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How To Calm Your Racing Mind For A Peaceful Sleep

It is very ironic that when we are tired, our minds are often the most active. Lying in bed waiting for sleep to come, it can feel as though there’s an entity inside us, chattering away at record speed and not letting us rest.

It is very important to rest our mind as well for a good night's peaceful sleep. Here are some ways in which we can calm our thoughts- 

Reduce stress with a worry list

Indulge yourself in a “constructive worry exercise” three hours before bedtime, which involves writing a list of worries or concerns — with a pen and paper and not on a computer. Next to each one, write down whether or not it’s in your control, and if there is something you can do about it. In the third column, try pondering over and writing down the next step you can take the following day. Some concerns are not in our control, prefer writing down a self-acceptance statement, such as, “I’ve done everything I can, put in all the desired efforts, for now, I’m going to let it go for tonight,”. Spend about 20 minutes on your list and then set it aside. The brain is less likely to ruminate if there is closure. 

Keep a gratitude journal

Before you go to bed, try to write about three good things that you are grateful for — big or small. It can be anything from a beautiful sunset to a great conversation with a friend. Make it a habit to do this each night. Gratitude will help to maintain the positive state, which is the need of the hour nowadays. Research shows that as little as two minutes of gratitude practice can help elevate your mood.

Don’t go to bed too early

Sometimes you feel trouble falling asleep at night as you may naturally have a delayed sleep phase, meaning that they are genetically predisposed to feel sleepy only after midnight. It is advised to sleep within their biologically optimal window — that means only when you naturally feel sleepy.

Don’t look at screens close to bedtime

There is a need to limit screen time in the evening if you’re struggling with sleep. One hour before bedtime, avoid screens or switch your phone to night mode in the evening. Prefer wearing blue-light-blocking glasses. The bright and blue light of the phone and T.V. tricks us into thinking it’s still daytime. Screens (T.V., social media, and texting, etc) are a big threat to sleep. They are stimulating and can lead to bedtime procrastination, which in turn leads to the turmoil of sleep patterns.

Don’t do anything stressful right before bed

Avoid doing productive or stressful activities in that crucial hour before bedtime. There should be no work, no bill paying, no difficult discussions. Avoid talking about difficult situations, relationship issues as they will stay with you during sleep time.

Avoid large meals and caffeine just before bedtime

It is a common sight to see late-night office hours along with take out food and coffee. Try opting for smaller portions or lighter meals. If you’re still hungry before bed, stick to the old routine of having a glass of warm milk. Milk contains tryptophan, which may aid in sleeping naturally. 

Keep a sleep-inducing plant in the bedroom

Plants are not only things of beauty but have been proven to soothe our emotions — they can relax us and also aid us in sleeping. There is increasing evidence that the fragrances of plants such as jasmine and lavender aid in better sleep. Other plants worth trying include chrysanthemum, rose, and valerian. Ensure that you keep plants in your room so that sleep quality can be enhanced. If not plants, then those specific sleep-inducing aromas or essential oils may also help.

Sleep is essential to our mental and physical wellbeing. Be kind to yourself and don’t fall into the trap of napping all day and staying up worrying all night. If necessary, don’t hesitate to take a professional’s help.