How to Fall Asleep When your Mind Won’t Shut Off
Ever try and fall asleep and your mind just won’t shut off? I’m sure we’ve all been there before. If not, you are a very lucky person. I frequently struggle with this. My body is tired, but my mind keeps racing about the day that just occurred or future events such as upcoming exams, deadlines etc. I found this great article from Mind Body Green that provides some tips to help you fall asleep when your mind is still racing.
When you can’t fall asleep at night, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
1. Were you racing around all day and haven’t had a moment of down time?
The fix: Build in one hour of down time with no technology before you go to sleep. Develop a ritual that you enjoy. Read a book, spend time with loved ones, straighten up or prepare for the next day.
2. Did you have caffeine or an energy drink in the afternoon?
The fix: drink water to flush your body and have something that makes you sleepy. For some, this is dairy or bread. Chicken, which has tryptophan, can also make you sleepy. In the future, try not having caffeine or energy drinks after 11 am, or skip them all together.
3. Are you stressed about all you have to do tomorrow?
The fix: Keep a pad of paper by your bed and write out a list of everything that needs to be done. Put it in order of importance and plan it out over the week. This will set your mind at ease so you can sleep.
4. Is your mind is going over a situation, trying to figure out a solution?
The fix: Whatever it is, you can’t do anything about it in the middle of the night. If you’re trying to prepare for a conversation or an event, it will always go differently than you expect. The best thing you can do is be present and open, and for that, you need your sleep. If you’re trying to understand the past, remember that you can’t change it. All you can do is accept it. So let it go. Let it float out of your mind.
5. Are you feeling anxious?
The fix: Do a gratitude list. Write out five things you’re grateful for each night before you turn out the lights. This also creates a more peaceful slumber and great dreams.
Are you so excited about your life that you can’t sleep?
The fix: Try getting up and doing something grounding and a bit boring. Read a book, organize something or do your finances. That should do it.