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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
August 28th, 2016 5:18pm
Try to focus on something else. Think about your favourite television show, or book. Take a break and relax. Doodle something to distract you.
August 29th, 2016 1:01am
I've had this problem for a long time, I'm a chronical insomniac so I understand the feeling, it may sound cliché but counting sleeps really helped me, or try singing a lullaby in your head, it can really relax you😊
August 31st, 2016 6:24pm
Maybe try doing things to distract yourself or do things you find calming. Watch a movie, listen to music, read a book, have a bath, sleep if you can. Overthinking can be quite worrying sometimes I understand that, so distracting yourself from the thoughts might be something to try, good luck
September 1st, 2016 11:39am
You can listen to calming music and meditate. Just try blocking everything out of the way. Also try reading some books. If non of them worked just take deep breaths and try closing your eyes, ignoring everything. If you still can't stop thinking, have a cup of warm milk/almond/soy/coconut milk. And then try doing one of the alternatives up again. ☺️☺️ Stay strong, and happy ❤️☺️
September 4th, 2016 6:19pm
Over thinking at night and therefore losing sleep can be very common. A good way to get ready for bed and be able to relax is to refrain from reading, watching tv or using electronics right before sleep. Another great trick to help manage anxiety at night is to take 6 breaths per minute to help your brain "reset" and refocus. Each inspiration and expiration should last 5 seconds. Breathe in counting to 5, breathe out counting to 5. Repeat it 6 times.
September 9th, 2016 5:04pm
Make yourself tired. In my opinion, over thinking could happen probably because we have too much energy to sleep, so when we try to close our eyes and sleep, our mind wanders elsewhere and prevent us from sleeping. Try doing some useful activities during the day or the evening, like doing sport, studying, writing, reading book, or something that requires lots of energy. Thus when it's time for you to sleep, you will be too tired to even think of something
September 18th, 2016 2:32am
The best way for some is to just take deep breaths, close your eyes, and think about what you would like to happen the next day. Think about someone you treasure, or value, or hold close to you heart. Think about happy times, and smiling really does help. It might seem weird, but it really relaxes the heart.
September 25th, 2016 7:31am
Listen classical music's. They will make you relax, more comfortabke . do not worry. You are not alone
September 30th, 2016 4:41am
Practice deep-breathing techniques and deep muscle relaxation techniques while laying in bed. Create a mental association with sleep by having a consistent sleep-only relationship with your bed: avoid eating on it, hanging out on it, looking at your phone on it; for the next couple of weeks use your bed only for sleeping. Go to bed only when you're tired. If you're having trouble sleeping past thirty minutes, try to get up and walk around for three minutes and then lie down again when you feel sleepy.
November 18th, 2016 1:11am
Remind yourself of something positive you did to counteract negative thoughts. Had an embarrassing conversation you wish happened differently? Make a joke out of it. Imagine what you want to say to that person when you want to see them again. Reassure yourself it will be better next time. Stressed out about a test? Tell yourself you're as prepared as if you had another month to study. Family issues? You have a bright future with amazing plans that you're ready to seize. If not, try breathing in and out slowly, while listening you calming sounds on YouTube with sound blocking earphones/headphones. Focus on being in a calm place that makes you happy while you do it. ASMR helps me sleep.
December 2nd, 2016 4:44pm
I should probably start by saying that I overthink too. My mind is a riot by the end of the day. Overthinking happens because you're worried about something or someone. You should probably think positive than worrying. You can plan your next day's schedule or think about the new novel that you're reading . Just anything. Anything that distracts the worry.
December 11th, 2016 9:42pm
Perhaps don't try to stop the thinking. This could be creating resistance and a belief that you shouldn't be thinking. Our brains are constantly thinking, sometimes we are not aware of the thoughts because we are so lost in them, while at other times there can be a shift in awareness and we suddenly notice all these thoughts (which have always been there) I would say use this as an opportunity to watch the thoughts without identifying with them. With this you will not be fighting or resisting them. watch them like seeing them on a screen and feel the presence from where you are watching.
December 31st, 2016 8:31am
Try listening to calming music, or a mildly interesting podcast. Blocking out the "sound" of my head usually helps me, at least.
January 6th, 2017 12:04am
Reflecting what went well during the last time can help to cut out negative thoughts which could lead to overthinking. Writting down these thoughts in a diary before you go to bed could help too.
January 22nd, 2017 10:43pm
I also have thoughts racing through my head while I try to go to sleep. Some ways you can stop this from happening is by doing some relaxing things before going to bed. This could include reading, stretching, or drawing. You could have a cup of chamomile tea to help you wind down and you will sleep much better.
February 17th, 2017 11:41pm
I managed to stop overthinking by listen to relaxation music and breathing exercises. It helped me and i hope this advise will help you too.
