Sleep is a basic human need that allows the body to recuperate after a hard day’s work. The average adult will need a 7-8 hours of sleep in order for the body to be well-rested enough to function for another day of activity.
However, the stresses of your daily schedule or personal problems may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Are you having a hard time going to bed because you still have a lot on your mind? Do you find that your mind is still active even during the wee hours of the morning?
In the US, there are about 50 to 70 million adults who have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. One reason these people are having a hard time falling and/or staying asleep is that their minds remain active even though they’ve already hit the sack.
If the lack of sleep is starting to take a toll on your body and you’re afraid that you might end up like Edward Norton in Fight Club, here are a few ways that can help you relax your mind at night.
How To Relax Your Mind At Night
Set a regular schedule that you can follow
Being able to get up and go to bed at the same time every day is a great way you can get to sleep. This will put your body clock in sync with your daily schedule. With your body clock on your side, this can put you at ease and relax your mind at night.
Read also: How to Calculate Your Ideal Sleeping Time
Recognize the importance of sleep
Your body needs rest and that’s what sleep can provide. It is vital that you sleep well (meaning you get quality snooze time) so you can perform at your best — whether you’re at work or in school. Actually, not having enough sleep can add to your anxiety and can lead to several health issues like hypertension and diabetes.
Having the mindset that “sleep is important” is a good motivator for you to relax your mind at night and finally get the sleep you need.
Develop a routine that can help you relax
To further assist in tuning your body clock to the right sleep schedule, create a sleep routine that can help signal your body that it’s time to fall asleep. Reading books or taking a warm bath are good ways that you can slow down and relax your mind at night. Listening to relaxing music or doing relaxation exercises can also be a great help.
Here is one relaxation exercise that you can incorporate into your evening routine.
Devote time for your current problems early on in the day
If personal problems are keeping you up thinking all night, the best way you can relax your mind at night is facing the problem early on in the day. During the middle of the day, it’s a good idea to write down your problems and start thinking about what you can do to solve them. This way, once it’s time for bed, your mind can check off these problems.
Make your bedroom a more relaxing environment
Having your room conducive to sleep is an excellent way you can fall asleep at night. Make sure that your bedroom is dark, quiet, and has the right temperature. With all these conditions, you can relax your mind at night more effectively.
Try putting more shades on the windows and/or soundproofing the room. Buying a new air-conditioning unit can help you become comfortable and relaxed.
Read also: 5 Ways to Make Your Bedroom More Relaxing
Give your brain mental exercises
Distracting yourself from your worries and problems is an effective way to relax your mind at night and fall asleep. Simple exercises like counting sheep, thinking of countries that start with the letter P, and other trivial thoughts can help you fall asleep in no time.
Focus on positive thoughts
It’s easier said than done, but stop worrying!
It helps to keep a positive mindset when you’re getting ready for bed, so think of the good times! Focus on that one time you and a friend went on vacation to the beach, think of your first kiss, think of that time you got your acceptance letter to the university you’ve always dreamt of attending classes in! However, don’t think about work — no matter how positive they are, those thoughts will mess up your mind’s rhythm. Concentrate on non-work-related thoughts instead.
Read also: 6 Techniques to Stop Disturbing Thoughts
Relax your body
Loosening up your body with relaxation exercises can help relax your mind at night as well. Try doing muscle relaxation exercises for the different muscle groups of your body like:
- Lifting your eyebrows and slowly relaxing them
- Bringing your shoulders toward your ears and slowly letting them relax
- Taking deep breaths and exhaling slowly
- Arching your back while you’re lying in bed can relax the back muscles
- Tightening the hips and buttocks
- Squeezing the legs together and curling your toes
Yoga exercises for 5 to 15 minutes before bedtime can also help you ease your physical or mental tensions.
Also, consider staying away from coffee or alcohol before going to sleep. These substances can make things worse by stimulating your mind and adding to your anxieties. Instead, drink warm milk or herbal tea, like peppermint or chamomile, to help you relax.
Lastly, avoid stimulants like nicotine or food and beverages with high sugar content. Smoking and eating those kinds of food can make it harder for you to relax once you’re in bed.
Participate in more physical activities during the course of the day
Doing regular exercises can help you fall asleep. It can help you reduce any anxiety that you may have and get your body tired enough at the end of the day to fall asleep without any problems. Try doing a few exercises a few hours before bedtime.
Seek professional help when all else fails
Take this option as an absolute last resort. If your anxieties are starting to become difficult to handle and it’s a prolonged issue you’ve been struggling with, consulting a sleep specialist can help ease your mind and help you relax.
With these options at your disposal, keep both your mind and your body relaxed at night so you can get enough sleep for the next day!