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How do I stop over thinking at night?

230 Answers
Last Updated: 11/14/2021 at 9:25pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
October 8th, 2020 6:52pm
Overthinking at night is pretty common, I can relate and understand how difficult it is to have the constant thoughts about something that seem to never leave your mind, specially at night, maybe because that's a peaceful time otherwise for your brain to start repeating the thoughts and not allowing it to rest. A few things that can be helpful to curb overthinking is to first know the thought or thing/situation about which you are overthinking, when the root cause is identified it's easy to move on, journaling or writing the thoughts is a great way to give those repetitive thoughts and emotions a lot out, lastly to remember that one can't really change the past and overthinking it does no help so always better to accept it and try to remember the lessons and experience and move on, for other situations, present and future, again...if it's something that can be worked upon, one can always try to do that . Talking to someone, letting out these thoughts, discussing them helps as well .
June 20th, 2021 1:27am
Understandably, night time could particularly take a toll on the mind. All your doubts and sorrows that you could have been successfully ignoring throughout the day, seek your attention at night time. You feel puzzled and are unable to have answers - making the thoughts repeat themselves in your mind. It, then, is helpful to practise mindfulness towards your thoughts and feelings and look to observe and understand them from a distance, not just at night, but throughout your day. Just as a caring parent goes a distance to help bring a smile to their child's face, allow the same care to flow from you towards your mind. Get to know your mind and its needs more, its health more, and direct it towards engagements which bring it a lasting fulfillment.
May 20th, 2018 12:13pm
Make sure to get an early night and help your brain relax by cutting down phone and laptop use at night, try and avoid blue light in your room, no caffeine after the evening and try not to eat too late at night. Then try and do relaxing activities like baths or reading to keep yourself in a nice frame of mind before you sleep
June 28th, 2018 2:42am
It can be hard to quiet the mind at night, but one thought to keep in mind is that it's night time and you can't do anything until the morning. Some techniques that help are deep breathing, counting sheep, visualizing yourself in your dream environment, reading a book, or even listening to soothing music.
July 20th, 2018 4:04am
create a bedtime routine for yourself turn off the electronics and pick up a warm beverage and good book instead
August 3rd, 2018 2:15am
I spend a lot of time doing things that I like- for example: being intentional with my friends/relationships, taking time for myself, spending time outside, or just doing different things.
November 29th, 2018 3:08pm
Nighttime anxiety is a recognized condition. Finding some relaxing activities, like walking, reading, sketching, listening to music, can help. Also some find that smelling Lavender oil or taking Lemon Balm extract capsules can help as well. You can also try writing - take a piece of paper and write down all the words that are going through your mind. That can help your brain sort it all out. You can also try just accepting it - say to yourself "OK, you are worried about something, it's ok. I'll be with you and you can be the way you are for as long as you need to be." Then take a few deep breaths and listen to what comes back.
February 9th, 2020 7:33pm
In most cases, I find that people who say they are "overthinking" turn out to be "underthinking" -- that is, they tend to forget many facts that are highly relevant to the thing they're "overthinking" about, letting their worries grow to monstrous proportions with little resemblance to reality. The best way to stop "overthinking" is to recognize it as "underthinking", then do a meditation exercise for a minute or two, or five. Get yourself grounded, outside of the things that are worrying you, and take a clear look at all the facts that might have some bearing on your difficulties. When you have the facts in mind, practice acceptance: if you can change things, change them. If you can't, then no amount of "overthinking" will do you any good, so add that fact to the others you have pulled together, and practice letting go of the things you can't change
February 29th, 2020 10:00am
This is really an awkward thing to deal with but with practice it can be over ruled by having patience and learn how to focus, firstly a quiet room as possible is best and either sitting or laying down and a pair of headphones would be an advantage, think of something that really calms you normally: rainfall, gentle wind through trees etc and by using media find a suitable meditation/relaxation sound/video and play this to yourself without interruptions and concentrate on the smallest details in the sounds just imagining yourself to be there, find a sound file that's suits you! and if it works/calms you revisit that situation again and again so you end up with that being your cushion where you can lose the other thoughts behind, I find this been done when your in bed so you can just drift off.
