Often the hectic grind of life leaves us with a weary mind full of racing thoughts. If you are also one of the sufferers looking for how to sleep when can’t stop thinking, keep your calm as this article covers your need.
From insomnia to daily stress and tragic transition, numerous culprits lead to sleepless nights full of unwanted thoughts. And the worst part is that there is no way to banish the racing thoughts.
However, a few strategies and tricks can help you keep uninvited thoughts at bay.
So, to find tricks regarding how to sleep when can’t stop thinking, quickly dwell on the next section!
How to Sleep When Can’t Stop Thinking? 7 Proven Strategies!
The bunch of racing thoughts and insomnia always come hand in hand; one problem aggravates the other.
To help you out, enlisted below are the top 7 strategies that can help you stop overthinking and substitute the rush of unwanted thoughts with peaceful sleep.
Now let’s unravel them one by one.
1. Make a “To-Do” List before Sleeping
According to a study in 2017 by the Journal of Experimental Psychology, worrying about future tasks leads to increased insomnia. As a result, you aren’t able to sleep at night, despite trying so hard. However, if a person makes a list of “to do” tasks, he sleeps comparatively faster as it helps prepare the mind for the next day.
Therefore, it is better to write for at least 5 to 10 minutes before sleeping about the tasks you have to complete tomorrow or shortly.
2. Practice Articulatory Suppression When You Can’t Stop Thinking
According to psychology, a very effective solution to keeping unwanted, emotional thoughts at bay is to practice articulatory suppression.
In it, you think of any word and keep repeating it quickly so you can retrieve all the related information. It is a mental power game that makes the mind active, interrupts the phonological loop, and diverts the focus from any kind of emotional or memory retention.
Surprisingly, articulatory suppression has helped a lot in treating sleep maintenance problems, and research has shown its positive effects on insomniac people by improving their sleep cycle.
3. Listen to Mind-Relaxing Sounds
Listening to mind-relaxing, soft sounds often leaves a calming effect on the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls thought formation and analysis.
For this purpose, you can buy a pink music machine or download an app containing mind-relaxing, soothing sound effects. It distracts your mind and triggers good thoughts, thus, playing an effective role in quieting the racing thoughts at night and allowing you to fall asleep comparatively faster.
4. Imaginary Distraction and Mindfulness
Another strategy you can opt for is an imaginary distraction since it helps a lot in sleeping.
In it, you imagine an interesting scenario in your mind (e.g., about your ideal life, a successful business, or entering into a fairytale.) to keep your mind away from unwanted, stressful thoughts.
Once you have set the scenario, try to immerse yourself in the situation so that you can’t think of any other situation. Ultimately, it will make you sleepy.
Moreover, studies show that patients suffering from insomnia and overthinkers showed a significant increase in their sleep time when they practiced imaginary distractions and focused more on positive thoughts.
5. Add Worry Time to Your Sleep Routine
Surprisingly, writing down the worries and problems that cause stress helps in reducing unwanted thoughts at night.
A journal on Clinical Psychology claims that making a list of factors contributing to your stress and adding viable solutions to them gives you a sense of relaxation and accomplishment, thus helping you fall asleep faster.
6. Stay Away from Blue Light
Encountering blue light at night significantly reduces sleep by interfering with melatonin production, ultimately leaving you with a lot of thoughts in mind. The blue light interferes with the circadian cycle of the human mind, making it believe the blue light is an alternative to sunlight. As a result, it reduces the production of sleep hormones, leading to sleep deprivation and a rush of intransitive thoughts.
Therefore, it is better not to use mobile, PC, or television at least 30 minutes before bedtime. It prepares your mind to release melatonin and thus get ready for sleep.
7. Relax and Meditate
Last but not least, try to opt for a night ritual full of meditation and mind-relaxing activities. For example, you can
- Take a warm shower
- Practise meditation
- Try yoga and some stretches
- Listen to podcast
- Read a book
- Do some exercises
All these activities help to calm your mind and relax, hence contributing to quieting the racing thoughts.
Apart from these proven ways to slow down the thinking process at night, you can opt for additional tips like taking a hot water shower 30 minutes before sleep, eating a low-carb meal at night, doing some breathing exercises, and avoiding caffeine intake at night, etc.
CBTi- The Ultimate Way to Sleep When You Can’t Stop Thinking!
Where all the strategies that we just discussed work best at their end, they turn out to be more effective if structured as a part of any CBTi program.
Although numerous CBTi programs are available, ShutEye CBTi therapy is one of the best ones to opt for. It includes 6 to 8 sessions in which you learn different ways and skills to tackle insomnia symptoms, manage stress, and reduce sleep-interfering thoughts, thus helping you regulate your sleep cycle.
Apart from that, the ShutEye App is a great tracker that analyzes your sleep, records the sounds, and generates a detailed sleep quality report.
So, why not install ShutEye and keep an eye on your progress?
Conclusion-One Last Thought!
Where intrusive thoughts are one of the most irritating parts of sleepless nights, banishing them is yet another problem.
However, practicing the above-mentioned strategies helps distract your mind, allowing you to catch a peaceful shuteye.
So, try these tricks out and ward off the racing thoughts that interfere with sleep!