How to Clear Your Mind for Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most essential parts of your day to day life. However, just because it’s necessary and usually feels great doesn’t mean it comes easily to everyone. For many people, the idea of getting themselves off to sleep can feel just like a nightmare. Your mind can start filling itself up with worries, anxieties, and terrible thoughts that you just can’t seem to shake no matter how hard you try. 

Unfortunately, this can be the start of a terrible cycle because sleep is necessary for you to function at full capacity the following day. If you haven’t been able to sleep, it’s very possible that you could end up making mistakes at work, forget important information, or even miss meetings you’ve had planned for months. This will then, in turn, result in you feeling more anxious, which will make it more difficult to sleep that night as well. However, there are certain steps you can take that will help guarantee you’re able to clear your mind and get yourself settled in for a long and peaceful night’s rest. Here are some tips you should keep in mind if you’re struggling with falling asleep.

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Often enough, our own habits and routines can be more than enough to create the perfect setting for our bodies to fall asleep in. As creatures, we enjoy the regularity that a schedule can provide, and so making sure that you set yourself up in a consistent routine will be the best way to tell your body it’s time to rest. In fact, it’s been proven in many different studies that establishing a clear connection between certain activities and sleep can be the best way to get yourself down for the night. 

You’ll want to try and set aside at least 30 minutes for your pre-sleep routine so try stretching or listening to relaxing music before you go to bed. You could even try to finish that book you’ve been dying to get to. Your body enjoys knowing what’s coming next, so make sure you try and stick to this schedule as much as you can so that you can really reap the benefits.

There are certain activities that might seem easy and straightforward at the moment that can actually end up causing you much more stress than you realize. Paying bills is one of them. If you’re looking to get a good night’s sleep, then you’re going to want to avoid these stress-filled activities, such as paying the bills, organizing your checkbook, or anything else related to your personal finances. Remember that finishing these tasks in the middle of the night won’t be any different than finishing them in the morning before you head out. Put them off until a time of day that the stress won’t be able to impact your ability to shut off your mind and rest.

Another issue that many people have is trying to sleep and engage in other activities in the same space. The human brain likes to associate specific areas with specific activities, and so if you end up working and watching movies in bed, there’s a strong possibility that this is what your brain is preparing itself to do when you lie down. Try making your bed a sleep and intimacy only zone by doing other tasks such as reading and catching up on the news in a chair or at a table.

Another great step in learning how to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts will be to overpower these more negative moments with something positive. Before you go to bed, try looking through a number of old photos from a great family vacation together or a weekend with your loved ones that you’ll never be able to forget. Putting the mind in a positive position is a great way to ensure you end up focusing on the good in your life rather than all the concerns and worries that can make it impossible for you to get to sleep.

If you’re finding it hard to get to sleep even when you aren’t feeling anxious or worried, then it might actually be your muscles that are holding onto the tension. Relaxation exercises are a great way to give your muscles the relief they need to allow your entire body to relax and fall into a deep and rejuvenating sleep. Progressive muscle relaxation is a great technique that can make a world of difference. Start by laying on a flat surface and allowing your body to go completely limp. Take a deep breath in, exhale deeply, and then start squeezing certain parts of your body one at a time from the tips of your toes all the way up to your forehead. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll start to feel relaxed.

Making yourself aware of your own breathing is a great way to refocus the mind and relax the body, and it can be a great tool to help you finally get to sleep. Simply place your hand on your chest, breathe in for four seconds, and out for four seconds, repeating this process for a period of time. You’ll actually be able to feel your heartbeat slow down, which can help give you the sense of calm that you need to finally relax completely.

Often enough, one of the main reasons why you end up worrying so much when you try and go to sleep is because you aren’t providing yourself with the time needed to actually work through your concerns during the day. Simply telling yourself not to stress out and stressing out about not stressing out will inevitably make things work. Setting aside a small window of time during your day to make your “worry time” can be a great way to address the anxieties and fears that you’re dealing with at that moment and can even help you come up with solutions you never would have thought of when you’re trying to focus on getting to sleep. Addressing these concerns during the day is a great way to keep them out of your mind when you need to rest.

While getting a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential, there are always going to be some nights where you just can’t seem to get down, and that’s perfectly fine. If you’re just feeling too awake to rest, listen to your body and try doing something else for a bit before you tuck yourself in. Forcing yourself to try and sleep might actually make the problem worse. Instead, try taking a warm bath or indulging yourself a bit with a night of pampering. Forcing yourself to bed when your mind is still racing is a surefire way to tempt those negative thoughts, which will only make your insomnia worse. Getting half an hour less of sleep so that you can fully relax is a much better option than spending the entire night lying down in bed and worrying over things you can’t control. 

A good night’s sleep is a necessary part of life, but it can be a real challenge sometimes. Keep these tips in mind and make sure you get the rest you need to take on the day starting right now.

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Tommy P.
Tommy P.

My very first thought when I became aware of my very own consciousness in this earthly world was... "whoa... why are we here? what's the meaning or purpose to life?" I was never able to shake these questions... So come join me on my podcast of rants on many different topics that will assist you in seeing things through a rose-colored lens and on living a life of well-being.

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