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How do I stop over thinking at night?

229 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
May 23rd, 2018 12:59am
This is something i struggle with every night but I just say to myself “I’ll think about It all tomorrow” and thay usually works a treat for me!
June 13th, 2018 12:57pm
I find it really useful to use mindfulness and meditation to help me relax and clear my mind before bed. Another thing to try is to play a boring podcast on a sleep timer so you find yourself half listening and half drifting off. “Sleep with me” is a podcast designed specifically for this purpose, where the host talks nonsense and tells silly stories - he has such a relaxing voice that I can’t even tell you what he talks about despite subscribing for over a year! Good luck, it’s not easy dealing with sleep issues but I hope these tips can help!
June 24th, 2018 1:11pm
I was once told the first hour in bed is the loneliest. I have to agree. For me, things tend to feel worse at night. The darkness makes me feel more alone and isolated. I cannot think logically or find answers to problems. Listening to music helps ride out negativity. Also, ASMR helps me relax and have a better nights’ sleep. Alternatively, 7 Cups offers 24/7 listeners and therapists. We are always hear for you. :) x
July 6th, 2018 2:48pm
I find the best way to relax my mind is to go on to youtube and type in ASMR and you will find lots of videos that help you relax
July 12th, 2018 5:07am
Overthinking at night is something I've dealt with that has caused insomnia. I had trouble falling asleep because the simplest things would cause me terrible anxiety after I analyzed it for hours at a time. I would usually get myself in an environment that calmed me down, and remind myself that what I was thinking was irrational and I was going to be okay.
July 18th, 2018 12:20am
The best way is possible to focus on your breath so breath in for one hold realise for 2 and do this up to ten. And repeat fives times it help you focus on something other then thoughts which should stop you overthinking all do be mindful that your mind may. Wonder back I thoughts just redirect back once you've noticed it. Or even mindfulness apps can help (headspace is a good one and it's free)
July 25th, 2018 2:51pm
You can always imagine a made-up story in your mind. Whether from a novel you just read or movie you have just watched.
July 28th, 2018 2:52pm
Look into "self-disciplining" as it really helps you get a grip and control your thoughts and emotions, especially for an anxious person who's thoughts are racing quite often, and most especially when they are tired. The trick is to work on change, use that energy to get the only thoughts you need to power you through your next day as your better self, and not feel frustrated, sad or even depressed about the usual things that you'd feel upset about. Self-disciplining teaches you to have a passion, an occupation, an activity that keeps your mind on track, something to look forward to, something that relaxes you and paces your thoughts down. It can be meditation, it can be exercise, just like it can be anything else you want it to be, something you are passionate about. And plan out how your next day is going to be, what you would like to change about your routine, what you could be doing better in your days, what you want to be doing more, try and look into a reason to feel at ease, at peace, things you are grateful about, things you are willing to forgive now if not eventually, and it's the same in the morning when you wake up, think about what you're going to be doing during that day, what you're grateful for, what you are willing to forgive and or will work to forgive. You have to set yourself goals, you have to set yourself a path to feeling better and letting go off the stress that's consuming you, and I think self-disciplining does exactly that. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me, and if you are interested in learning more about it, I recommend you search it up online!
August 2nd, 2018 4:38pm
Drink hot milk and do meditation and listen relaxation music you like read books that’s makes you from stop over thinking at night
August 11th, 2018 5:25pm
It is not possible to stop thinking altogether but you can gain control over the content of your thought process. If excessive thinking is getting in the way of your sleep you could try relaxation and mindfulness exercises.
August 15th, 2018 4:46am
To stop over thinking at night, try meditating before you go to sleep. Right before you sleep find a guided or regular meditation on youtube (I recommend Jason Stevenson or Michael Sealy). Get in a nice comfy position and listen and breathe. Cuddle a pillow, and animal, blanket or even a stuffie.
August 16th, 2018 7:54pm
To stop overthinking at night I've accomplished listening to peaceful songs and breathing it out. Doing this has allowed me to have a peaceful mind when I go to sleep and actually allows me to sleep. Being able to focus on a song and your breathing rather than whatever is haunting you permits sleep and restful sleep at that. Sometimes if that does not work I talk about everything on my mind or journal it which is useful to look back at when you are trying to measure progress made. Drawing out emotions also helps. Any sort of outlet to get the thoughts that are crowding your mind is useful.
August 31st, 2018 11:07pm
Setting an alarm at 9:00 saying " its time to start heading off to bed." Showering while creating or playing a "goodnight" playlist. Taking screens out of your room and charging them. Dimming the lights and using some calming essential oil, (lavender, rose jasmine and mugwort are great for sleep). Maybe spraying some on your pillow or bed and hanging an herb sachet above your head. Drinking some herbal tea like lavender, rose, jasmine, mugwort or any herbal blend that helps you sleep. Lay in bed and start to meditate or count some sheep and you should doze off before you have time to even think!
