How To Make A 3 Yr Old Go To Sleep Does Counting Sheep Really Help Us Go to Sleep?

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Does Counting Sheep Really Help Us Go to Sleep?

The phrase “counting sheep” in the context of a bedtime ritual actually has its origins in ancient Britain. The shepherds needed to count their sheep, to make sure that each of the flock was present and accounted for, before the shepherds could sleep for the night. As with speech expressions that have their beginning in the remote past, this system of contagion has come to us as an aid to help us sleep.

Does counting sheep help us go to sleep? A few researchers have their doubts.

According to the journal Behavior Research and Therapy, scientists from the University of Oxford recruited insomniacs and separated them into groups. These groups were monitored as they tried different mental techniques to put themselves to sleep. On different nights, some groups were instructed to try to count sheep as a distraction from thoughts that prevent sleep, and other groups were not given any instructions.

However, on nights when all groups were separately instructed to imagine a calming and more charming scene, such as a beach, the subjects fell asleep an average of twenty minutes earlier than they did when counting sheep, or concentrating in nothing. .

Scientists suspect that the mental task of counting sheep is too boring for our minds to dwell on it for long. More complex and enjoyable tasks, such as imagining an ocean or forest scene, for example, help our minds stay focused until they eventually fall asleep.

With our mind not focused on stressful thoughts, our muscles relax and we breathe more deeply, and sleep happens naturally.

This is not to say, however, that counting sleeping sheep is not a very effective technique for some. People interested in sheep, or who find them extremely cute and soothing, can use the old Cumbrian and Yorkshire sheep counting system to their advantage.

Perhaps it was put best by Chris Idzikowsky at the Edinburgh Sleep Centre: “Actually, I’d go for controlled breathing as a mechanism, but counting sheep is fine as long as it doesn’t irritate you.”

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