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How do I stop having parnoid thoughts while trying to fall asleep?

9 Answers
Last Updated: 07/06/2020 at 8:42am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Dominecaa White, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Emotional challenges take a toll on who we are and can limit us from being our best. My desire is to help all clients experience freedom from emotional bondage.

Top Rated Answers
Ozfer
May 18th, 2015 5:26pm
I used to struggle with this a lot, and still do occasional. The first step, for me, was realizing that I was a little bit sleep-deprived, and it was causing me to have anxiety as night approached. The catch-22 of course is that I couldn't fall asleep, and I would become twice as panicked knowing that the problem would get worse if I couldn't sleep. So step 2 was realizing that even if I am sleep deprived, I'll be okay. Your body isn't perfect, but if your exhaustion were to hit critical levels, you would probably fall asleep instantly. But how can you fall asleep? There are methods you can apply once you are in the bed itself, but the before-hand prep is also important. One often overlooked way of falling asleep is to really tire yourself out. For me personally, if I do a ton of physical activity throughout the day, I won't even have the brainpower to be paranoid at night (And you get all that exercise as an added bonus!). The second thing to look out for (that you've probably heard before), is to try and avoid bright lights such as computer moniters/tvs/regular lightbulbs. That extra light tricks your body into staying awake longer than it normally would. If you absolutely must use electronics before going to bed, try to stick to softer light tones. Phone screens in particular tend to be ok, because they produce a different kind of light. A helpful program for your computer is called f.lux. It keeps track of the time of day, and adds a tint to your monitor that makes it easier on the eyes as night approaches. Now let's talk about once you are in the bed itself. These could all be hit-or-miss, but try them, see what happens. One thing that definitely helps add some order to your routine is making your bed sometime before getting into it. Not only will it be more comfortable, but you are exercising control over your environment, which can help you relax. Once the lights are out, sometimes the silence can be deafening. Lots of people (even those without anxiety issues) like to have white-noise as they fall asleep. An electric fan can do the job fine, but there are some more expensive white-noise machines if you want to go that route. My last tip is more of a personal one, and I'm not sure if will be as useful: I started looking forward to my long hours awake as time to daydream about things with no real-world impact. For instance, I'll pose myself a question, "What would I do if the zombie apocalypse hit tomorrow?" Just keep in mind that the question shouldn't be something that stresses you out. If planning for the apocalypse isn't your cup of tea, maybe plan out your dream-home, or your crazy idea for a video game, or even dream up an alternate world. Eventually you might look forward to the night as well. When I talk about these things, one song that keeps popping into my head is the original "Sound Of Silence" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zLfCnGVeL4), with its opening line "Hello darkness my old friend". I hope these tips help, I know they did for me.
Anonymous
April 28th, 2015 9:33am
You need to suppress the thoughts as much as possible and one effective way to avoid insomnia is meditatio
chanelsdaisy
June 28th, 2015 6:00pm
Allow yourself to stop having those thoughts, scream everytime these thoughts come "stop" it sounds stupid but it will help. Write down your thoughts. Let them go.
FlowerchildPrincess
September 28th, 2015 7:21am
For me, the worst time of day is at night when I am trying to fall asleep. With everything so quiet and nothing to distract me, my mind keeps wandering. It especially likes to wander over worst case scenarios for things that I have coming up. I find what helps me the most is to perform relaxation exercises and listen to calming music.
ListenLady91
December 8th, 2015 10:29pm
You sit up and you do a simple breathing exercise in which you only focus on your breath. There is a Just Breathe app you can download which has helped me with that.
Anonymous
June 27th, 2016 3:22am
Writing down your thoughts always helps that way your mind is clear when you try and sleep! That way you can have a good nights sleep
lonestar87
July 11th, 2016 5:30pm
Meditation is a good way of releasing negative emotions and clearing the mind. Maybe try a guided meditation which you can find on you tube.
QuietPower28
August 1st, 2016 10:24pm
I understand what you're going through it happens to me very often :) What I usually do is drink something warm like tea or warm milk, I put on some very calming music (what works best for me is Chopin, or just some piano) and try to clear your mind. But while you're doing that let your imagination and imagery go free so your brain is just free to think up crazy pictures and no focus on your paranoia. This works for me give it a try! :)
APomegrenateTree
July 6th, 2020 8:42am
Going to sleep can be particularly difficult when so many thoughts rush in! I also personally struggle with calming down, but I have found a few tricks that help me. If the thoughts are not making me too anxious, I try to distract myself. I listen to a movie, read, drink some hot non-caffeinated tea, listen to calming music, do yoga relaxation, etc. Guided relaxation is particularly efficient, because it incites you to take action and concentrate on certain areas to relax muscles. ASMR is another great alternative, but it is not for everyone. If the thoughts are making me very anxious, then I have to think about them in order to calm down. Trying to avoid them only makes it worse. In which case, I tell myself that thoughts are not the reality, they are like clouds that pass through us. Then, I try to reconnect myself in the moment and see the bigger picture. Then, it is possible to distract myself to calm down. I hope this helped you! Good luck!