Calm down your mind at night for a good night of sleep. No more racing thoughts, no more sleepless nights, finally! Keep on reading, to find out my best tips!
Does it ever happen to you that you are so tired in the evening that you feel that you could fall asleep instantly, but when your head finally touches the pillow, your mind starts racing and you can’t sleep?
Perhaps you’re worrying about something that happened at work today, something you said to a colleague or feedback you got on that project you’re working on. Or you mentally keep going through your to-do list to make sure that you won’t forget about the things you have to do tomorrow.
And you keep thinking, and tossing, and turning and before you know it, it’s 2 in the morning…
Ugh, I know right….
When your head is full and you can’t stop thinking, it’s almost impossible to fall asleep. And when your alarm clock goes off in the morning, you feel tired and you wish you could have gotten a couple of hours more sleep.
Here’s how to calm down your mind before bed, so that you can get a good night of sleep.
No more sleepless nights, woohoo!
1. Clear your head
When your head is full and you have a lot to think about, you want to make sure your head is empty before you put your head on the pillow and close your eyes. That way you don’t have to think or worry about it anymore, because that will only keep you up.
Here are some examples how you can clear your head:
- Keep a journal in which you write about your day and the things you struggled with or the things that made an impact on you. Writing them down helps to get them out of your head, so that you don’t have to worry about it at night. What also helps for me is talking about it with someone I love.
- Plan the next day in the evening and write down all the things you want to do, so that you don’t have to remember them.
- Keep a notebook on your bedside table, so that when something pops up in your head when you’re trying to sleep that you need/want to remember, you can write it down. That works much better than trying your hardest to remember it (yes, I’ve tried and I can tell you that 99% of the time I’d forgotten it in the morning…).
2. Relax at night
Let’s be honest: are you taking time to relax and wind down in the evening before you go to bed?
I’ve noticed that when I don’t take time to myself at night to relax (after a really busy day or when I come home late and my bedtime has long passed, for example), that’s when my mind starts racing and it’s difficult to fall asleep.
So, before you go to bed, you want to give your mind a break.
Relaxing at nights helps to calm down your mind and body before sleep. It gives your mind some rest to process everything that happened that day so that those thoughts don’t come up when you’re trying to sleep and you can fall asleep faster. Creating a relaxing evening routine for yourself also helps to release stress and gets your mind and body ready for a good night of sleep.
If you don’t know where to start, check out this post for some of my favorite evening routine ideas.
3. Silence over screens
By now, I’m sure you’re aware that the blue light coming from your screens can affect your sleep. That alone is a good reason to avoid screens before bed. But for me, there’s an additional reason to avoid screens at night.
At the end of the day, I’m usually tired and don’t want to do a whole lot anymore. I just want to empty my mind, relax and think about something else. Sound familiar?
For a long time, screens were my go-to way to get my mind off things after a long day. Watching a show on Netflix, scrolling through social media or watching some videos on Youtube. It’s entertaining, it doesn’t take up much energy and it’s relaxing.
At least, it feels relaxing.
Only this past year, I’ve found out that screens do not necessarily help you relax or empty your mind, even though it may feel like that. Actually, screens are only a distraction from your thoughts. They don’t help to empty your mind, they just let you shift your thoughts to something else for a while (that’s probably why it feels so good and relaxing).
But, when you go to bed and there is silence around you, that’s when your mind starts to process all those thoughts you’ve been distracting it from. These thoughts all come up, and of course you can’t sleep.
So, instead of looking at your screen, incorporate a moment of silence and relaxation into your evening routine so that you can empty your mind and sleep like a baby.
4. Shift your focus
One thing that works really well for me when I’m trying to sleep, but my mind is keeping me up, is to shift my focus away from my thoughts.
Remember you were told to count sheep as a kid when you couldn’t fall asleep? Well, this is kind of the same thing.
By focusing on something else than your thoughts, you can block out the stressful thoughts that are keeping your mind busy. It helps to quiet your mind so that you can fall asleep.
Instead of counting sheep, you can try to focus on breathing (breathing exercises are also really good to help you relax your body) or put on some calming music, for example. But you can also try to visualize a scene in which you feel calm and serene, such as a beach at sunset.
In the beginning you might notice that sometimes your mind wanders off back to your thoughts. When that happens, don’t feel discouraged or frustrated. Keep trying to come back to the other thing you’re trying to focus on.
You’ll be asleep in no time!
Just one more thing…
I truly hope these tips can help you to calm down your mind at night for a good night of sleep. Still have trouble sleeping? Here are some additional things you can try:
- Avoid drinks with caffeine in the evening. I love a chai latte in the evening, but you could also go for herbal tea.
- Pay attention to what you eat at night. Avoid too much sugar and try to keep your dinners light. There’s nothing worse than lying in bed and trying to sleep with a full stomach.
- Try to incorporate some kind of exercise or physical activity into your day. This also helps to clear your mind and stress that has build up in your body during the day.
- Use a pillow spray or essential oils to help you relax and fall asleep.
What’s your favorite way to calm down your mind before bed? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!