September 29th, 2018 10:38am
During the day try and clear all things that will worry you as at night is when your brain is most active and it will keep you up overthinking and worrying. For this try and do something during the day that might have an interest to you from going on a walk to listening to music to going out with friends this will distract your brain meaning when it comes to sleeping at night or going to bed it will have nothing on it to worry or think about. Meditation is a great method of relaxing the mind and brain to stop overthinking.
October 14th, 2018 4:12pm
When I am overthinking at night, I always look up happy, inspiring and encouraging quotes. Or when that doesn't work, I get a piece of paper together with a pen and write a good page full of positive thoughts, things and/or compliments I have gotten. Or I write down all nice events that did happen already, or are soon to be happening. Things I am looking forward to. Also I tend to think about how far I have already come in life, what I already overcome and what I have achieved. Doing one of these things always helps me to stop overthinking. You should really try!
November 14th, 2018 1:02pm
Over thinking at night usually means we are unable to leave behind whatever happened during the day, but there are ways to stop overthinking! Personally, I like getting into bed and taking deep breaths. I try to feel the mattress supporting my weight (in this way I'm focusing on things other than the events of my day). Other times, I focus on my breaths, in and out. Other people like to meditate before bed, and to those who like meditation, I recommend an app called Calm (it has meditation exercises snd even a section called sleep stories that are actually effective). Some others like to write down in their journals. It depends on what helps you unwind!
December 15th, 2018 11:21am
Listen relaxing music that it works better for you to keep away all the thoughts you can have, sometimes read a book can help you too because will keep your mind focused in something, if you drink you can tak one drink or two to feel more relaxed and have better dreams also you can draw whatever you feel in that moment as I do when I'm feeling the axiety to do something I draw how I feel or what am I living in that moment cause when I'm done it's like I just translate what I felt and feel more comfortable with mysefl cause I just draw what I feel
December 19th, 2018 5:56pm
Take a deep breath, and perhaps find some peaceful music on YouTube to fall asleep to.I enjoy sounds of rain, there are many options to try! Imagine pleasant things, tell yourself stories and create a world of your own in your head. Breath deeply, and know that the next day will bring new opportunities and experiences for you to enjoy. Let the worries, anxiety and doubt fade away into a mist, and allow yourself to peacefully drift into sleep. Look forward to all the potential that the new day will bring, be motivated and ready to take on the world! Wishing you peaceful sleep, and wonderful dreams. :)
January 2nd, 2019 12:07am
I really struggle with anxiety-related insomnia. My brain wouldn't sleep but my body would, leading to sleep paralysis and night terrors. One thing I find really helps is meditation, especially ones that are designed to help you sleep. There's an app I use called Smiling Mind. It's completely free and has something like 16 different programs, including 3 for sleep. It has definitely helped me sleep better and overall my concentration and anxiety have improved. Meditation doesn't work for everyone but I hope it works for you. I find it incredibly helpful, even during the day. Hope this helps!
February 3rd, 2019 10:47am
Routine. Our bodies and minds are responsive to doing the same thing over and over again. You must start by showing your body what to do. First- Develop a physical routine at night and stick with it. Good examples include turning off lights where you are and putting all electronic things face down. Also something that is your favorite or a "happy" task such as drinking warm tea or watching a favorite show. Whatever it is, do it at the same time and stop it at the same time every night. This repetitive behavior will eventually be "picked up" by your body clock and signal the "winding down" for your mind. Second - Perform repetitive mental tasks before sleep. Same idea as physical but you control your mind to do certain tasks before putting your brain to sleep. At first you will seem to have no affect. Keep at it and eventually your brain will slowly give you control, generally over several months. Being nervous about a big meeting or some other life event can disrupt this process and that is why it takes so long. Give your brain time to bow to your will and continue to will it into your desired behavior. After a long time of falling asleep at the same time and after the same thoughts your brain will get the habit and respond more easily. If this process takes more than 6 months or if the "same thing" keeps block you from creating a routine talk to a therapist and discuss what is coming up for you. Remember you move your mouth and you move your arms so your brain is in your command. We let it free so our feelings are allowed expression, but we decide what comes next. Find the balance of take command and keep free thinking for yourself and you will likely find joy in every day.
