The reason people count sheep to fall asleep is uncertain, although some think it may come from a tallying system devised by shepherds in ancient Britain, according to a story in the New York Times. The monotony of counting sheep is meant to lull one to sleep.
The question is, does it help you get your Z’s?
Scientists at Oxford University did a study of insomniacs and monitored them as they tried different sleep techniques on various nights.
They found that subjects took slightly longer to fall asleep on nights they were told to count sheep, or were given no instructions at all. But when they were told to imagine a relaxing scene, such as a beach, they fell asleep an average of 20 minutes sooner than on other nights.
Counting sheep, the scientists said, may be too boring to do for very long.