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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
June 12th, 2016 4:19am
Go for a run, journal my thoughts, make a list, talk to someone, read a good book, and mindful observations of the sky and outdoors for 5-10 minutes.
June 19th, 2016 12:05am
Try keeping a journal and writing down everything you are thinking a hour or so before bed. If that doesn't help then read a book or listen to calm music to distract yourself. Even meditating before bed will help (I personally meditate before I sleep and sometimes i find myself falling asleep).. I even create a story in my head and keep to it until i fall asleep. I've created some crazy awesome stories in my head about the beach, fighting a dragon or cuddling with my cat then wake up not really remembering the entire story so i try to redo it or add to what i remember!
June 25th, 2016 10:40pm
Count sheep in a funny voice and all you'll be thinking about is how funny you sounded and not what you were previously thinking about.
June 26th, 2016 9:14pm
If you want to stay up, and tune out your thoughts, try reading or watching a new video/show/movie. Learning is a great way to stimulate our thoughts and occupy our minds. Another strong option is to create something. This provides you with an outlet for your thoughts and feelings, and has other psychological benefits, as well! Write a short story, or poetry, or diary entry. Paint. Make music. Meditation can also be effective to help control overactive thoughts. Visualization is especially useful for me. If you find these are not enough to quiet your mind, sleep is another great option. Exercising before the end of your day (which releases endorphins), consuming warm milk or turkey (which contain tryptophan), or simply listening to some relaxing sounds (rain is my favorite) might help you find peace in a good night's sleep.
June 29th, 2016 11:42am
Listen to music without any lyrics, talk to yourself quietly, read, watch a movie, or write it all down before going to sleep (I find this really helps for me).
July 1st, 2016 12:28pm
It's good to find a way to acknowledge, and then put aside the worries that are suddenly demanding attention. Try a few things out and see how they work for you. Making a short list of "what to think on", or "what to do" can really help some people! Maybe a diary can serve a similar function to write down what is in your mind, so there's no need for it to repeat itself. Maybe a few things that reduce stress (meditation, sports ..) can help too.
July 6th, 2016 4:27am
No one method works for everyone. That said there are a few things I can recommend you try, based on my own experiences. The first is to avoid technology and/or social media for an hour or two before bed. I also heartily recommend meditation as a way to calm the mind. I have had a great deal of success with essential oils, specifically lavender and chamomile. Chamomile tea is also good for calming. Best of luck!
July 6th, 2016 1:25pm
I personally listen to music, or play video games. Just do anything to keep my mind busy. In bed I meditate till I fall asleep, or focus on thinking about positive things or upcoming projects I want to work on. Doing yoga everyday helps me be in a good mood and be relaxed throughout the day, so I do it every morning.
July 6th, 2016 11:10pm
Write down your thoughts, write a book about your feelings and thoughts. Or draw it
July 8th, 2016 9:02am
Its simple. Think of only one thing. That one thing should be your ultimate goal of life. In sleep we attract all the prominent thoughts. So the best thing to do in this situation is to sleep over our goals and make it happen. May the joy be with you:-)!!!
July 8th, 2016 1:09pm
You can try to listen to music or to watch a movie and fall asleep on it. You could try to take a bath before going to bed, so your body will be prepared to rest. You can make a list or write in a diary about what you have to do tomorrow or about your worries. :)
July 10th, 2016 2:25am
I simply think of new possibilities or new ways of understanding what worries me about them. I realize that Probably someday she will be out there, or that problem will be solved by me, and taht it just isnt right now.
July 10th, 2016 9:25pm
When I can not stop thinking at night, what I do is write down my thoughts until I have gotten them all out of my head and onto paper, and I analyze those thoughts so I understand them.
July 19th, 2016 9:12pm
This is what have helped me along my journey when I encountered sleepless nights. I don't think about trying to go to sleep, I just try to relax and let sleeping comes to me. Diaphragmatic breathing technique helps as well.
July 20th, 2016 9:24pm
You should read books or listen to some good music to divert your mind. Or else you should try stretching your body.
July 24th, 2016 6:15am
Music, if you have a window look out into the night sky or go outside, think of the vastness of space and all the stars, Klingons, vortex, anomalies, quasars, black holes, nebulae, and how they all go on forever and ever, infinitely, then use your mind to go past it all, past the universe itself you can picture it, there is nothing there. That is where sleep is, where we all sleep.
July 28th, 2016 6:12pm
I like to write down everything on my mind that night...good and bad. this way I know im not just going to forget it but I can leave it all alone so I can sleep. I remind myself I need this sleep or everything becomes harder and harder to cope with. sometimes I find relatable soothing songs and listen to some before bed!
July 30th, 2016 3:13pm
Write down your thoughts on paper. Then decide to leave them there on the paper and revisit them in the morning. They are now on paper so you don't have to remember them and can go to sleep. You might find in the morning that your problems aren't as bothersome as they were the night before.
July 30th, 2016 6:07pm
I stop over thinking at night by drawing and doing things that I love. It really makes me feel happy and doing things I love guides me in the right direction.
July 30th, 2016 7:23pm
I have so much trouble falling asleep due to overthinking. It's as if every fantasy, every memory, every thought you can imagine comes flooding into my brain. My trick: ambiance. There are apps for Android and iPhone, plus software and websites online. My favorite is the app Lightning Bug. It offers so many sounds you can mix together for the perfect ambient experience. Just focus on those sounds that make you feel relaxed and you'll fall asleep faster and easier.
August 5th, 2016 1:56am
Make sure to always go to sleep when you're physically worn out. If that isn't naturally achieved try exercising before bed and taking a relaxing shower. Don't bring electronics to bed with you except perhaps an mp3 player or ebook reader. No caffeine.
August 10th, 2016 5:17pm
In order to stop over thinking at night, it can help to organize your thoughts before going to bed. For example, if you tend to over think about how you are doing at school and your grades, it can help to make lists of courses you are taking, and prioritize them in, say, the order of easiest to hardest,make lists of the readings/assignments, and then assigning days of the week to each other. When you get to bed and feel like you are over thinking, you can recall the lists you made to reassure yourself that you have it under control. Another method is to decide to focus on something specific, like a song (preferably a positive song) in bed.
August 11th, 2016 8:40am
Name your bed only a space to relax. Make yourself some tea or something along those lines, and read a book or listen to relaxing music. Also asmr videos can do wonders! Hope this helped :)
August 13th, 2016 1:38pm
Try and set up a routine at night. Perhaps a herbal tea, book, or and a bath. Remember to avoid telephone/tablet screen lights as these can effect how relaxation for many hours, post event.
August 14th, 2016 9:19pm
Try reading a book because it distracts you and also tell yourself that you're not going to over think anything tonight and you're going to bed or whatever ...
August 19th, 2016 10:47am
I tend to watch tv to keep my mind on something. It helps to relax me, although there are some things you just cant not think about.
August 20th, 2016 6:27pm
Overthinking is bad when done out of limits. You can try distracting yourself with exercises at 7cups :) just take care of yourself...only you can pull yourself out of the trap. Better if you try to look into the root cause and work towards it :)
August 21st, 2016 6:30pm
I understand that people tend to start thinking at night as its calm and relaxing. One way that would help is to put on some music that you like and either sing with it or listen to the lyric.
August 25th, 2016 2:04am
Usually what I do is I come up with a song that makes me feel better (one I make up or one I heard somewhere else) and then hum it to myself using the lyrics to block out unwanted thoughts. Eventually I drop off to sleep.
August 25th, 2016 1:01pm
Great Question! Try getting a Journal. Every night before bed write down whatever comes to mind. When you are down put the Journal down and close your eyes.