Doctor shares 'game-changing' shuffling method that helps you 'fall asleep fast'

Can't sleep? Try shuffling -Credit:Getty Images

Sometimes it feels impossible to drift off to sleep.

Even if you're feeling exhausted, you can be left tossing and turning in your sheets. Stress, drinking alcohol or uncomfortable temperatures are all factors that can prevent you from visiting the land of nod.

But thankfully, there are techniques you can use to make the job easier. One of these is the shuffling method, which has been lauded by a doctor.

On TikTok, dermatologist Dr Scott Walter shared a hack he wishes he knew before he hit his 30s. And he describes it as a real "game-changer".

Dr Walter explained: "I'm a doctor and sometimes I have trouble falling asleep, and I'm going to tell you about the method which was like a light switch moment for me, once I'd learned it."

All you need to do is try a "simple mental exercise" called "cognitive shuffling", which effectively means "rearranging or reorganising your thoughts" like you would when shuffling cars. The idea of it is to distract "your mind from conscious thought patterns" which may be keeping you awake.

So how do you do it? Firstly, Dr Walter recommended: "Just thinking of random words objects that have nothing to do with each other, for example cow, leaf, sandwich." Also keep repeating them in your head until you drift off to sleep.

If thinking of random words requires too much brainpower for you, there's another method. "First, pick a letter of the alphabet, two, you start counting your heartbeat, then every eight beats you think of a word that begins with that letter," Dr Walter explained.

The doctor says this works because it mimics "micro dreams", which are what we experience when we're starting to drift off. So when you initiate this, you're letting your brain know it's 'safe' to fall asleep – very clever!