You know when you’re head hits the pillow and all of the sudden you remember every single thing on your to-do list that you didn’t accomplish that day and somehow at the same time every embarrassing moment from your childhood?
Inconvenient much? You lay there, wanting to scream at your brain “why now?!”
The pressure to constantly be on the go and over stimulation from our phones and media isn’t helping the cause.
Our minds are hurting for a little R&R! Unfortunately, we neglect to give our noodles the amount of love it needs in order to think (or not think) properly.
In the West, we’ve seemed to nail down the importance of exercise and nutrition (at least cognitively). We know these things are important for our health and well-being, but we haven't given nearly enough attention to the very organ that makes us, US.
We think anywhere from 50-70,000 thoughts a day. Now, that’s a boatload of thoughts to deal with!
While it seems like most of those thoughts come flooding in the second we go to bed, that's not the case. Your mind is moving at lightning speed all day long, you just stop to notice it the second you allow yourself to slow down (night night time - as some may call it!).
When we hit the hay and shut our peepers, our conscious mind starts to fade and we begin to sleep into our subconscious mind. In this relaxed state, we can pull up old memories, imaginations and ideas we may have forgotten.
This is why when lay down to relax, our minds go through the laundry list of things we need to do.
So how do we prevent this?
Here are 6 tips you can try to set yourself up for the sleepiest of slumbers:
1. Regular meditation practice:
Allowing our minds to enter this relaxed and observant state more often (besides right before bed) will help us process these thoughts.
In these states, we can begin to witness the mind and see what is actually going on there vs. when we desperately want to shut it off and don’t want to see any of it.
Meditation allows you to become in better control of your mind, so you are able to see the thoughts and become not as attached to them. The brain will chatter- it’s the nature of our evolutionary system, so having control over taming the chatter is key.
One of the best antidotes to an overactive mind before bedtime.
By journaling before bed, you are able to transfer the thoughts ruminating up in your noggin onto paper, so they aren’t stirring about anymore. Releasing your thoughts, however they come out, onto paper (yes, writing them is important), helps your brain process the thought and let it go.
Need some assistance with journaling? Our BE Journal has guides that are scientifically proven to reduce your stress and keep you feeling happier!
3. Develop a night routine:
A consistent bedtime routine will signal to your system that it’s time to go to bed.
Think of your body as a computer. When it's time to shut it off, it has to close all of the programs one at a time - consciously slowing everything down.
Maybe your routine is drinking a cup of relaxing herbal tea, taking a bath, practicing some breathwork, or taking a walk. Find a practice that works well for you and doesn't feel like a chore.
A regular routine that you put yourself through will get your mind set for bedtime and begin the “system shutdown.”
4. Exercise - Move that bootay!
Regular exercise is necessary for optimal sleep.
Our bodies are designed to move. We need regular movement to help us circulate the energy that is flowing through us. That energy needs to move or else once we hit the sack, it will keep us up! Don’t fight evolution here, move that body! It doesn't have to be much, simply taking long walks can do wonders!
5. Make your bedroom, THE bedroom
Your bedroom should be the place for your bed, and that’s about it.
Avoid taking your work to your sanctuary. Allow your bedroom to be the place that your mind and body knows it’s the place you turn off everything – including the brain chatter. Keep your room cool, dark and free of clutter.
6. Turn off all the lights -- ALL of the lights!
Lights actually stop the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us fall and stay asleep. So keeping our bedroom pitch dark will help us fall into our slumbers more easily.
Turn off your phone at least 30 min before bed! This is a tough one, but if you struggle with falling asleep this is an absolute must.
The combination of the blue lights (which keeps us awake) and the stimulation from whatever we're looking at (social media, the news, videos, etc.) is producing MORE thoughts in the brain. We want less chatter, more relaxation, and a total system shutdown.
Have any questions about this? Leave us a comment, shoot us a DM on SM @theconsciouscraft, or send us an email. We'd love to help you drift off peacefully into a blissful slumber!