7. I like to use this technique right before bedtime to catch everything that’s still nagging at my mind. Loose? That phrase should be remembered more often about many things. And when your mind wanders, you bring it back to the breath, again and again. Lavender works well for a lot of people, including those with mild insomnia. Here are five ways to work with, instead of against, your busy brain and get some sleep. Discover The Savvy Psychologist's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Mental Health 270 - 5 Ways to Quiet Your Mind for Sleep. Take A Warm Shower I also remind myself that almost asleep is far more restorative for my body and mind than having my thoughts racing. The sky remains steady, but the thoughts are fleeting. It's common to experience "busy brain" at bedtime, and we don't need to blame or fight the brain for trying to do its job. Thoughts of what happened in the day, what you need to get done tomorrow, that comment you made that might have been misconstrued, or worries over money, time, migraine… Whatever your personal mental chatter sounds like, it can be hard to quiet your mind and get to sleep. Sometimes, if there are well-formed thoughts worth exploring, I write them down in my journal. The first thing you’ll notice is that trying to control the mind only makes the mind more resistant to your efforts. No need to change it in any way or judge it as good or bad. Your mind is basically working itself up over nothing. Sometimes, you may feel so frazzled, or your buzzing thoughts are so persistent, that it’s hard to get into a body scan or imagery mindset. Join the conversation! Turn off electronics and rotate your clock away from you (don’t watch the clock or check your phone if you can’t sleep). January 05, 2021 by The Capsule in Beauty, Wellness, Wellbeing, Skincare, Mental Health, Lifestyle, Health. That is, it's predicting that bad things will happen. Enjoy the feeling of stillness and peace. How to Quiet the Mind at Night In summary, the best way to get a good night of sleep is to think about how to … That’s okay! And no wonder! Breathe Deeply; Deep, diaphragmatic breathing is an effective way to overcome stress and quiet your mind. But you don’t have to have a journal, or even to write in full paragraphs or sentences. Log in or create an account. Our goal here is to use the Scripture to learn to quiet our soul (mind, will, emotions) and acquire the habit of setting our minds on things above (Col 3:2). If you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your attention back to the breathing cycle and counting your breath. I recite each letter as if it were echoing and in the same cadence as a bell tower going gong-gong-gong. When you walk through a scene in your mind, it’s much easier to control the pace. Writing before you go to sleep may help you let these things go and fall asleep more readily. Spend some time there, and then move up to your ankles, calves and shins, knees, and the rest of your legs. This shouldn’t be a judgmental, stressful sort of thought that increases the pressure to get to sleep. Instead of fighting against your brain’s well-intentioned and persistent effort, what if you work with your busy brain to protect your sleep? Some podcasts are good to fall asleep to, too. This is one of the pillars of sleep hygiene, those guidelines sleep docs recommend for ensuring a good night’s sleep. Dawn Buse also has a guided relaxation on her website, www.dawnbuse.com. These worries are activating and make it hard to get to sleep. First of all, the light from the phone is stimulating to the brain and can suppress melatonin release (melatonin helps you sleep). That step is often necessary to lead to more productive ideas. Give them their own place to be instead of running amok all through the day and night. Over 30 percent of people have bouts of insomnia, overall rate of insomnia has been going up, 6 Tips to Get Your Kids Sleeping in Their Own Bed. Your brain is a busy bee! A variety of techniques are used for progressive relaxation, but the basic idea is always the same. Quite the opposite actually. The point of doing this is to build a home for your worries to live in. Slow Your Breath, Slow Your Mind With your breath, you have a ready-made tool to relax your body and slow down the thoughts that keep you awake. Sometimes it is experienced as part of rumination. In order to quiet the mind, one must find inner peace through relaxation and meditation practices. The Word will quiet your mind and bring peace. Call the Savvy Psychologist listener line at 919-533-9122. What’s the temperature? Here are 6 simple ways to quiet your mind: 1. And all of our thoughts really are just stories that our brains tell in order to help us make sense of the world. If this happens to you, you’re certainly not alone. Congratulations! This will help to release some of those thoughts that might keep you awake. Who wants to program worrying into their day? Use this rhythmic breath as your anchor throughout the body scan. Here, instead of walking your mind through an imagined scene, you’ll walk it through your body instead. Whether you prefer hypnosis, guided meditation, progressive relaxation or soothing nature sounds, you can find an app or recording to help you sleep. That was 2,500 years ago. Put your thoughts down so your brain is reassured you will not forget. That's when you'll go back to bed and enjoy your sweet dreams. Any time you get distracted by thoughts, just gently bring yourself back to the breath to get anchored here. Set aside a 15-30 minute window during the day—not at bed time!—specifically for worrying. Instead, we’re ruminating and thinking ourselves in circles. It takes its job of helping you to stay safe and perform well very seriously, so if it thinks something is important, it won’t simply say, “Oh, it looks like you’d rather not be disturbed right now. Improve your sleep habits with useful solutions like improving your sleep setting, creating a bedtime routine, and avoiding things that keep you up at … If you get stuck on a thought, imagine it floating on by. Meditation instructors are quick to point out that meditation isn’t intended to induce sleep. Instead of combating versus your mind’s sympathetic as well as relentless effort, what happens if you work with your hectic brain to secure your sleep? Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. The idea is to slow down your mind, so you don’t want to rush through like a kid who has just mastered the alphabet. Sometimes I move from L to W, other times I miss Y altogether. Whatever strategy you use, it’s important to go easy on yourself. Or perhaps you have a particularly stressful day and a particularly busy brain when you lie down to sleep? Audiobooks and podcasts can be very helpful for this. 270 - 5 Ways to Quiet Your Mind for Sleep. This recommendation graces many lists of sleep advice. Choose which of these smells better and have the essential oil fill the room as you get yourself ready for sleep. Outside of this worry window, if you find your mind creeping into worry territory, starting to turn over again things that you can’t do anything about, simply you tell yourself, “I’ve already addressed this during today’s worry window,” or “Thank you, brain! Your thoughts are clouds that float through that sky. Try not to worry if you can’t fall asleep, and remind yourself that your body will eventually take over and help you sleep. No matter how much you obsess about your thoughts at night, they’ll almost certainly still be there in the morning. It's so frustrating when you're tired but just can't stop all the mind chatter. Clear your mind of stress so you can enter a relaxed state that can lead to peaceful sleep. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. I’ll share my 5 favored ideas for silencing the mind so you can snooze. The point is for it to be interesting enough that your brain would rather listen to it than to your own pestering thoughts. Cool? To help quiet the mind for sleep, you can address persistent worries by scheduling a Worry Window during the day. When you’ve had a long day the only thing you want to do is to drift off to sleep, but sometimes this can be hard. You can stop counting sheep. Mentally recite a song, poem, prayer, mantra or a monologue you memorized in school 20 years ago. Doing a body scan is similar to using imagery. Migraine.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We can’t blame the brain for being active even when we’d really like for it to be quiet—it’s just doing what brains do! I like Carolyn McManus’ CDs, but YouTube also has plenty of progressive relaxations to choose from. You can also listen to a podcast or audiobook (with a sleep timer on), which offers your excited mind a different story and distracts it from the one in your mind that's keeping you up, You have trouble falling or staying asleep at least a few times per week, It's been persistently happening for over a month, It’s significantly getting in the way of your functioning or causing you distress. Normally, I find it ineffective because writing in the dark renders the note illegible. Send a positive text, email, or write down an issue to deal with the next day. At this point, I would recommend letting go of your goal-oriented approach to sleep altogether for the night. That’s because it is designed to be buzzing all the time to help you remember, anticipate, analyze, plan, problem-solve, and do all the things that make you human. Sometimes our minds just won’t turn off when it's time for bed. Under number 1 and perhaps meditation as well I have discovered ASMR. The good news is that there is another type of thought that goes much slower than your brain’s default story-telling mode—imagery. Focusing on something specific, like the rising and falling of your chest as you breathe or the sensation of air moving through your nostrils, can busy your mind enough to crowd out the thoughts. Noticing that you’re close to sleep, but not there yet can prompt thoughts of, “Come on, get to sleep already” or “Why am I not asleep yet.” These thoughts take me right out of relaxation and even further from sleep. Take a look at just one leaf on a tree—what color is it? I’ll come back later with this urgent stack of tasks to be completed and decisions to be made.” If only that were the case! Gently remind yourself that your thoughts will be more helpful if you rest on them first. It’s a part of being human, and it never goes away. But for now, don’t use today’s tips as a hammer to work even harder at your sleep. All you need to do is ride along and notice what it feels like. We are currently experiencing playback issues on Safari. Why does control not work? Is there a cool breeze, or is it very warm? But before we review those, I have a special disclaimer for those of you among the 10% of people who have chronic insomnia disorder. Copyright © 2021 Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC. Sleep.org suggests using either Lavender, Valerian, or Bergamot to help induce sleep. Here are five ways to work with, instead of against, your busy brain and get some sleep. Wondering what you should listen to? What if the Worry Window is not quite enough? While lying in bed, if your mind is still racing, gently redirect your attention by walking yourself through a scene in your imagination or through the sensations in your body. For the rest of us who sometimes have trouble shutting down our minds for sleep, let's try these techniques tonight to welcome sleep with open arms. I don’t think too hard on remembering it, I just go to the next letter that comes to mind alphabet. (Perhaps that’s why so many good ideas come in the shower!) In fact, you can spend the whole body scan just on your breath if you’d like. That’s because our brains are language machines, designed to be very good at telling stories using words. If your brain is insisting on telling stories right now, you can indulge it and distract yourself from the pestering thoughts by telling it a different story. When I forget what letter comes next in the alphabet, I know I’m getting closer to sleep. One of the challenges to … If your mind wanders or you forget a sentence, try to let it go and move on. Once all matters have been resolved or tabled, forget about them. One meditation practice that might be helpful for you to calm your anxieties and fears from all that mental activity is described by BJ Gallagher. What does the forest look like? Try diffusing a wood oil like Cedarwood or Sandlewood 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Let’s put a pin in this and address it during tomorrow’s worry window.”