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Have you ever gotten into bed at night to sleep but you couldn’t, because you just couldn’t turn your mind off?
I used to have this problem all the time – and sometimes I still do. Whether I was too stressed, or overthinking every little detail about the day, or my mind just wouldn’t stop wandering – it took me forever to get to sleep.
If you have the same problem, you’re not alone. It’s a common problem, especially among people with anxiety.
This is a big issue because sleep is super important for your mental health so your stress or anxiety could get worse when you’re not getting a full, restful night’s sleep.
But no matter what’s causing this problem for you – your job, a personal problem, your anxiety, or something else – there are ways that you can work through it.
Today I thought I’d share some tips for turning off your mind when you’re too stressed to sleep. <3
Here’s how to turn off your mind so you can sleep:
– First, unplug from everything.
Most people have heard this advice, but they don’t listen to it. Our computers, phones, and tablets emit blue light, which isn’t good before bed. It suppresses our body’s melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep. Also, spending time before bed scrolling through social media isn’t the most positive use of our time. This brings me to the next tip…
– Take at least 30 minutes to unwind.
It’s a good idea to spend at least 30 minutes (or maybe 1-2 hours, if you need it) unwinding before we go to sleep. Stay away from stimulants such as caffeine, try to stop thinking about work or personal problems, and create a little ritual full of activities that relax you and help you de-stress. Think of things like:
- Journaling about the day
- Reading a book
- Taking a bath
- Doing yoga
- Listening to calming music
- Drinking a cup of Sleepytime tea
– Have a (somewhat) regular sleep schedule.
I know that a perfectly regular sleep schedule can be impossible for some people, but try to be as regular as you can about it. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is probably the most helpful way to be able to fall asleep easier. It’s healthy to try to make sure that your sleep is in sync with your circadian rhythms.
– Make your bedroom cozy.
Having a cozy bedroom environment is a great way to make yourself comfy and sleepy. I like to keep my room at a cool temperature and use a warm blanket and lots of pillows. Making sure that your room is dark also helps, but if your room isn’t dark for some reason then it’s a good idea to use a sleep mask and/or blackout curtains. Also, invest in a good mattress, good quality sheets, and anything else that will help. Using a weighted blanket can also help, especially if you have anxiety, ADHD, or other mental health issues.
– Try to focus on something mindless.
Counting sheep isn’t just a cliche – it can help. When our minds just won’t stop, no matter what, it’s helpful to distract ourselves. Things like counting sheep, repeating a word over and over, visualizing yourself sleeping, or another mindless mental task can help us to stop overthinking and have an easier time falling asleep. I usually try to name all 50 state capitals or something and it actually helps me fall asleep!
What helps you fall asleep at night? Leave a comment and let me know!
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Michelle from Hiking Bingo says
Thank you for the ideas on ways to relax my mind!
This is great advice, and something I need to remind myself of. Just log OFF and take some time to relax! 😊
These are great ideas that I am going to try because this seems to be a nightly occurrence for me.
Jane Frith says
I find it very difficult to fall asleep as I just get bored and then my mind gets to work! So difficult to switch off completely. I find doing something like Sudoku helps……sometimes!
Amber Myers says
I hate when I can’t sleep. I will have to remember these tips the next time my mind won’t turn off.
Julie Russell says
Informative post! Great ideas for turning off your mind to fall asleep. Having a winding down routine sounds like a helpful tip, I’ll have to try it. I look forward to reading more articles!
Christy Garrett says
It’s hard to fall asleep most nights here. I end up stressing over getting all my work done and money. I’ll try practicing mindfulness before bed.
Lavanda Michelle says
I really needed this. Your article offers practical and effective strategies for quieting the mind and promoting relaxation, which is so important for getting a good night’s rest.
I have this issue every night and I’ve tried some of these tips. It’s so important to get the proper sleep in, maybe one day I will.
Beautiful Touches says
These are pretty good tips to help calm your mind for rest!
Gennifer Rose says
Insomnia is the worst! The rest of the day I walk around like a zombie – it’s terrible. Thank you for the helpful tips!
Richelle Milar says
This is really helpful specially to those who are having a hard time sleeping thanks for sharing this with us
It’s very important for me to have a good sleep. I usually have a good sleep when I am tired and spend a lot of time outside!
Melissa Cushing says
I have to tell you that I am so grateful that I never really have an issue falling asleep….My husband always jokes that I would sleep through a tornado LOL….. I fall asleep easily and sleep very soundly.