you resolve sleep difficulties. You can make an appointment with Deakin's Counselling service or Deakin Medical Centre.

More help and advice

Visit the Sleep Health Foundation or Better Health Channel websites for more information on sleep difficulties.

The DeakinWELLBEING app can help you find balance and develop healthy habits, which may help improve the quality of your sleep.

The Deakin website has information about relaxation techniques you could try to help you wind down before bed, and tips and tricks you can use to beat exam stress and anxiety.

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