Do you ever stay up at night because you can’t turn off your worrisome thoughts?
In these times of Covid, subway shootings and other events, it’s no wonder that sometimes all of us may have difficulty sleeping at night. You toss and turn and can’t turn your mind off so that you can get some much needed rest. And if you can’t do that, it means that you are not managing your stress before your stress manages you.
Thankfully there are some simple strategies that you can use to deal with those stray thoughts so that you can sleep.
Distractions, Distractions, Distractions
If you find yourself thinking about the same things over and over again because maybe you had a bad day or your life is totally out of control, it can help to distract yourself before bed.
Read that book you’ve been meaning to get to. Watch a movie. Catch up on your favorite show or play a video game in the hours before bed. Establishing a great nighttime routine can be really helpful as it signals to your body and mind that bedtime is on the way.
At least an hour or before you go to bed, do a tech disconnect. That means tv, phones, laptops and Ipads. The blue light that they emit can interfere with your ability to sleep. Instead, how about listening to a podcast or your favorite soothing music? You could also have a conversation with a loved one, or some private time with your spouse. Distracting yourself allows you to get your mind off what’s worrying you and leave it until the next day.
Journal Before Bed
Sometimes it helps to face head on those things that are worrying you as a way of working things out. Have your favorite journal handy and write a page or two. This will help you process whatever is going on in your life. If you do this before going to sleep, it can help clear your mind.
Now, to be clear, journaling isn’t a quick fix. It can take some time to see the long-term benefits. Give it a few weeks and see if it’s something that works for you. It doesn’t hurt to try because after all you only have a page, some ink and a few minutes of your time to lose.
Meditating At Night
If writing or journaling isn’t your thing, consider meditation. It’s a great way to bring peace and calm into your life and helps you reduce stress. Meditation can be particularly helpful right before bed.
Mediating can help you shift from a worried anxious state into a calmer, centered and more fully present in the moment state. Short, guided meditations are especially helpful for beginners. Find a great meditation app or go online, either way you’ll start reaping the benefits of more peaceful sleep.
Keep A Notepad Nearby – Just In Case
Last but not least, keep a notebook, a notepad, or a piece of paper on your nightstand. When your mind starts going and going about all the things you need to do the next day, or something pops up that you don’t want to forget, write it down. Doing that can give you peace of mind and may be just what you need to fall asleep.
So there you have it! Four things that you can try when you mind doesn’t want to let you sleep. Try them out and see how it goes, after all it’s all about Making Time.
Let’s talk. How do you deal with your bedtime worries? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a facilitator, stress management coach and author of “Yes I’m Grateful,” a gratitude journal. She believes in empowering her clients to help them manage their stress and increase self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or LinkedIn