How do you turn your mind off before going to bed?
I must admit, my mind tends to race before I go to bed. I start thinking and reflecting upon the day; what went well, what didn’t go so well, what I need to do tomorrow, what I’m currently stressed or anxious about, my to do list…etc etc etc… Below of some tips of how I relax and calm my brain so I can actually enter dream land soon than later.
- Don’t bring your phone into bed with you! This is huge for me. I know it’s tough to disconnect from the outside world, but there is something to be said to not checking social media 24/7. I love not taking my phone to bed with me. It gives us both a much needed break- plus, just think of all the new stories and surprises it has waiting for you in the morning!
- Write down your thoughts for the next day and address them tomorrow. I like to keep a small notebook (my life line) that I jot everything down in. This notebook goes most places with me so I refer back to it when I need to. Before going to bed, put all those last minute thoughts, and to do’s in your notebook or even just on a scrap of paper so you won’t forget them and you can address them tomorrow with your full ‘bright eyed, bushy tailed’ attention.
- Have a cup of tea, or warm lemon water. (Just make sure whatever you drink is decaf!) A nice warm mug of tea slows me down and sets my intentions for relaxing.
- Breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about being in the present. This is a great approach to many things in life, but especially sleep because it reminds you to stop focusing on things you can’t fix right now. (One of the hardest things for me!) Two very basic mindfulness exercises are deep focused breathing, and a body scan. Slow measured breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth, while counting, can help to relax you. As well as focusing on just one part of your body at a time and physically feeling that part of your body relax and let go. (Let your mind move from the top of your head, all the way down to your toes) Here are some more details on mindfulness exercises, if you’re interested in reading more.
- Read, listen to soft relaxing music, or my favorite, a sound machine. (There is nothing like listening to the sound of ocean waves, gentle rainstorm, or crickets on a summer night, to turn off your racing mind.)
- My other favorite night stand essential for a relaxing night is an oil diffuser. You can pick all different types of essential oils to burn depending on your mood (or ailment). Some of my favorites are lavender and chamomile to relax, eucalyptus or mint for clearing your nose and sinuses during cold season, and Chai and Clove, all the time, because nothing smells warmer or homier.