In our ever frantic world, getting to sleep can seem like another task which we can’t complete. We feel exhausted all day and then you switch off the light, lie down and suddenly you’re awake. We’ve rounded up five of our top tips to help you switch off your mind from your busy life and go to sleep feeling calm and less anxious.
write down your worries
If you find that, when you go to sleep, your mind is full of thoughts racing away then keep a pen and notepad by your bed. Often just the act of writing it down and acknowledging it as something to take care of tomorrow can help. According to sleep expert Christine Hansen, writing down thoughts like these can diffuse the pattern of negative thinking. Sometimes seeing things written down in front of you helps you to realise they aren’t as worrying as they may first seem.
plan for the next day
Equally, if you are worrying about all the things you have to do the next morning then try and plan as much as you can the night before. Prepare breakfast such as a smoothie or porridge that you can leave soaking over night; plan your outfit and make sure it’s ironed if necessary – or get your gym kit packed and ready to go. That way, you won’t be stressed about running around the next morning. As long as you promise to switch your phone off at least two hours before you go to sleep, why not use the Sunrise app? It incorporates all other apps such as your email and Facebook to ensure you remain organised and well prepared for the following day.
say what you are thankful for
This one might feel odd doing to begin with, but if you acknowledge your accomplishments and the things you are thankful for, it helps you to feel positive and creates a deeper feeling of happiness. Write down five things you feel thankful for – whether it is something you might take for granted like having good food or appreciating something like a catch up with a friend.
get a routine (and block blue light)
It’s important to get a routine going before bed to help you mentally unwind and feel relaxed and ready to sleep. An hour or so before bed, switch off your phone/tablet/laptop to stop the blue light interfering with your sleep patterns, instead have a bath, read a book or get buy a mindfulness colouring book and avoid using bright lights. An app available on Android called Night Filter allows you to adjust the colour intensity of the light emanating from your screens – definitely worth a download.
Deep breathing helps to relax the body and mind and calms the nervous system, preparing you for sleep. Lying on your back, inhale through the nose deeply and out through the mouth. Whilst doing this relax each part of your body working your way up through your toes to your head. If you’re struggling to focus, try downloading the app Long Deep Breathing to help guide you as you inhale and exhale.