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I'm stressed out and when I try to go to sleep I can't shut off my thoughts. What should I do?

269 Answers
Last Updated: 01/07/2019 at 6:07pm
I'm stressed out and when I try to go to sleep I can't shut off my thoughts. What should I do?
★ This question about Sleeping Well was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Top Rated Answers
July 2nd, 2015 7:33am
It is very important to relax before one goes to sleep. I try my best to calm down and relax atleast two hours before the sleep.
July 2nd, 2015 1:48pm
Try to put on some calming music and shut your mind off by thinking about good things in you will be able to sleep
July 2nd, 2015 6:30pm
You can listen to "white noise" which can be found online at Plug in your headphones and listen away. If you are a worrier you can create a journal and write down everything you are concerned about. Then create an action plan or to do list. Creating a plan and breaking things up into small "to dos" will reduce your anxieties for next day. Take care of yourself, exercise, meditate, eat healthy.
July 2nd, 2015 7:17pm
You just need to relax, clothes your eyes, and focus on sleeping. Try to forget about everything that has happened that today.
July 2nd, 2015 11:38pm
you should eat or drink staff what makes sleep. like warm milk, ayran or a tea. they help you to get sleepy and you can sleep easily. :)
July 3rd, 2015 3:33am
Play some music that keeps you calm. Try to allow your thoughts to surface, don't fight them. Simply acknowledge whatever they happen to be without judgement. Promise yourself you will think on it more tomorrow. If you still have trouble sleeping, try going to bed about an hour early. Keep a journal next to the bed and write your thoughts. Keep them brief and for important thoughts only. Sometimes, giving your mind the attention to these thoughts can help ease them until they are needed again. If you are stressed or continuously having difficulty, try the 7cups resources for anxiety and troubled sleep.
July 3rd, 2015 12:29pm
Try listening to music. It Alwas helps. Or you can take a nice warm bath,it gives away the stress.
July 3rd, 2015 5:27pm
When i was little, I watched TV to go to sleep and still do that might help getting other things off your mind
July 3rd, 2015 9:10pm
Calming my body, while im in my bed, with none of the lights on, helps me a lot and listening to the weird yoga music also helps in relaxing my body. Calming and concentrating on my breathing helps me sleep at night. Sometimes i make myself dream, like i make up there scenarios in my mind and start picturing them or i just plan out my day in advance.
July 4th, 2015 12:08am
Try breathing in and out your nose. Your body doesn't need as much oxygen when going to sleep so it you take big breaths in your nose and out your mouth for 7 seconds in and 9 out it may make it easier to transition to sleep. Another option is simply pretend you are asleep: to do so you have to deepen your breathing and lie still because you are focusing on this you pretend until you are asleep and it takes your mind off of your stressors.
July 4th, 2015 2:21pm
Since you have a problem shutting off your thoughts let's get you to close your eyes and use your thoughts to an advantage like like about what color the sky is it imagine where you wanna b n the world use your brain to draw images in your mind while your eyes are closed in bed so you can end up actually dreaming the rest of the night.✨
July 4th, 2015 2:35pm
Count! I like to count, it forces other thoughts out of my head and its slow, repetitive and thoughtless enough that it bores your mind and helps you shut it off. I usually start to dose off at around 200-300.
July 4th, 2015 6:59pm
Sometimes I turn on the radio at a low volume so I can focus on the words of the music instead of my thoughts. I will also focus on my breathing and repeat something to myself such as "breathe in, breathe out". The secret is to replace your stressful thoughts with something else. If you're struggling, just keep trying.
July 4th, 2015 8:56pm
If your thoughts are over powering you, and stopping you from sleeping, then it is going to affect you in more ways than one. One of the most powerful ways to stop this, is to play music (preferably your favourite songs/playlist) and play on repeat until you wake up. Focus purely on the music and the lyrics. Count the beats of the drums. If this doesn't work, you can try talk to someone until you fall asleep, and get them to challenge you to name different types of things (e.g. breeds of animals, types of animals, countries etc).