February 23rd, 2017 6:55pm
Take deep breaths and always remember that thinking about the past won't make it different and worrying about the future will not stop things from happening. Just breath.
February 24th, 2017 12:36pm
Overthink earlier, if possible. Write down just what comes in mind in early evening, talk to a friend, such things. When it's late, focus on relaxing your mind and body.
February 25th, 2017 1:34am
pick your favorite album and then try to go through each songs lyrics in it's entirety until you get to the end, by then you'll be pretty tired, and it gives you something else to focus on
February 26th, 2017 12:18pm
The easiest way to stop over thinking at night is to be so active during the day that you go straight to sleep at night. Doing relaxing things like reading a book before sleeping or talking to a loved one can also help to a great extent.
March 4th, 2017 12:49pm
It's natural at night for us to think at the end of the day of all the things that have happened, what we have to do tommorow etc, there's nothing wrong with thinking but over thinking can sometimes stress you out and make you worry. Try using different things to help you sleep; such as lavender, it'll calm your mind before you sleep. Another thing that I like to use is try to make up a story before as I go to sleep, let your mind wander and take you places :)
March 16th, 2017 12:39am
Think about a happy place, close your eyes and imagine you are in that happy place. Think about the smell, sounds and the taste or that happy place and keep thinking about it
March 19th, 2017 10:06pm
The best solution I found is reading. It takes your mind off of bad thoughts and focuses it on something more healthy. I recommend reading something with a dash of comedy, a pinch of fun, and a cup of adventure.
March 22nd, 2017 8:58pm
Take a deep breath. Breathe through your belly instead of your chest. Imagine there is a balloon in your stomach and you must fill it all the way up and then compketly empty it. Take 3 slow breaths. It calms you down, its why when babies breath you see their belly rising instead of their chest, it shows they are relaxed.
April 5th, 2017 9:45pm
Distract yourself, especially if it can be with something you like. Enjoy reading? Read and get lost in that world instead of your own that's troubling you. Like listening to music? Make a long playlist of all your favourite songs and listen to it before bed till you sleep
April 8th, 2017 5:07am
Meditation is a great way to distract yourself,also counting sheep or counting backwards from one thousand can also be helpful.
April 29th, 2017 9:37pm
I personally find two things help, one is going to bed so tired you don't have the energy to sit in bed and over contemplate. So sometimes doing something like working out, or something a little strenuous can help me. But when I do find myself tossing and turning, I like to find this to distract my mind. I try to stay away from the TV or my phone, because it has been said that the light from those kind of things only worsen are ability to sleep. But finding a book to get lost in for a little bit, or playing so relaxing music that you focus on the lyrics to can be helpful. Eventually you find something that works for you, and over thinking becomes harder and harder to do.
May 3rd, 2017 5:53am
I'd recommend journaling. Sometimes my thoughts just get jumbled up and the only way to sleep is to express them somehow. How do you express yourself? By journaling? Drawing? Singing? Writing? Find some way to get your thoughts out during the day or evening and do something less stressful before bed. If all else fails, it's ok. Sometimes the mind just needs to do what it wants. It'll eventually get easier to chill out at night, trust me.
May 24th, 2017 4:21am
Meditation has really helped me calm down before bed, and watching beginner guides on YouTube is really helpful in learning the basic fundamentals of meditating. Also turning off anything that has "blue light" ( your cell phone, computer, ipad, ect ). Research has proven that the blue light can cause insomnia, which leads to more serious health risks, once you re-set your internal clock you will be set. Remember to also take out any negative thoughts out before bed, some people pray, others maybe just read to clear their mind, or talk to the partner/family member. Remember talking therapy is one of the best first steps, when I was finally open to my family about my issues it opened up a whole new chapter for me, allowing my brain and heart peace at night. I hope this helps and remember 7-cups has a lot of resources for you to explore! Cheers :)
June 16th, 2017 8:54pm
Overthinking in general isn't a great experience, especially at night when you are trying to sleep. Sleep is really important, and can actually help with overthinking, however that requires actually sleeping. I would encourage to practice healthy sleeping, by going to bed at the same time, or similar timeframe each day. The hour or two before your bedtime should be a calming, "cooling" down period, where you ultimately prepare to go to sleep. Try doing things that will help relax you, making it easier to fall asleep when it IS time to go to bed. And try to avoid caffeine, smoking, screens and other things that may interfere with your sleep. I encourage you to look into other healthy sleeping techniques that can help manage your overthinking at night, and help you sleep. However, if you really feel that overthinking at night, or during the day is affecting you and you are having a hard time managing it, it might be a good idea to look into other resources either online, or in your area that can help. I wish you good luck!