What to Do When Racing Thoughts Keep You Up at Night

18/07/2016

Is there anything more frustrating than being exhausted but unable to sleep? When racing thoughts keep you up throughout the night, it can feel like torture. You know the minutes and hours are ticking by before your alarm will go off. You know you’re extremely tired already. You also know you have a busy day tomorrow. Still, your brain just won’t shut down.

This can also be a very confusing occurrence. After all, your body is ready for sleep but racing thoughts keep you up for hours on end. You might be going over your schedule for the day to make sure you did everything. You may be thinking about everything you need to do the next day. You may be wondering whether or not you paid that bill that was due that day. Perhaps you’re going through a struggle in your life and you’re trying to work through the problem.

Whatever the reason, when racing thoughts keep you up, you’re not getting the sleep you need. This is far from rare and it can happen night after night. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to tell your brain to be quite so you can sleep.

As a whole, you have to train your brain for sleeping. It’s not a matter of flicking a switch. Instead, it’s a process that gradually tells your mind to slow down and shut off at the same time every night. Use the following tips to help get you started:

Have a bedtime routine – Start a full hour ahead of your actual bedtime. Dim lights to promote melatonin production. Keep the temperature slightly cool. Shut off all screens including televisions, computers, tablets and cell phones. Start to go through the processes of winding down including washing your face, moisturizing, brushing your teeth and hair, getting into sleep clothes if you wear them and simply relaxing. Do things in the same order and the same way every night and the routine will send important signals to your brain.

Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep – Make sure your bed is associated only with sleep. While some experts say you can also use it for sex, that depends on how you feel after sex. If you tend to feel energized, then you might want to try some alternative locations. If you’re sleepy and calm after sex, go for it. Just make sure you build a strong mental association between your bed and being restful.

Don’t go to bed when you’re not even remotely tired – Regardless of the time, if you still feel like you could head out for a brisk half hour walk, it’s not your bedtime. Spend calming time in dim lighting and see if you can wind down a little more before hitting the hay. That way, you won’t perpetuate a habit of lying awake in bed.

If you can’t sleep, get up – If it has been more than a half hour and you’re still not falling asleep, get back up and spend some more calming time in dim lighting. Just relax. Don’t think about the sleep you’re not getting. Think about being restful while you’re awake. Then, try again.

Try a sleep supplement – A good quality sleep aid like Somnaprin may be able to help to break you out of your routine of insomnia. Soon enough, you’ll be sleeping without its assistance.

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