How to shush the endless mind chatter and get some sleep
Can you remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep? Considering the multitude of things you have to do and think about in a day, it’s no surprise that you may have trouble sleeping at night.
There are a myriad of reasons why you may have trouble sleeping – chronic stress, pre-existing sleeping disorders, anxiety, depression, and discomfort. According to The National Institutes of Health, approximately 30 percent of the general population experiences sleep disruption, and an estimated 10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia. That’s a lot of people! So, you are definitely not alone!
Since we have more freedom now that we’re all (hopefully) staying at home for the most part, we tend to take sleep for granted. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve had my fair share of binge-watching a Netflix series in 3 days while eating a whole bag of Cheetos to my heart’s content, but I pressed pause when I learned more and more about the importance of sleep. Deep sleep doesn’t only restore our energy. It also supports cardiac health, boosts the immune system, reduces anxiety, and helps combat sickness.
Having a restful, uninterrupted sleep sounds like a dream, right? Unfortunately, trying to sleep can sometimes be a nightmare.
If you’re tired of tossing and turning all night long, here are 5 ways to shush the endless mind chatter so you can finally get some sleep.
1. Ditch Coffee after 3 PM
I know, I know… A good cup of joe is one of life’s greatest pleasures. While coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants, it is also one of the major causes of sleeplessness. Caffeine can disrupt your sleep up to six hours after consumption.
If you plan on sleeping at 9 p.m., drinking coffee after 3 p.m. is a big no-no!
What’s the alternative?
If you absolutely need a caffeine boost, a cup of black tea is your best option! It only contains half the amount of caffeine and can also be enjoyed with milk.
When it comes to the best option for good sleep, Sleepy time Tea takes the cake. Sipping on tea before bedtime doesn’t only relax the body, but aids in deep sleep as well. Some calming teas to choose from are: chamomile, jasmine, ginger, and peppermint.
FUN FACT: Passionflower tea has anxiety-reducing properties that help calm your nerves and clear your mind.
2. Write now, think later.
Do you ever feel like your brain just wants to shut down – and not only because of information overload, but also because of recurring thoughts and worries about tomorrow?
Here’s a simple solution: Grab a pen and a piece of paper or your journal. Jot everything down – from your tasks, to your worries, to your creative ideas.
Anything you’ve got running on your mind before bed will probably want to keep running unless you put them into writing. That way, it makes them real and not figments of your thoughts. Writing them down takes the pressure off of your mind, allowing you to sleep without unfinished business.
3. Let’s Get Physical, Physical… 🎵
I don’t know about you but I sleep so much better and faster when I squeeze in a quick workout or even just a quick jog with my dogs. I try to make it a habit to exercise. It doesn’t take much time, but it significantly helps me unwind at night. Exercising helps you release endorphins or the “happy hormones”, which cause an analgesic effect on the body.
A lot of people are intimidated by meditation. Maybe it seems complicated because there is no one way of doing it. What you’ve seen in one video may be completely different from the next.
Essentially, Deep breathing is the key – focusing on your breath while breathing deeply will naturally let your thoughts flow and slowly clear your mind. It’s one of the most effective ways to unwind, enhance relaxation, and reduce anxiety – all of which will prepare you to sleep soundly.
It only takes 10 minutes to experience the benefits of meditation. If you have no time to do silent or guided meditations, you can find a super easy and simple exercise here.
5. Avoid using electronics 1 hour before going to bed
I’ll be totally straight forward: I suuuuck at this. So, I understand that this may sound like a nightmare but on the contrary, staying away from your gadgets before bed can increase the chance of achieving deep sleep.
You see, our phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs – amazing and efficient as they are – suppress the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone that becomes active as soon as the sun sets.
Whether you’re scrolling through your friends instagram feeds, browsing on twitter, or watching your favorite Youtubers’ recent uploads, you are stimulating your senses – which is good when you are about to start the day, not end it.
The goal is to have as little thoughts as possible, which being on your gadgets does the exact opposite of. Next thing you know, it’s 3am and you’re still thinking about where your friend got the outfit she used on her facebook post. It’s not healthy and it will keep the mind chatter going, that’s for sure.
Oh! And be sure that fancy dark mode is enabled on your phone for a little extra help.
Bonus: Take CBD and get some sleep
I can’t tell you how much CBD has changed the way I sleep. I’ve tried all sorts of sleep-inducing methods, and while they helped, taking CBD has substantially improved my sleep quality and my anxiety levels. I love how I don’t feel groggy in the morning as well! Just make sure to consult your doctor and pick a company you trust.
I’ve personally tried too many brands to keep count but, by far, my hands down favorite is NuLeaf Naturals*. Their 900mg drops helped me so much that my mom AND sister have become huge fans. That little asterisk does mean it’s an affiliate link which you may use or not, but I promise you I won’t recommend anything I don’t already use and love! And I use it on the daily.
If you plan on ditching coffee, taking a warm bath, exercising, meditating, or avoiding your electronics before bedtime, I would like to congratulate you in advance! You are 1 step away from shushing the endless mind chatter that hinders you from getting a well-deserved sleep.
The best part? If you do these everyday, you’ll eventually run on muscle memory and it wouldn’t feel like you’re exerting effort anymore. When you get the hang of what works for you, stick to your routine. These are very simple lifestyle changes that can make a world of a difference in the quality of your sleep and more importantly, in the quality of your life.
I hope this helped you one way or another get some sleep. Sweet dreams!
Caveat: If (sadly) none of these work for you, it would be best to consult your physician for personalized sleep remedies.