December 19th, 2020 12:05pm
Hi! Overthinking is something many of us are susceptible to. It is a part of human nature and you should not feel ashamed when you do so. One possible way to overcome overthinking is to complete a relaxation ritual before sleeping. This can help to clear your mind and place you in a comfortable mindset. I personally use the free app Pzizz which has a sleep guide that takes you through the processing of drifting of and allows you to personalise the track as you would like. Try to normalise this routine as your mind will then recognise the realization ritual as a sign that deep sleep is near.
May 18th, 2015 10:21pm
Listen to instrumental music or read a good book and just meditate. I'm sure you can easily go to sleep when you do this.
May 27th, 2015 7:30am
Maybe listen to some music that make you in a better mood, or try to meditate. There are several videos on Youtube that can help.
April 23rd, 2016 2:39am
Do you have anything you are worried about ? Is this a concern for your needs and wants ? then I cannot blame you ; You may read or exhaust your self on something productive
April 27th, 2016 7:12am
I really don't think we'll ever stop thinking, That's what we do. I personally do this myself witch helps me fall asleep faster. I think we all hate sitting there and working about something we have no control over. I also think we want to change thing's fastly and that's why we dream about it. Try to think happy thought and see if that helps.
April 28th, 2016 9:10am
One method is to write down whatever is occupying your mind to look at tomorrow. That way you're sort of setting the issue aside for tomorrow, and you can be sure you won't forget.
April 28th, 2016 3:17pm
Try talking to someone or texting or reading to keep yourself busy and to keep your mind off of stuff like that... it's something I usually do and it helps a lot
May 8th, 2016 12:27am
If you are over thinking try reading , singing songs in your head or doing word searches / puzzles to help get your mind off things
May 12th, 2016 5:41pm
Try meditating or focusing on one thing in the here and now. Don't be afraid to talk to someone about your thoughts if you need to.
May 13th, 2016 12:40am
What normally helps me is listening to music. If that doesn't work, read a book. Read a few chapters and then lay down. Think about what you would do in the situation that is occurring, or put yourself in the book and try and figure out what might happen in the next chapter. I hope this helps!
May 15th, 2016 4:25am
I like to use meditation to keep my focus on more constructive thinking. I visualize myself in a happy place (I like to picture myself outside in the sunshine) and I visualize a handful of balloons that I'm holding. Anything that has been bothering me gets assigned to a balloon. Then I picture myself letting go of the balloons and watching them float up, up, and away! There are tons of visualization meditation techniques to use, so try researching some methods until you find something you like!
May 18th, 2016 2:20am
You can do many things Take a shower Write your tgoughts out Exercise Draw Listen to music Tv There are more things look it up theres alot
May 18th, 2016 9:07pm
What has really helped me is listening to guided sleep meditation recordings (easily found for free on youtube) while I go to sleep. They are sufficiently restful to allow me to fall asleep, but also give me something to listen to and focus on so my brain isn't allowed to wander too much and think about things that make me worry or keep me awake.
May 19th, 2016 4:31am
sometimes i find the best way to shut off my brain at night , is to lay down or sit down and relax with some music and headphones , helps to give me a mini vacation from the world
May 20th, 2016 2:43pm
Occupy yourself with something intil you fall asleep. Read, marker in adult color books (as childish as it may seem, it works), draw or watch tv even.
May 21st, 2016 5:42am
Listening to mellow and chilled out music can help sometimes. You can also drink warm tea. And if you combine the mellow music and warm tea, it tends to help every time.
Anonymous - Expert in Sleeping Well
May 21st, 2016 2:30pm
Just relax, and close your eyes, and try to fall asleep. Think of something calming or pleasant.
May 22nd, 2016 8:43pm
When ever over thinking keeps me up when I'm ready for sleep, I simply count. eventually my brain just fades into sleep. hope this helps
June 1st, 2016 9:54pm
For my self I always lay in bed at night and clear my mind and think of the good things that happened that day :)
June 9th, 2016 2:01am
just breathe and think about something want to happen like go to a party and something that you want to happen there
June 11th, 2016 3:28am
Overthinking can be stressful. Do self-affirmation by saying, "I am beautiful," "I love myself," "I am wonderfully made by God," "I forgive myself, and tomorrow is another day. A chance to live my life in the moment." You can listen to some of your favorite songs until you fall asleep. You can try to listen to Delta Waves, or do some simple meditation or breathing techniques, where you can search in YouTube, in will make your mind at peace.