Lack of sleep is the most common complains doctors receive these days. Knowing how to clear your mind for sleep is one of the best ways to treat this.
Since we’re living in a world that’s always connected, stress can follow us anywhere we go as well.
Peer pressures from social media have become all too common. Most of the time, we end up going to bed still being bombarded by stuff that can make us too worried or too excited.
And this is one of the 2 major reasons why our mind can’t seem to quiet down. Lack of sleep disrupts our ability to cope with stress, negatively affecting our productivity and well-being.
Although there are a lot of ways to handle this, clearing your mind remains to be the best way. Sleep medications do work, but taking them should be your last option. It is our aim in this article that you won’t even have to resort to it, and instead have a more fulfilling way of improving the quality of your sleep.
How To Clear Your Mind For Sleep
Instead of giving you a list of items you can do when you find yourself unable to sleep, we’ll give to you this list of ways that you should do before actually hitting the sack, so your mind is clear and ready for sleep.
Here are 8 of the easiest and best ways on how to clear your mind for sleep. You can combine some of them together or do them in a specific order you prefer. You can also choose to just experiment one-by-one, and find out which of them works the fastest for you.
However, you’ll get the most optimal and most rewarding experience if you combine them into a single technique, while you’ll get to know at the end of the list.
Relax Your Muscles Progressively
Slow Your Mind By Focusing On Your Breath
Calm Your Emotions with Appreciation
Listen To Soothing Sounds
Change The Ambiance
Get Your Nose Involved
Take A Warm Shower
Soaking In A Hot Tub
A stressful mind produces tensed muscles. Shoulder aches, stiffness on the back of your neck, and even lower back pains are telltale signs that your body is taking its toll. If you’re finding it hard to calm your thoughts, you can start releasing the tension in your muscles.
Lie or sit comfortably and bring your attention to the toes on your left foot. Curl and tense them up as you inhale and relax them as you exhale. Do the same for your right foot. Continue with your left calf, then right, up until you reach your face. By then end of this progressive muscle relaxation, your body will be relaxed enough to allow yourself to sleep.
If you find the previous technique to cumbersome, you can choose to go with slowing your mind through rhythmic breathing. Bringing your focus on your breathing allows your mind to release whatever stressful thoughts it’s getting occupied with.
While sitting in a comfortable position, start counting slowly from 1 to 4 as you inhale, then count from 1 to 5 as you exhale. Continue doing this, making sure that your breathing and your count are in unison. Doing this helps to clear your mind of your worries.
Most of the time, worry is the culprit behind our overactive mind at night. We worry about things we weren’t able to do during the day and the things we need to do tomorrow. Truly, there’s a lot to worry about if you continue to focus on worrying.
There are many therapeutic benefits in counting your blessings, and sleep is one of these. Instead of worrying, try to find things to appreciate on your day. Did you have a good morning shower? Was your lunch exceptional? The key to this is focus only on things and events that you can easily appreciate. If your mind starts to wander thinking about what to do next, stop it immediately and just focus on appreciating what has already come to past.
Recent studies have shown that listening to music is effective in reaching a state of relaxation, releasing the pressures and anxiety of the day. Not all songs will do, though. Stay away from club or dance music, or tragic love songs.
If you find listening to music to energizing (some of us get hyped even with slow jazz music), you can go with playing soothing ocean waves sounds. Many apps play sounds such as ocean waves or crackling fireplace that you can install on your cellphone.
Listening to relaxing music or sounds is more effective if you have a calm environment. While an orderly room is very optimal, this is not the time for you to go cleaning. Dimming the lights works wonders too.
A night light should be sufficient, but if you want to take it further you can go with candlelights. We recommend going with dimmable LED candles. They are safe and you don’t have to worry about melting the candle wax.
Depending on the scent, aromatherapy can either fill you up with energy or relax you to the point of sleep. Its effects are almost immediate because our olfactory nerve lies close to our brain.
Sleep.org suggests using either Lavender, Valerian, or Bergamot to help induce sleep. Choose which of these smells better and have the essential oil fill the room as you get yourself ready for sleep. Lavender works well for a lot of people, including those with mild insomnia.
This technique works well because it helps trick the brain. Our circadian rhythm, which plays a major part in our sleep pattern, is largely influenced by our body temperature. The best way to adjust our body temperature is by changing the immediate surroundings like a warm shower. As you step out of the shower and prepare for bed, your body naturally cools down, which signals the brain that it’s time to go to sleep.
Be sure to take a warm shower 1 to 2 hours before bed, though. Doing this too late, just when you’re about to sleep, will get you woken up instead.
All of these methods can be combined into a single relaxing experience — soaking in a hot tub. Having a hot tub in your backyard under its own gazebo is the best way to do all of these in one go.
A dimmed led lights, soothing music playing on your device, and the smell of lavender-scented candles while you soak in its warm water, will surely calm your mind and help you to focus on positive thoughts only.
You can also choose to turn on the bubble jets and get yourself lulled by the monotonous hum of the bubble massage system. Just make sure to do your soaking at least 2 hours before bed.
An inflatable hot tub like SaluSpa Airjet Helsinki is a great model to get you started. It’s so easy to set up and install and doesn’t require any digging or pipes laying. You can place it in a spare room or in your backyard covered by a gazebo.
Overactive Mind At Night Sleep
There are 2 major reasons why we end up having an overactive mind at night, just before we go to sleep. These are the food (or drinks) we took before going to bed, and the worries and stress that linger after the day are done.
Certain foods should be avoided at night. They can keep us awake and energized, disrupting our sleep. Here are the foods that you should stay away from especially after the sun sets, according to Psychology Today:
- Nightshades such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers
- Aged, cured foods such as salami, cheese, and sauerkraut
- Sugar and foods with refined carbs, so no ice cream before bed
Excessive worrying is the major culprit in keeping your mind overactive, even before sleep. Each of the techniques in the previous section all helps to combat this. Regardless if you’re worried or excited, your brain gets a jolt with these and will go on keeping you awake.
As you focus on neutral, good-feeling thoughts (like counting), you release worry and excitement and allow your overactive mind at night to sleep as well.
Wrapping It Up
There are a lot of ways to clear your mind for sleep. We’ve done the research for you and identified the most effective. Trying to do each of these can be overwhelming and may cause you to worry even more. Soaking in a hot tub allows you to combine all these solutions and improve your sleep as soon as your first soak.