How To Calm An Anxious Mind For A Restful Night’s Sleep
Racing thoughts for various reasons can keep your mind on overdrive while experiencing anxiety and stress, whether regarding the home, work, relationship, health, or financial problems. And at bedtime, this can lead to persistent insomnia and difficulty falling and staying asleep.
Additional factors disturbing high-quality sleep include depression, hormonal changes, medications, chronic pain, or medical conditions like thyroid disease, asthma, and acid reflux.
1. Stay up if you're not sleepy.
Even if you establish a consistent sleep schedule, there will be some nights when your mind refuses to shut off. In such a case, it's best not to lie down as insomnia may result from your racing thoughts. Instead, do something to relax until your mind settles down. This could be winding down with a warm bath or lounging in a comfortable chair and listening to low, calming music.
2. Save your responsibilities for the morning.
Work or financial responsibilities are everyday stressors that can preoccupy your thoughts. Take care of deadlines, such as paying bills, with a refreshed mind first thing in the morning. To prevent tossing and turning, or even nightmares, avoid watching movies and TV shows with horror and violence - including the news. Avoid the temptation of scrolling through social media by logging out completely.
3. Work on a to-do list.
Whether you're nearing work project deadlines, have important phone calls to make, or trying to maintain order with children, it's challenging to relax you're mind when you're constantly making mental notes of tasks you still need to do. Recording these tasks you need to do in the morning on paper will ease you of the extra mental burden in the morning, allowing you to fall asleep quicker. In addition, you will learn how to be more selective on how to focus your mental energy.
4. Make your bedroom a screen-free zone.
Bedrooms are popular places for the use of electronics, including cell phones, tablets, and computers. However, these devices give off blue light, notorious for interfering with your body's production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Instead, blue light signals your brain to remain on alert. In addition, your slumber may need to be more peaceful, with constant notification buzzes throughout the night. Unless a night-light feature is available, your chances of higher-quality sleep are best when you refrain from using blue-screen electronics in your bedroom.
5. Go ahead and worry - in moderation.
To be realistic, ridding yourself of worries ultimately will not happen. Repressing your concerns by telling yourself not to think about them isn't effective at actively solving them. However, setting aside a time of day to sit calmly and ponder your concerns may prove helpful. Allow your mind to analyze your current stressors in-depth and formulate solutions. In the long run, this will likely help strengthen your problem-solving capabilities, thus being more ready to combat anxiety and stress.