March 22nd, 2019 6:04pm
Overthinking at night is never nice and can often be an effect of mental health issues or a stressful event. There are a few ways to help prevent overthinking at night. The first being, writing a journal/diary. This helps getting your thoughts out and onto paper - you could rip this up after as a metaphorical symbol of getting rid of these thoughts and/or worries. Sometimes trying therapy or counselling can help this but it depends on the person. Talk about your thoughts to a family member, friend, or helpline such as the Samaritans might help too. Try something. Good luck
March 28th, 2019 10:22am
This is hard, because at night your brain reflects on everything that's been on your mind for the past day. It can really cause a lot of sleepless nights. Try clearing your head by talking about everything that bothers you and if that doesn't help i'd recommend writing your thoughts down before you go to sleep. You could also try to distract yourself by reading before sleeping or falling asleep whilst listening to music or watching tv. Try not to get frustrated when you feel yourself overthinking because that will just make it harder to go to sleep, you'll get very worked up instead and that doesn't solve anything.
April 11th, 2019 2:10pm
Take time to develop the skill of becoming quiet and putting away the day emotionally and with prayer (if you enjoy prayer). Create a bedtime routine where you depart from worries - and focus on a bath, stretching where you also say affirmations, thanks for the day - and invest into positive mental habits (and not allow worries to consume you all day long). In your day practice positive problem solving and take action. Let yourself appreciate Peace, resolution, and accomplishment. So, overthinking is like a runaway train... learn to identify what the real source of that is, why is overthinking happening? What is it about? What can you actually do about real issues? Then become Peaceful and appreciative, and practice diet and healthy living too. Invest in good habits, goodness, and positivity. If there are real situations to take care of - then be proactive and take care of the business at hand.
July 3rd, 2019 6:46am
It can be helpful to have a bedtime routine, which helps prepare your mind for sleep. Additionally, strategies like free writing or meditating before bed, can help to calm these thoughts. Examples of an evening routine can include: taking a hot shower (physically helps you to sleep), making sure you have a tidy and organised space to sleep in, or having a calming drink. It can also help to play music that you determine to be soothing. If you stick to this routine, your mind will start associating it with sleep. Adding journaling or meditation to this routine, can help you get all of those thoughts onto paper, before calming your mind for sleep.
July 6th, 2019 4:05am
I have similar problem. But I usually do things that will distract me. Like reading novels, listening to music, and the most helpful thing is just to let it all out. Let someone listen to you, or just write your thoughts to a book or your phone's note app. But sometimes I do more than just writing my worries. I'll also write what kind of mistake I did. And how I'm going to improve myself. There are many things that you can do, really. Even writing song lyrics that explain your feelings might help. Or writing poet. I hope you'll find your own way of ceasing your worry!
August 1st, 2019 8:55am
i have been a over thinker for almost all my life. but i have found some solution that help me. Reading a good book is a good escape. It keeps my mind occupied. or Listening to some good songs. Drinking some warm milk along with the book is my ultimate remedy sometimes i replay a scene from a movie or a series and imagine different senarios. Going for a run can also be a solution for times when i don't feel lazy. When i'm tired i sleep better. And if nothing else helps, I try to think about some pleasant experiences that made me happy
September 1st, 2019 12:31am
I personally experienced long nights of thinking, especially when I should be sleeping. And of course, i think about the worst memories I can... shame, fooleries, how-I-should-have-react, and anticipating the worst possible things... That makes me turn on one side and the other all night long, and I get warm. I never got to stop thinking in circles, but I have discovered that reducing my body temperature was an effective way to find sleep. Any tip to fight overwarmth is valuable : remove a layer, turn radiator down, refresh with a wet towel. My prefered is : open a window, stay 5 minutes there, hear night sounds. Then my bed is colder, and it's so much easier to fall asleep !
November 13th, 2019 4:09am
My personal solution to this is to have some kind of talking (radio, a podcast, familiar TV) going quietly as I'm falling asleep. Without this, my thoughts tend to run wild and keep me awake. But with the chatter in the background, something calm and quiet but that still has words/dialogue to listen to, my mind is more easily able to listen to that instead of it's own incessant chatter. Listening to something I really want to pay attention to like an audio book I've never heard before is not a good choice for me because that keeps me awake too. So it's about finding the sweet spot of holding a bit of my attention without holding too much of my attention.
December 28th, 2019 1:45am
I try to have a nighttime routine, which conditions my brain to just shut up when it's time for bed. I brush my teeth, wash my face, put on some lotion (try lavender or chamomile scents to help you fall asleep/relax easier). You can also try incorporating some other soothing activities, like drinking (caffeine free!) tea, or reading a book. I also like meditation practices when I feel like my mind is just racing. I like to do breathing exercises and imagine a stream or river in my mind, and take each thought that comes into my head and placing it into the stream, like a stick that just floats away.
January 8th, 2020 1:01am
Do you meditate at night? Do you play special sleep music? Do you make a list BEFORE you get into bed about all the things that are bothering you, and all the to-dos on the list? We call this a brain dump. Doing a brain dump BEFORE you get into bed, and through the day can really help keep the mind clear of what if, and how about and remember to do things. Meditation also provides calm and better sleep quality. So lots of things that you can do, they all require adding the list, but it is worth it, if you do them regularly.