Sleep is supposed to be a calming activity; a time to relaz and drift off onto the blissful dreamland, away from the daily grind of real life. It helps your brain get a much-needed rest, and your body gets a chance to refresh, heal, and revitalize itself for the next day.
But millions of people suffer from Insomnia. Sleep is elusive to them; in fact,lying in bed, tossing and turning, struggling to find that mental button that will just make them pass out, is a process dreaded by many.
Bedtime seems more like a nightmare.
In this article, we will look at 10 ways to shutt off your mind, and to get it sleep ready. This way, once you get to bed, and close your eyes, there is be no longer a battle to look forward to. Instead, you can just enjoy a good night of restful sleep.
Sip a little Chamomile
Drinking a cup of chamomile tea right before bed can quiet your whole body and mind. It has sedative properties, and can also reduce anxiety symptoms before bed. If you have allerigies, this magical tea can help reduce inflammation, and act as a mind tranquilizer.
Turn off the soap box
Game of Thrones can wait, and so can Walking Dead. Better yet, remove the TV from your bedroom to avoid the temptation to turn it back on. Watchning TV is not as relaxing as some people would like to believe. Whether it be a drama, comedy, violence, or horror themed show, by default, they are made to engage all your emotions. They make you feel part of the story, and the narrative. Detaching yourself from it becomes much harder, even after the show is over. Turn the TV off at least an hour before bed, that way your mind will have enough time to accustom itself to the serene surroundings of your bedroom.
Create a routine
For example, adapt the habit of reading right before bed, or listening to calming music. Doing this regularly will let your mind automatically know what's coming next after you are done with reading. Our body loves routine. So, give it that. Soon enough, it will be a program ingranined into your brain, and you will be able to go through the motions, and fall asleep effortlessly at a reasonable hour, without much effort.
Take deep breaths
Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through for nose for five counts, then exhale through your mouth for five counts. Repeat till you feel sleepy. Along with calming your heart rate down, and keeping it there, this will also relax your muscles. Additionally, taking deep breaths will give your mind something to focus on. It will help weed out all the worry inducing thoughts and prime your body for sleep.
Declutter Your Mind With Journaling
Write down all the thoughts that has been pestering you all day. Purge such thoughts out onto the sheet of paper. Once you have penned down everything that happened that day, along with all the thoughts that's been clouding up your mind, end that day's journal entry with your achievements. Also list down everything you are grateful for in your life. With this, your mind will be more prone to thinking about good memories in bed. You can also take an additional 10 minutes to prepare your to-do list for the next day. This way, you won't be staying up stressing about everything that needs to be done tomorrow in bed.
Do a mental body scan starting from your toes and moving up to all the way to the top of your head. Your goal is to focus on each of those parts, one at a time, while relaxing your muscles. Once you are completely relaxed, you should feel all the weight of your body sinking down onto the bed. The eyelids should start feeling heavy and your mind should be calm. If you do feel your mind wandering, let the thoughts come and float away, acknowledge it but don’t engage or dwell on it. Once that thought is gone, gently bring your focus back to your body.
Electronics have to go
You knew this was coming. Didn’t you! It might sound like a cliché but you can't just force yourself to sleep while surrounding yourself with so many potenial distractors less than 10 feet from you. Not only is it hard to fight off the urge to constantly use your ipad or smart phone, but the light emitted from the screen keeps your brain on an active state all the time.
Treat Yourself To A Hot bath
Because you deserve it, and because there is no better way to end the night than a steamy hot bath. It is one of those rare things that feels just as good as it sounds. It can be a perfect anti-stress ritual added to your night time routine. Add essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus to soothe your nerves. After soaking in the warm water, once you get out, the termperature difference will automatically trigger a boost in melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycles.
Replace negative self talk with visualization
At nights, when you lay in bed, waiting for the sleep to washover, you might find yourself engaging in negative self-talk. This habit can be very addicting and detrimental to your psychological health. Thoughts like, “I am a failure”, “I am so weak”, “I am not good enough”, creep into your mind and erode your sleep and self confidence. Quickest way to fix it is by catching yourself when this is about to happen, and replace your negative self talk with a visualization. Recreate and relive your happiest moments in life in your mind. Feel those emotions that you felt when that event occured. This could also be an event that hasn’t happened yet, but you want it to happen. Think about what it would feel like if you had that thing you always wanted. Experience it as vividly as you can; don't be afraid to involve all your senses. Doing this will not only calm you, but it will also put you to sleep in a good mood.
Use bed only when you are ready to sleep
There is a place for everything. You want your mind to associate bed with sleeping. This means no reading in bed, or watching TV. Use your bed only when you know you are tired enough to fall asleep within just a few minutes. Doing this will train your brain to go into sleep mode when you are about to get in your bed at the end of your night.