July 4th, 2015 11:47pm
i have experienced this a lot in my life, and i still do. Sometimes listening to the radio might be a good thing, because you are listening to people talking so you are not focus on your thoughts anymore, watching TV is a good option too
July 5th, 2015 6:08am
This is a more common problem then people like to believe, especially for those who suffer from anxiety. Our minds are wired to be constantly thinking and so at bed time it can be hard to get the mind to stop chattering. One important thing to remember is to not fight it. Fighting yourself because you're worried about keeping yourself up will only make matters worse. Instead, try using some mindfulness recordings to help keep you present and slowly relax yourself. This will allow your body to gently ease itself into sleep and will help to quell some of the anxiety you may be feeling because of it.
July 5th, 2015 3:27pm
Perhaps, writing down the thoughts on a piece of paper, on your personal diary or on your phone might just help you. If it does not, face the thoughts that stress you out, do not distract yourself. Try to come to a point where you can be satisfied with the thoughts of yours, keep your brain busy thinking about it logically and don't freak out. Have faith in yourself.
July 5th, 2015 6:55pm
Getting up and going to bed at the same time is key to good sleep.If you have worrying thought comes up right before bed, you need to deal with them first and have peaceful mind.Being able to distract yourself from your worries can be enough to help you fall asleep like turn to more positive thoughts,Exercising regularly and a lot more. If you Still feel like you’ve tried everything to no avail, find a sleep specialist in your area who does cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), the number one recommended treatment.
July 5th, 2015 8:40pm
make up dreams for your self. things that you want to dream about then you will end up falling asleep and dreaming about them
July 5th, 2015 9:21pm
You can wake up, have a glass of water or a mug of milk, you can try yoga or meditation:it can be really helpful. Think about how can you make your tomorrow a great day.
July 8th, 2015 12:43am
When I have trouble sleeping, I try to think of things that make me happy. Or meditation. But reading a good book is good also.
July 8th, 2015 3:52am
I know this sounds funny but i have the problem, its probably just a placebo but i use the sleep lotion from bath and body, if you don't have that i normally just listen to meditation videos there are a few on here actually!
July 8th, 2015 9:04am
Some times listening to music helps, writing down what's bothering you helps, and focusing on one thing that will make you happy and doing just that the next day so you have something to look forward to. The more you think about keep your mind busy you will drift off to sleep and it will disappear.
July 8th, 2015 3:49pm
Try a cup of chamomile tea....or.try meditation. Simply focus on your breath..and how you are breathing..this will relax you. Nothing else exists except for your breath...
July 8th, 2015 3:49pm
this is something i used to struggle with. i tend to tence up my body and relax and do that a few times and concentrating on my breathing, as your breathing out whisper the letter R. this sounds crazy but you concentrate so much on what your doing it makes you shut off, i also tend to think of a story in my head or listen to music. i also find ASMR to be quite relaxing to go to sleep to, as you concentrate on the soothing whispering or tapping .
July 8th, 2015 9:47pm
I suggest doing something you enjoy. Try reading a book, listening to music or something like that.
July 8th, 2015 11:10pm
Turn off electronics 2 hours before you go to bed, it will help you relax because light on your eyes usually keeps you up longer. You can also try listening to some soft, mellow, relaxing music, or reading a boring book.
July 9th, 2015 5:11am
down load the app "calm" it works, it has all kinds of relaxing sounds and theres a women who calms you.
July 9th, 2015 11:39am
This is going to sound really morbid, but what I do is pretend I'm a dead body in a movie, like a murder has happened. So keep your breathing down, so the cameras don't pick it up. What this does is slow your heart rate down, which in turn calms down your brain. Hoped that helped!
July 9th, 2015 2:03pm
Make your sleeping environment relaxing and comfortable. Make sure all lights are off and you have no distractions like electronics near you. Wind down with something that works for you, like reading before bed and drinking hot tea. If you believe this is because stress, try talking about your feelings with somebody and find coping mechanisms for stress!