. Would definitely make life easier on us. The Scripture is for focus in this particular exercise so that your mind does not stray. Now, move your attention to the rest of your feet. Sleep journaling is an awesome relaxation exercise, and learning how to keep a sleep journal is a good way to quiet your mind enough so you can sleep. But when you can’t sleep because your mind is too loud, quieting your mind through meditation can be exactly what you need to nod off. So, instead of telling your mind not to worry, give it a chance to get worries out of its system during this dedicated worry window. When we ask ourselves about sleep, it’s almost as if we’re taking stock of our overall state of mind: How do I feel? It helps the mind, too. In order to sleep, your brain needs to wind down and veg out. How did you sleep last night? To function well we all need a good night's sleep. So we can’t blame the brain for being active even when we’d really like for it to be quiet—it’s just doing what brains do! Try to immerse yourself fully in the scene, using all five senses. Description. Instead, concentrate 100 percent on worrying about things that you cannot control. This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here. Start by writing down thoughts, concerns, or simply things on your mind. Catch up on your favorite show, read a book, email a friend, or listen to a podcast. A meditation practice is just that — a practice. Need help? It can be frustrating and frazzling when all we want is the soothing balm of sleep to heal the stress from our day, but infuriatingly, when we lie down to sleep, we can’t turn off our brains. If something is nagging at you, writing it down gets it out of your mind so you can return to the next day. Invest some energy there, and afterward climb to your lower legs, calves and shins, knees, and the remainder of … Particularly during periods of stress or anxiety, difficulty falling or staying asleep may manifest. Again, nothing to change or judge—just notice what your toes feel like. It does not mean that you’ll be doomed to chronic insomnia, or that you’ll suffer consequences the next day. Try again or reach out to contact@Migraine.com. Sometimes, even while you’re strolling through an imagined scene, your mind will try to distract you with nagging thoughts. What do you smell? Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule . While you’re doing this, you’re taking up room in your mind that your brain would otherwise dedicate to racing thoughts. Take as much time as necessary. This information is not designed to replace a physician’s independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient. I prefer songs for this reason… as soon as I forget a line, I can move onto another song. You don’t have to be profound, poetic, or even grammatically correct. You can tell yourself, “Don’t worry, brain! But getting up and having a light carbohydrate snack when you can’t sleep—a small serving of popcorn or whole-grain crackers, for example—may … This simple relaxation method can be done … Here are some strategies I use. This is crucial because when you rest well: You’ve got more energy for your work and your family; You’re happier; You let things bother you a lot less; You’re more flexible; And you just think better The thoughts that occupy our minds at night rarely lead to breakthroughs – we’re too tired for that to happen. At the point when you’re finished with your toes, move your consideration regarding the remainder of your feet. It really doesn’t matter as long as my mind is occupied. Do you have a psychology question? By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. You will have to Google it and try several types to find the ASMR practitioner that works for you, but once you do there is a world of excellent dedicated souls with sleep inducing videos. Set aside a 15-30 minute window during the day—not at bed time!—specifically for worrying. First, find a quiet place you can relax and listen to your favorite track. Paradoxically, sometimes the more stressful our days are, the harder it is to quiet the brain for sleep at night. Some people … Your question could be featured on the show. You already know how hard it is to simply turn off worries—it’s like telling your brain, “No matter what, do not think of a pink elephant!” What’s the first thing that pops into your mind? The topic was weighty enough that I needed to know I’d be able to read it in the morning. Your brain is juggling these thoughts and working hard to keep them spinning because—goodness forbid—you might forget to worry about something important. This idea came from a hypnotherapist and, while it felt silly the first few times I did it, it is really effective. And outside of this time, you can always defer any lingering worries to the next worry window. The world we can finally escape to after a long day - if we're lucky. “This is not a test and perfection is unnecessary.”. Take your time. Many nights I use ALL of them. This way, when everything gets quiet, you’re at peace and your mind feels safe to rest. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues. Instead, just notice the thought, thank your brain for offering it, and gently turn your attention back to the leaf you were examining. How To Quiet Your Mind For Better Sleep. Even if you’re one of the lucky people who usually have no problem with falling or staying asleep, I bet there are nights when you toss and turn, unable to turn your brain off while it nags at you with to-do lists, worries, fantasies, plans, doubts, replays of embarrassing moments, and replays of songs that make you want to bang your head against a wall. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. 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