Does counting sheep actually work?

Does counting sheep actually work?

Quality sleep and getting enough of it, at the right times, is as essential to survival as food and water.

Insomnia is one of the most commonly reported sleep problems, and according to the National Institute of Health, around 6% of the population suffers from insomnia, with anxiety, stress and depression being the most common causes.

Insomnia has been around for a long time and certainly isn’t a new phenomenon and counting sheep is one of the oldest mental exercises used to combat insomnia and putting oneself to sleep.

It is an exercise that is a form of sleep meditation that involves visualising a farmer’s field, filled with sheep and then proceeding to count the sheep one by one. Linking your breathing as you are counting sheep is advised, this allows you to relax your body and ready yourself for sleep.

Silentnight’s sleeping expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, expresses how important counting yourself to sleep is; describing it as a ‘power tool’ and offers tips for insomnia sufferers: “Don’t change your breathing, allow it to follow its natural rhythm. When you exhale, mentally and silently say, ‘one’ for the entire duration of the exhalation and say it as gently as you can. Then on the inhale, silently whisper the word ‘two’. Repeat this until you get to ten, then go back to one and start again.”

Everything that happens during the day is carried into your sleep. The feel and energy of the day can seep right into you so when you get into bed it is still there with you in the trillions of cells of your body – an accumulation of stored memories and feelings from the day.

Dr Nerina Ramalakhan offers tips on overthinking and how it can affect your rhythm whilst counting, she suggests “ You will be aware of thoughts in your head even while you breathe and count, just keep coming back to your breathing and the numbers. This technique may not work for you if your mind is really racing and ruminating obsessively on the same thoughts. You may end up counting all night, which can feel maddening. If this is the case, move on to another exercise.”

Join in on the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

FREE UK delivery available

FREE UK delivery on orders over £49

Mattresses and divans delivery service

  • FREE UK delivery to a room of your choice
  • Professional 2-man delivery service
  • Includes set-up of your bed or mattress, plus removal and takeaway of the packaging
  • FREE next day delivery available on rolled mattresses

When do we deliver?

We deliver most items between Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm.

How long does delivery take?

Mattresses and divans are delivered within 7-14 days. Bedding is delivered within 3-5 days.

How much is delivery for orders under £49?

Orders of or under £49 will come with a £2.50 delivery charge.

Find out more about our delivery service here

60 night comfort trial

We're so confident that our beds and mattresses will provide you with a great night's sleep that we offer the security of the very best in terms of comfort guarantee.

  • At Silentnight we want to be sure that you are satisfied with the comfort of your new bed or mattress which is why we offer a total peace of mind 60 night comfort guarantee. If for any reason you are not totally satisfied we will exchange your purchased bed or mattress for an alternative Silentnight bed or mattress of your choice.
  • We do however ask that you try your new bed for at least four weeks for your body to adjust to your new bed or mattress.
  • For full terms and conditions, please click here for further details.

Total Quality Assurance

Before it gets to you your bed has been through a lot

  • All our mattresses, upholstered bases and headboards are made in the UK
  • All of our product meet European standards and exceed British standards
  • All our Upholstered beds and mattresses ordered through Shop.Silentnight are made to order
  • This means they are not stored for prolonged periods of time and are shipped to you direct from our factory.


  • Accredited onsite laboratory to bring the best products to you
  • Every Silentnight mattress type is tested to ensure it exceeds all British standards
  • Silentnight products are fully certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®(FSC®) FSC-C104461
  • We are full members of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Program.
Superbrands The Sleep Council nbf approved