If you're having trouble falling asleep at night, it might be because your mind is racing and filled with thoughts about the day's events or what you need to do tomorrow. These thoughts can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Here are a few ways you can calm your mind before bed, so you can get a good night's sleep.
What is Healthy Sleep?
Most people need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. However, some people may need more or less sleep depending on their age, lifestyle, and overall health. Getting enough sleep is important for your physical and mental health because it can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and protect your heart health.
What can help you calm your thoughts before bed?
1) Ditch Your Devices:
If you're trying to calm your thoughts before bed, one of the worst things you can do is keep your mind active by looking at a screen. Whether it's your phone, tablet, or laptop, the blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body's natural sleep rhythms. So instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV before bed, try reading a book or listening to calming music. You'll be more likely to fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling rested.
2) Get Up and Move:
If you find yourself lying in bed wide awake, don't just stay there staring at the ceiling. Getting up and moving around for a few minutes can help ease your mind and make it easier to fall back asleep. Try taking a short walk around the block, doing some gentle stretches, or even just getting up to use the restroom.
3) Soothing Scents
Certain scents can be very calming which makes them perfect for helping you fall asleep. Lavender is one of the most popular sleep-inducing scents, but chamomile and jasmine are also known to be effective. You can try using a diffuser with essential oils, spraying a pillow mist, or simply placing a sachet of dried lavender under your pillow.
4) Relaxing Rituals
Creating a bedtime ritual can help quiet your thoughts and prepare your mind for sleep. This could involve taking a warm bath, reading a few pages of a book, or writing in a journal. Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that relaxes you and that you can do consistently every night.
5) Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are a great way to calm your thoughts before bed. Try this simple exercise:
1. Lie down in bed and close your eyes.
2. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
3. Breathe in through your nose, filling up your stomach first and then your chest.
4. Breathe out through your mouth, pushing all the air out of your lungs.
5. Repeat this exercise for 10 minutes or until you feel you feel relaxed and your thoughts calm down.
6) Positive Affirmations:
Another great way to calm your thoughts before bed is to focus on positive affirmations. Before you go to sleep, take a few moments to repeat positive statements to yourself. For example, you can say, “I am peaceful and calm,” or “I am surrounded by love and light.” Focusing on positive thoughts will help to calm your mind and lead you into a restful sleep.
7) Keep a Routine and Schedule
Establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This will help to train your body to wind down at night and wake up feeling rested. Try winding down for 30 minutes before bed each night. During this time, you can read, listen to calming music, or do some light stretching. Focussing on a relaxing routine will help to ease your thoughts and make it easier to fall asleep.
8) Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another proven way to calm your thoughts and drift off to sleep, try the deep relaxation technique known as progressive muscle relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body. By tensing and relaxing your muscles, you can help to reduce stress and anxiety.To do progressive muscle relaxation, start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. Then, take a deep breath in and tense your muscles throughout your body for 5-10 seconds. Once you’ve tensed your muscles, breathe out and relax them completely. Repeat this process for all of the muscle groups in your body, from your toes to your head. This technique can help to calm your thoughts and reduce stress.
9) Yoga / Meditation
Yoga is a great way to relax both your body and your mind. There are many different yoga poses that can help you wind down before bedtime. Try doing some gentle stretches like child’s pose, forward fold, supine twist, and deep breathing exercises to release tension and lower your blood pressure and get the deep sleep you need..
Meditation can also be very helpful in calming your thoughts before bed. Start by focusing on your breath. Inhale slowly and deeply, then exhale slowly. Continue focusing on your breath and let all other thoughts fade away. If you find your mind wandering, simply bring your focus back to your breath. Meditation can be guided or self directed. YouTube and streaming services are great places to look for guided meditation sessions.
10) Journal / Gratitude list
The first step is to get all of your thoughts down on paper. Write in a journal or make a gratitude list to help you clear your mind and feel more positive before bed. This will help you focus on the good things in your life and let go of any racing thoughts that are keeping you up at night.
11) Make Your Bedroom Your Haven
Your bedroom should be your haven. It should be a place where you feel relaxed and can unwind after a long day. If your bedroom is cluttered, it can make it harder to relax and may even keep you up at night. Make sure to declutter your bedroom so that it's a peaceful oasis for you. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. These conditions will help signal to your body that it's time to sleep.
Sleep is important for your physical and mental health, so if you're having trouble falling asleep, don't hesitate to try these techniques. With a little effort, you can calm your thoughts before bed and get the restful sleep you need.