What can I do to calm my mind at night so I can get to sleep?
Last Updated: 05/05/2020 at 6:20am
Melissa Hudson, MS Ed, PhD(c), LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
I work with clients of diverse backgrounds on a multitude of concerns. My approach is, at times, directive, yet always curious, nonjudgmental, collaborative, and validating.
Top Rated Answers
I have a technique to manage my thoughts when I want to get to sleep. I imagine that thoughts are clouds of color, and I lock them in an imaginary box that I keep under my bed. If a thought comes to me, I think "not now" and store it in the box, so I cannot think about it. Then, I set a time in the day, in the morning, where I can think. I about the thought's box and I just think about it, maybe note one thing or two about the organization of my day or week. It takes a few minutes. It helps me not thinking about it at night (which would take even more time and energy). Finally I meditate for some minutes, which is like locking the thoughts again in the box (actually, I don't think about when I need to stop, but most of the time it takes exactly 4 minutes, I don't know why). I just concentrate on my posture and especially my breath, but there are several meditation techniques. I hope this can help some of you. I didn't invent this technique. It results from advice I was given, personnal experience and things I learned.
I usually have difficulties falling asleep at night for multiple reasons. Sometimes these reasons are very stressful, like problems in school, fight with friends, having doubts about a close person or maybe just missing someone. The best solution for me is explaining to myself why I feel this way. This process might take a while, but after understanding your feeling somewhat better you should feel calmed because of the progress you've made in understanding your reactions. From there on, it's good night for me.
Meditation can be really helpful! I used to think that meditation wasn't really for me, but once I tried it, I realized that it is very helpful. A great resource is www.calm.com, which will guide you through meditation. Yoga and stretching before bed also helps me relax a bit and turn my thoughts off!
drink some tea while listening to your favorite band. It will soothes your worries and fears in your mind
Try to read something light and warm until you feel tired. Something that you find pleasure on. Or turn on the tv as background noise. You can also listen to some music. Talking to friends over the internet helps too.
i take a walk or i take several deep breaths and i try to clear my mind as i exhale / like my mind is dirty and i'm cleaning it by breathing and letting all the disturbing ideas escape through exhaling
Meditation can be good when you can't sleep. Don't force your thoughts to be empty. Just let them flow and watch them wash down into the fall, with deep breathing.
I always plan a date in my head taking all the minor details into considerations (so it takes more tym ) with someone you love or maybe a trip to somewhere you want to go..but do take in considerations the minor details
Think of a place you would like to be with people you love, or think of good memories that make you smile, that will make you sleep peacefully
Try to close your eyes and imagine anywhere you'd find peaceful. It could be a garden surrounded by flowers with a small pond with little fish in the middle and soothing music playing in the background. Whatever you personally find to be a peaceful area and make it ideal for you. Imagine you're there and it's so relaxing. If it would help, there's special music/sounds designed specically to help with sleep disorders. Relax all your muscles and just do your best to release any negative energy and only allow yourself to feel at peace and gently drift off into a restful sleep.
For me, I always had the weirdest things done to calm me down to go to sleep. Try getting a small light, but not a lamp. Like i have a humidifier that has a light and that is perfect. I also make sure the closet door is shut, i don't know why but that's just a thing for me . I also have a clock that plays the radio quietly in the background, don't play a station that always has your favorite music, you want something quiet and peaceful, but it doesn't have to be like classical.
Firstly I would say don't watch television or play on your phone. This just keeps the mind busy and awake. Make sure you're room is a comfortable and warm environment. Maybe take a bath to relax before bed. I also find meditating really helps me to calm down, just for 10 minutes or so before I try to sleep :)
1) count sheep 2) listen to calming music 3) exercise hard 4) read
Reading books, listenning to relaxing music, drawing, having hot drink such as tea or cacao, praying (if you're religuous), meditation, thinking about how your day was - of course not overthinking, maybe complimenting yourself for example "today I was kind to everyone/today I managed to do (whatever was Important for you to be done)" sometimes this can help you calming down :-)
I find meditation is a very helpful tool to develop and use and many resources are available online, as well as exercise before bed.
Try thinking of a time you felt really relaxed and try to remember how good that felt. Let your body and mind be comfortable
No electronics or bright lights should help. You also shouldn't do any activity in bed unless it's going to sleep e.g. reading, because there's a lot of scientific evidence that any cognitive activity in bed gets associated and it makes it harder to fall asleep. You should try some mindful exercises or listening apps before attempting to go to sleep as these can help, try do them in a dimmed room.
Try keeping a anxiety/ thought journal. Wright down anything that maybe stressing you out and some of your goals and maybe even prayers.
Write down whatever is bothering you on a note pad and tell yourself that you will face it tomorrow.
I do breathing exercises or I just go for a late night walk but it really depends what hobbies you are into but anything that relaxes you and takes your mind of things
I think a good way to have a calm mind at night is to write down the things you usually worry about and just write your thoughts, it would be good to write how you are dealing with those problems too. Preferably, do it earlier within the day and not right before you sleep because if you do it before you sleep I think your mind would just be more of a mess. This technique was in 'the insomnia workbook' written by stephanie silberman.
Some things you can do to calm your mind so you can get a better night of sleep is talking deep breathes to help ease your mind, getting yourself full of energy so you can have a better chance in falling asleep too.
You can calm yourself by thinking of something that makes you happy. You can also count in your head, or control your breathing.
To calm my mind at night and getting to sleep helped distraction the most. In evenings try not to get distressed or otherwise triggered (quarrel with spouse for example). If you can't fall asleep while trying to fall asleep in the bed because your mind is racing, take something to read (book, newspaper - in paper form preferably) and read. You can also watch tv (set very quiet, watch subtitles rather in order not to awaken other people) or you can read or watch something on computer, but do it only if blue light doesn't affect you. When your mind calms down or you start feeling tired again, turn off the light and go to bed again.
Sleeping at night can cause many problems to occur that we don't like getting. I would definitely turn off all electronics at least 15 minutes before you go to sleep so you have 0 distractions at night. Also, it is incredibly important not to strain your eyes by staring at a screen for more than 5 hours a day. In terms of calming your mind, listen to a tape of a guided mediation or practice several breathing exercises to clear your mind of any distraught and lingering thoughts that may arise at night. Well, I hope this helps in some way!
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