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How can I keep my mind from wandering so I can finally fall asleep?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 08/24/2021 at 8:01am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
July 20th, 2015 9:34pm
Trying to fall asleep on a very busy and wandering mind can be difficult. I usually try to watch a little tv or listen to some music that is relaxing. Sometimes this helps.
September 21st, 2015 4:49am
When I try to sleep, I picture myself inside of a completely empty dark room. There is nothing to see around me, and I continuously try to keep my mind inside of this room. Ultimately, I fall asleep. It's the only thing that helps me fall asleep, however, I do realize that it's not fit for everyone. I also keep a notepad by my bed incase I think of something while I am trying to sleep that keeps me up so that I can get back to it tomorrow instead of spend all night reminding myself not to forget about it.
January 10th, 2015 12:10am
Take deep breaths. Count backwards from 100 (multiple times if you have to). Listen to a guided meditation, especially one focusing on falling asleep. Write down some of your thoughts, worries, or your to do list before you go to bed.
January 12th, 2015 5:31am
Usually focusing on one particular thing helps put the brain at ease. For instance, reading a book for 15-30 minutes for bed can not only help one to go to sleep, but can actually improve the quality of sleep itself. Another method that seems ridiculous is to count sheep. Yes, I know everyone reading this is rolling their eyes and groaning. Honestly, doing such a mundane task as picturing sheep jump over a fence, one after another, can actually keep the brain from wandering, and help you fall asleep.
April 19th, 2015 2:34am
The best way to keep your mind from wandering to be able to fall asleep is closing your eyes and and pretending to wipe away everything on your mind as if they were specs of dust on a table that you are cleaning. If this doesn't help, try imagining yourself sitting on a couch or a comfortable place and watching a movie. But, the movie is your thoughts. Once you start listening to your thoughts, your mind should stop wandering and you should be able to fall asleep.
April 10th, 2015 3:50am
I suffer from insomnia, and although I still don't know how to stop my mind from wandering, if I'm not on my laptop right before bed, I feel much calmer when I try to sleep and am able to fall asleep sooner. I love to read before bed (real books, not ereaders). I hope this could help a bit!
December 15th, 2015 6:15pm
I first like to make sure both the temperature and my position are comfortable. Then I breathe in deeply, and listen (or feel) for my pulse. Once I recognise to its regular rhythm, I gradually slow down my breathing, so I can feel my pulse slow down. Gradually but constantly. Usually, that lulls me to sleep in a few minutes. If not, I have a playlist of soothing, peaceful songs that I play very quietly through my songs, which calm me down enough to sleep.
June 14th, 2016 3:09pm
Mediation does wonders. Try not sleeping in the daytime too much. Do some physical activity or engage in some hobby in the evening. Set a routine.
July 17th, 2017 1:15pm
Try diverting your attention to your breath. Sit up, with you back straight and legs crossed. Take a deep breath in for 7 counts- ensure it's your abdomen that moves and not your chest. Hold your breath for 3 counts. And exhale, pulling your abdomen in, for 11 counts. And hold in emptiness for 3 counts. Everytime your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. This will help clear your head and over time, it'll help you maintain focus and concentration too.
April 10th, 2015 5:08am
It sounds like you feel like you need your mind to feel more focussed to fall asleep. Maybe trying to identify what's making your mind wander would help. Are you generally worried about things as you're trying to fall asleep? Excited for the next day? Wondering about the world? Identifying what thoughts are keeping you from relaxing and falling asleep might help. 7Cups also has Self-Help Guides for "Sleeping Well"; I hope you can find time to read it and that it helps you. Happy sleeping friend!
April 26th, 2015 6:16pm
Try to concentrate on one specific topic that has a relaxing effect on you. Personally, I really like reading or watching an episode of my favourite series online. I then try to continue the story in my head, think of what might happen afterwards, think of the characters and how they might act.. somewhere along the way I just fall asleep. Another way to ground and calm down before going to bed is practising some Yoga, which could also help to keep your mind from wandering too far from whatever it is you concentrate on. xx
April 29th, 2015 5:00am
Stay off electronics before bed and try listening to music or other relaxing sounds or try some deep breathing exercises.
May 14th, 2015 12:42am
You could try some meditation. When I was having trouble sleeping a while back I joined yoga and found that meditation was really helping me calm down and centre myself so I could sleep properly. I hope this helped!
June 17th, 2015 11:28am
I'm a naturalist. But maybe sleeping pills if you prefer medication or possibly some herb or even multi vitamins that are actually natural. Meditation can help possibly before you go to bed.
June 29th, 2015 6:30pm
I try to create my own relaxation method. I start from my head and work my way down to my toes, relaxing each muscle from the top down. I address every worry in my head and tell myself ways in which they can be resolved or I write them out on paper so I can be sure I'll address them the next day. I think it's important to reassure yourself before bed that things will be alright when you wake up the next day.
June 30th, 2015 10:11pm
Focus your mind on something else-- such as counting sheep! Well, if you're not a fan of sheep, focus simply on counting. It may seem cliche, but it really works! It also helps to consider your sleep hygiene. If your mind is very awake in bed, it may be because your bed is not a place of rest; e.g., do you do your homework/taxes/paperwork while in bed? Do you watch television before going to sleep? Do you stare at bright lights, such as those from a smart-phone?
January 12th, 2016 9:59pm
Try reading a boring book, watching a boring tv show... etc. Drinking tea before bed also helps, but the best way to fall asleep quickly is by having an exercise routine you make so you can sleep better.
August 14th, 2018 4:35pm
There are a few things you can try. Here's one technique. Let your thoughts flow and watch them. Don't wrestle with them. Just let them drift around. Soon they may start drifting away.
June 12th, 2015 2:33pm
Try and concentrate on one of the thoughts and create a scenario that involves you sleeping, its like tricking the mind into sleeping..
December 19th, 2017 6:46am
Reading a good book or listening to white noise or music that doesn't contain lyrics usually helps me fall asleep and is also scientifically proven to be an effective method.
June 5th, 2018 5:55am
Control your thoughts, get a grip of them. Meditate and even talk to yourself if your thinking is too loud, until you fall asleep.
August 24th, 2021 8:01am
Try keeping your electronic gadget away from yourself at least half an hour before going to bed. Second method one can try is by doing slow breathing exercises for 10 minutes before sleep. One can also go for meditation as it relaxes you mind as well. While doing meditation ,try putting some calm music which will help you focus more. Try to put your thoughts on pen and paper, whatever issue is bothering you. And the last thing is try getting early sunlight , it is beneficial for your health as well. Hope it helps ! :)