Coming home after a long stressful and tiring day sounds like a good idea, right? But just when you thought you could finally relax, you find that you can’t sleep at all. Your brain seems to be buzzing or distracted when it shouldn’t be, and you just cant turn off your mind. You know you need all the rest you can get to face the next day.
Sleep deprivation can be very harmful to your health. It can lead to heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and other heart-related risks. It can also cause drowsiness that could result to accidents. Sleep deprivation can also contribute to being one of the symptoms of depression or anxiety. This goes to show that sleep deprivation shouldn’t be tolerated and if you have or are already experiencing some of these, then you might just need more serious help.
Research has shown that a person cannot simply hop into bed and expect themselves to sleep immediately. In fact, you have to have at least 15 to 30 minutes to turn off your mind before going to bed. You may ask what you can do in those 15-30 minutes; luckily, here’s this article to help you out by introducing you 10 ways to turn off your mind before bed.
How To Turn Off Your Mind Before Bed
1. Have a regular sleep schedule
There are three main types of sleep cycles.
- Monophasic: you sleep continuously for hours. 7-9 hours per sleep period is recommended.
- Biphasic: you sleep 4 hours twice, both sessions separated by an hour or more wherein you’re awake. It is also recommended the hours of sleep sum up to 7-9.
- Polyphasic: you take shorter naps throughout the night/day. Some view this as a way to reduce your hours of sleep and increase your waking hours.
Whichever suits you, it’s more important to stay consistent so your biological clock can function well and fully.
2. Read a book
A study by Sussex University in 2009 has shown that reading may improve relaxation and reduce stress by as much as 68 percent. Reading can take your mind off of things and help you to turn off your mind before bed. Indeed, books can help you relax enough to go to sleep with a peaceful and maybe imaginative mind.
3. Take a warm bath
This is another great way of helping you relax and turn off your mind before bed. For added effect, listen to calm and soothing music or use aromatherapy oils. Taking a warm bath increases the body’s temperature and relaxes the muscles, including the brain.
4. Listen to calming music
This is a cheap and enjoyable option especially for the music lovers out there. Listening to relaxing music can distract you and induce a physical state of calmness. It also reduces the activity of the nervous system thereby decreasing anxiety and heart rate and resulting to slower breathing and a lower blood pressure.
You may use earphones or speakers as you prefer; what’s important is that you lie in bed in a comfortable position with a non-disturbing volume. You do not have to worry about turning the music off, all you need to do is listen and let it play. Try listening to instrumental music or white noise for better results.
5. Do some stretching or relaxation exercises
Try progressive muscle relaxation before going to bed by going through each of the muscle groups such as your toes and hands. This encourages you to relax any tension in your muscles. Focusing your attention on your body can distract your mind from your worries. If it does wander off to them, gently redirect it to your body.
Here is a great exercise you can try to turn off your mind before bed.
Explore more: Good Relaxation Videos
6. Avoid electronics
That’s right – to turn off your mind before bed, step away from the TV, laptop or your cellphone. Don’t watch movies or news before you go to bed since they may only trouble your thoughts more. This also includes not checking your email since this will only lead to more unfinished business and stress.
More than that, blue light emitted by electronics can whack your internal clock and is therefore disruptive for sleep. Go without technology for an hour and spend time with your loved ones or prepare for the next day instead. Having this routine before bed will steer your mind off of your worries at work and your body off of different health risks.
7. Write down your worries and anxieties
This is a very effective way of turning off your mind. Writing your thoughts helps to get them out of your head so they won’t keep you awake at night. When you jot your worries away, they’ll interfere less when you lie down in bed. This way, you can overthink less and less until you have nothing to think about anymore.
Acknowledging your problems and what’s bothering you is more effective than forcing yourself to ignore them. You don’t always have to have a solution for everything – sometimes knowing that it’s a problem and it needs to be confronted is just enough.
8. Think or visualize positive thoughts
Turning your mind off for bed doesn’t mean turning off your imagination, too. If a negative thought comes around just when you’re about to fall asleep, visualize it as an object and put it an imaginary safe and deal with it another time.
Create for yourself an imaginary environment that is calm and peaceful. If you like to dream big, think of your achievements and wishes and the happiness you will get in the future. You can also focus on positive memories and happy events for a good night’s sleep.
You do not have to been a yogi to meditate. You can start small by focusing on your breathing for 3-5 minutes. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Now imagine them being your thoughts. Breathe in the positive thoughts, and breathe out the negative ones. Slowly, you will feel relaxed and the tension will just melt away.
10. See a specialist
If you’ve tried all of the suggestions above and still find yourself worrying or not being able to turn off your mind before bed, you might consider seeing a specialist who is more trained for your problems and issues and can help you get better sleep regularly. You can search through your local directory or online.
There are many benefits to turning your mind off before going to bed. Reducing stress will make you feel better and improve your health in more ways than one. Surrender yourself to relaxation and you’ll find that you will be inspired and will have better rest. When you clear your mind before sleeping, you will wake up with greater concentration and alertness. Try some of the tips above now and get the rest you deserve and need!