10 Easy Ways to Calm your Mind When you are too Stressed and Anxious to Fall Asleep
Updated: Sep 19
If you are struggling with stress and anxiety issues you will no doubt know that terrible feeling when you are so tired you could sleep for a week but your worrying mind is unable to switch off and instead has the whole day on replay whilst at the same time mapping out your future. On top of that you start to feel more stressed and anxious because you can’t fall asleep which makes it even more difficult to fall asleep and it can be exhausting!
A lack of sleep can negatively impact your health and wellbeing in many ways and affect your ability to function properly the following day. The good news is that there are a few things you can do that will help to calm your mind to enable you to fall asleep more easily. Try some of the following to restore your beauty sleep.
10 Easy Ways to calm your mind when you can’t fall asleep
Relax before bed
First off you are not going to sleep well if you are in a stressed state before you go to bed. A soak in a warm aromatic bath can help ease tense muscles and allow you to wind down. Gentle Yoga stretches or meditation will also help promote a sense of calm and put you in a better frame of mind for sleep. Also practising mindfulness as you get ready for bed by focusing your attention on the tasks at hand with all of your 5 senses (such as brushing your teeth) can help as it takes your mind away from your worries.
Switch off the screen
Whether this is your phone, tablet or laptop, if you are staring at a screen before you go to bed your mind can become too stimulated for sleep. Also the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt your sleep pattern. Try reading before bed instead as this has more of a relaxing effect.
Try Essential Oils
Essential oils such as Lavender, Valerian or Roman Chamomile are another good option to try. You can use a diffuser in your bedroom or put a small dab on the corner of your pillow.
Mask your eyes
This can sometimes help if your room is not dark enough for sleep sends a signal to your brain that it is time to go to sleep. When your mind is wandering your eyes tend to stay open so this is a gentle way of keeping them closed.
Keep a notepad by your bed
If you are tossing and turning with racing thoughts and things to do it can sometimes help to write them down to get them off your mind. Your brain will then think you have taken action which will allow you to relax more.
Turn your thoughts to a happy moment
Try to change your thoughts to something that made you happy in the past such as your favourite place or something you enjoyed doing. Also think of things you are grateful for. This can sometimes trick your brain into taking a different line of thought and help you feel more calm.
Focus on your breathing
Turning your attention to your breathing can also help. Try breathing in through your nose for a count of 4 and feel your belly rise on the inhale, hold for a count of 2 and breathe out through your nose or mouth for a count of 6 as your belly contracts. Alternatively try box breathing by breathing in evenly through your nose for a count of 4, holding for a count of 4 and breathing out for a count of 4.
Feel your heartbeat
Placing your hand over your heart, closing your eyes and feeling your heartbeat helps you feel more calm and secure. Also cuddling a pet or your partner can help make you feel more content and better able to fall asleep.
Listen to calming sounds
Listening to calming sounds such as the waves of the sea, flowing water or the breeze blowing through the trees can have a soothing effect and help you fall asleep as they are classed by the brain as ‘non threat’ sounds.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Sometimes you can go through a phase of not sleeping for various reasons. It helps to have some compassion for yourself and not beat yourself up with negative self-talk in the middle of the night. Accept that you are just going through a rough patch which will eventually pass.
If you want more easy strategies on how to get a better night's sleep then grab your FREE Ultimate Sleep guide below.
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Information provided for general educational purposes only and not intended to replace medical advice