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Does Counting Sheep Work?

Does counting sheep actually help people sleep better? In this study published by the US National Library of Medicine, forty-one insomniacs were given instructions to count sheep, to imagine a relaxing setting (like a beach or a campfire), or to try to sleep as normal.

Ironically, those who were tasked with counting sheep took longer to fall asleep than the other groups. The most successful sleepers were the ones who envisioned themselves in a relaxing place.

Maybe you won’t nod off by counting sheep after all. If you’re having trouble dozing, try imagining yourself somewhere dreamy. Even thinking positive thoughts can curb bedtime anxiety and help you drift off. If a pasture full of sheep just so happens to be your happy place, then count on!