#BH5MinFix: Simple Ways to Put Your Mind To Sleep Quickly
We’ve all been there. At the end of the day, you’re in bed, you’re tired and eager to sleep, yet your mind is hard at work, mulling over all that happened today and the zillion things that you need to get done tomorrow. Then, once you get going you start thinking ahead to next week and before you know it, you’re wide awake, and stressing about not being able to sleep, too. It’s no fun, right?
As part of our #BH5MinFix series, we invited you to share the habits that help you quiet your mind by sharing them in a comment here or on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. Here are some of the tried-and-true tips you told us work well for you along with a few more proven strategies to try:
Replay a favorite scene: We love this tip that Bethany shared here on The Family Room blog. She says, “It sounds crazy, but think of your favorite book or movie, or maybe your child’s favorite movie, and try to replay it in your head scene by scene, really savoring your favorite parts. While you’re trying to figure out the order of songs or scenes, your mind will eventually relax. This works for me all the time!”
Set aside worry time: To make it easier to get to sleep, make a list of concerns – but schedule your “worry time” for earlier in the evening rather than mapping it out in your head once you’re in bed, recommends Parents.com.
Start a wind-down routine: Kids need help in getting their minds and bodies ready for bed and parents do too. Determine how you like to relax and recreate this experience before bedtime, suggests health coach Danielle Shea Tan. She recommends breathing in 100% pure lavender oil and putting it on pressure points, reading a relaxing book, taking a warm bath, or drinking a drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea. Our community member Sandy shared what helps her via Facebook, “I take three deep breaths, I write in my journal, or I listen to soft music…”
Do some simple math: Count backwards from 300 by 3s, advises sleep doc Michael Breus, PhD. It sounds silly but this exercise can really help; it’s is taxing enough that it’ll take your brain’s full attention to work on but not so riveting that you’ll want to keep doing the subtractions forever. After a few minutes, it’s likely you’ll find yourself drifting off to dreamland.
Focus on the good stuff: To help put your mind at ease, start to think about all the things you’re grateful for; there’s no magic time to do this, brainstorm your list throughout the day, in the evening or even once you’ve climbed under the covers. Practicing gratitude has been associated with having more positive thoughts, and fewer negative ones at bedtime, which can help you nod off faster and sleep more soundly, according to Psychology Today.
Any tips that work for you that we haven’t mentioned? Feel free to share them below!
Join us for next week’s #BH5MinFix, we’ll announce our next topic of the week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Monday! We invite you to share your tips throughout the week. As always, we’ll share a round-up of your tips and ours here on The Family Room blog on Saturday.