Sleep Myth Monday: Counting Sheep to Fall Asleep

This is the latest installment of a regular feature here at Sleep Myth Monday, where we bust sleep myths wide open, or verify that they’re actually not myths at all.

Myth or Truth: Counting sheep and other repetitive thought exercises will not help you get to sleep.


A 2002 study looked at the best technique to use to fall asleep. Researchers at Oxford split their subjects into groups.  They told some to picture something calm while trying to fall asleep, while some were told to count sheep and others were given no instructions. The subjects who were told to picture a calming scene fell asleep an average of 20 minutes faster than those who counted sheep or received no instructions. So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, try to imagine you’re on a beautiful beach in the middle of the summer … particularly when it’s as cold outside as it is in most of the country right now!