How To Calm Your Mind Before Bed

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

How To Calm Your Mind Before Bed

We’ve all been there: after a busy day you just want to lay down and fall asleep. As soon as your head hits the pillow all of these intrusive thoughts come flooding into your mind, preventing you from getting that good night’s sleep that you desperately need.

Thoughts like ‘I cannot forget to…’, ‘what am I doing with my life?’ or even that ‘awkward thing that happened today’ have the potential to be so intrusive that they keep us up all night reeling over what we have no power to change in that moment.

Many of us know all too well the feeling of just wanting to shut our brain off but all of these racing thoughts prevent us from getting the rest we need. Often you may feel hopeless in ever being able to just go to sleep, but fortunately there are some tips and tricks that can help you put those racing thoughts to rest and sleep soundly.

Take 30 minutes before bedtime to journal out any residual thoughts from your day. This will help you clear your mind from the thoughts that are demanding to be processed.

Having 20 minutes of deep meditation before bedtime. This will help a great deal because it will calm and de-clutter the mind before you drift off. Remember, your brain is a muscle, and you need to wind it down before you can sleep.

Preparing for the morning. This helps because your day begins with the least stress possible. You can prepare by:

  • Making and packing your lunch
  • Packing your backpack, purse, or briefcase with all of its essentials
  • Having everything waiting for you at the door
  • Laying out your clothes for the morning
  • Creating a to-do list for the following day

Leave a pad and pencil by the bed. Often when we finally go to bed we are left with thoughts that will prevent us from falling asleep. Leaving a pad and pencil by your bed is good because you can transfer all of your thoughts from your mind to the paper. That way, you do not risk forgetting to address them later, but they still leave your conscious mind so you can fall asleep.

Focus on your breathing. Try your best to focus as much energy as possible into rhythmic sensations like your breathing. It will have a hypnotic effect that will help you drift off. This may take practice, but with commitment it helps a great deal.

Clear your sleeping space from any distractions. Set your cell phone on Do Not Disturb and keep it away from arm’s reach to reduce temptation to web surf or check the time; such habits will prevent you from falling asleep soundly.

Always remind yourself that there is nothing else you can do from where you are, in your bed, late at night, besides sleep. When you are in bed the best thing you can do for yourself is get a good night’s sleep and tackle the day refreshed. Remember, you worked hard all day. Whatever is left to do has to wait until morning.

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