Do you seem to be one of those people who lay awake in bed, tossing and turning trying to rest but you just have trouble shutting your brain off to sleep? Here are some suggestions that may help you get rid of those distractions that keep you awake at night and help you learn to unwind, shutting your brain off to sleep when you need to (1, 2).
- Do not tackle anything new at least one hour before bed. When you open a new email, look at the bills, or start a new project just before you try to turn in you get your mind going and dwelling on whatever issue or project it is that you were dealing with. This is especially problematic for creative people and those who seem to be naturally prone to worrying. So instead, make sure that you finish all business of the day at least one hour before bedtime; leaving that hour for you to follow the next tip in creating a bedtime routine.
- Establish a steady bedtime routine. As young children, we know that a routine helps to train our brain that it is time to sleep, but as adults we seem to forget how useful this can be. But by creating a regular routine for yourself, your body, and your brain, get into the habit of taking cues that it is time to sleep. Good suggestions for creating your routine can be shutting down your computer, taking a bath, reading a short simple text, such as a magazine or collection of short essays, poems, or short stories. Other ways to help you unwind and create a routine is to use that time before bed for various ways of pampering yourself; give yourself a manicure, use a massage pillow or soak your feet in a refreshing, vibrating foot bath to help you relax and shift your focus off of the day events so you do not have so much trouble shutting your brain off to sleep.
- Meditate. Learning to meditate is a great way to focus your mind and relax your body. Meditating can help you in shutting your brain off to sleep as well and relieve the stress and tension of the day helping you to relax especially if you meditation with visualization techniques that can carry you away from all the hustle and bustle of the day.
- Try aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is another great way to help you calm your mind and get some sleep. You can try candles, oil diffuser, aromatherapy pillows, or night time sprays that you can use to lightly mist your bed sheets with the great soothing scent of lavender and other essential oils blended to promote relaxation and help in shutting your brain off to sleep.
- Get rid of the environmental noise that can distract you and keep you awake. Having the television or radio on is often a distraction from sleeping and can not only keep you awake but remind you of the issues that are the reasons that you are having trouble shutting your brain off to sleep in the first place. For noise that you can not eliminate, such as street noise, mask it with natural sounds of the ocean or similar types of soothing sounds that can help you sleep.
So, if you are having trouble shutting your brain off to sleep, try these great suggestions to help you get a better night’s sleep.