Counting sheep is one of the time-honoured methods of getting to sleep at night.

Readers who suffer from insomnia might like to know that Transport for London is looking into different ways of counting the numbers of passengers on buses.

The idea is that this will improve services for customers by showing when and where people travel most, so investment can be made in the right places.

TfL also hopes the trial will let commuters know where seats are available.

It is probably a job best left to technology, as many of us know the perils of falling asleep on a night bus and waking up at the end of the route.

So TfL will be trialling different ways of measuring when and where people are using buses in the capital.

Techniques for counting passengers include:

- Using cameras on the bus floor to look at footsteps of people getting on and off the bus;

- Looking at safety camera footage

- And analysing changes to a bus’s weight and air pressure.

Still awake?

The trial will last for three months.

For anyone fearful of Big Brother looking over their shoulder, buses trialling the CCTV or sensors will display posters to ensure passengers are aware of the trial.

Simon Reed, head of surface technology and data at TfL, said: “Technology is transforming our lives and creating huge potential to improve how we use and operate public transport. This short trial is an exciting opportunity to make it easier for everyone to use buses in London.

“We hope this trial will show us the best way to identify real-time bus usage, which in turn could help us plan our network better, run it more effectively and greatly enhance live customer information.”