How to Sleep Easy When Your Mind is Buzzing
Ameet Nathwani | Mar. 6, 2015
Ever feel like you've got Restless Mind Syndrome (RMS)?
Your mind is on the go all the time. When you’re doing something that requires singular focus, you can’t rein in your thoughts. You’re easily distracted by external disturbances.
Does RMS creep up on you when it’s time for bed?
We're sleep experts , and we’re sharing what you can do to sleep easy.
TAKE ONE BREATH AT A TIME
Breathe slowly and deeply. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It lowers your heart rate, steadies your breath, and calms your mind but focusing on counting.
THINK ONE THOUGHT AT A TIME
Just like multi-tasking is overrated, so is thinking many thoughts all at once. So choose one thought and think about that alone. It may take several minutes before your brain has cleared enough to be thinking just one thought, and that’s normal.
WRITE DOWN ALL THE RACING THOUGHTS
If you really can’t sleep, sit up, get a piece of paper and a pen, and write down what you’re thinking. Don’t worry about what you’re writing, or how much sense it makes. Just get down what’s buzzing through, and how you’re feeling.
SAY “NO” WHEN YOU MEAN TO
Is your mind racing at bed because you’ve taken on more than you can handle? Or more than you want to handle?
Try this: Next time you get an invitation to something you know you don’t want to attend, don’t send a soft “let me think about it” no. Send a polite, but firm, “no.”
The whole idea here is to limit how much you’re thinking about. Reserve your “thinking about it” energy for those things – invitations or otherwise – that you really do need to think about. You’ll have a clearer head for what really matters to you, and you’ll sleep easier, too.
END YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH TOXIC PEOPLE
That person who takes all your precious energy and offers you nothing in return – it’s time to stop letting that person unload on you all the time. Seriously, don’t take their call as you’re getting ready for bed.
Stop enabling them and they’ll probably take a hint. If they don’t, you might need to address them more directly, or get out of touch entirely, if they refuse to respect the new boundaries your setting.
CONNECT WITH PEOPLE WHO UPLIFT YOU
Cultivate a few deep and meaningful friendships with people who make you want to live your best life and who help hold you accountable to your dreams and goals every day. Go to sleep feeling accomplished, like you've used the day well.
Find the few people who are there through the ups and downs, who would be there in a moment no questions asked. They'll give you the peace of mind that it takes to sleep easy.
BREAK FREE FROM THE DIGITAL BLACK HOLE
We’ve all been there: We’re browsing on social media to decompress, we look up at the clock, and we can’t imagine where all the time just went. There are only a few hours left to sleep before work. The technology we use to unwind actually stimulates the brain, making it harder to sleep.
Set yourself a rule about how long you need to be technology-free as you wind down. Replace that time spent on a screen with a warm bath , or a warm non-caffeinated beverage. Read a book.
As you’re lying there, mind racing, ask yourself: Is my body tired? Perhaps you’re having trouble sleeping because your body hasn’t earned it. It’s always easier to fall asleep when the body’s been worked hard enough to need the sleep.
Plus, exercise releases feel-good chemicals and quiets the brain, too. Use exercise to calm restless mind syndrome during the day, then reap the benefits of a tired body when it comes time to shut down at night. Win-win.
WE’RE HERE SO YOU CAN SLEEP EASY
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