How is everyone doing?
In this post I want to focus on how to calm the mind before bed. Raise your hand in the air if you have tried to get to sleep, yet your mind is SO busy that you just physically can’t? Your mind is full of thoughts about what needs to be done, what may happen, a payment that’s due soon or an assignment you need to complete. So, you try closing your eyes, but the thoughts in your head are so active that you find yourself tossing and turning. You then check the clock and it’s 2am so you try counting sheep, yet you’re STILL wide awake?
*currently raising my hand*.
Yeah, sounds familiar.
I’ve been having these conversations with my friends and family lately about these anxious, repetitive thoughts that we often get before sleep. Over the years, I have tried and tested a variety of strategies which have helped declutter my mind before bed. So, I thought I would share them with you!
- TOMORROW’S TO-DO LIST
Write a to-do list for tomorrow. This is something I never used to do. However, after living with my flatmate (who, can I add, is extremely organised and writes lists all the time), I decided to have a go myself.
It sounds crazy, but I almost felt that the jumbled thoughts in my mind reorganised themselves into a neater, less clustered order. I felt that ‘tomorrow’ had more structure, and that there was no need to worry about these things because they were written down already and can be simply ticked off tomorrow.
A few years ago, when I was doing my GCSE’s, I found myself feeling very on edge and anxious about the upcoming exam period. The feeling often came before bed whilst I was trying to sleep, so my sleeping patterns became disrupted. And so, my Dad bought me lavender oil, and since then I have literally used it every night before I sleep. It’s just as simple as blotting a few drops on my pillow before I sleep, and I honestly find it makes all the difference. I read into lavender and its effects and found it has tremendous calming effects on anxiety and it has been shown to increase slow brain wave sleep. If an essential oil doesn’t take your preference, you could always buy a lavender spray which diffuses around the room, or even a lavender bath bomb and relax in a bath before bed.
I know it sounds cliché, but meditation is a very good
method to calm and help control the mind. I go through phases of meditating,
but I tell myself I should really have a regular routine. When I’ve recommended
meditation to my friends and colleagues at work, they say, “but how do you
meditate?” and “I just don’t understand how you begin.” So, I’ll tell you a bit
about my journey with meditation.
I literally began listening to YouTube clips on meditation for beginners. You basically begin closing your eyes, back straight, sat down with your hands on your knees, and you take slow, deep breathes. Now, the important thing to remember is when you are sat taking deep breathes, you must focus on your breathing and your breathing only. In…and out. In…and out. As a beginner, your mind will naturally wander to other places, but meditation is all about learning to control these thoughts, so you just have to acknowledge the busy thoughts and gradually move the focus back onto your breathing. And at first, it is quite challenging. But when your thoughts drift off, you just have to be patient, accept it, and slowly focus your attention back onto the breathing. It’s like anything really – it just gets easier with practice.
If just meditation isn’t for you, I found that Sleep Meditation is 1) easier to fit into a regular routine and 2) very effective. I basically listen to Sleep Meditation recordings most night’s before I sleep, and it has worked so well for me. When I listen to these sleep meditations, my whole mind calms and my busy thoughts are put to bed. I always listen to “The Honest Guys” meditations – you can find them on YouTube or Spotify. They are honestly incredible! They have a whole range of meditations, including recordings especially designed for sleep – I couldn’t recommend them enough. I particularly recommend the sleep meditations which involve delta waves – these have been found to encourage deep sleep and slow brain wave activity and they send me to sleep in minutes.
So yeah, those are my recommendations for now! I really hope this helps. If you have any preferred topics or posts, you would like me to write about please just let me know, and don’t hesitate to contact!
Feel free to comment your idea’s and thoughts 🙂
Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx