10 Tips For Getting to Sleep When Your Brain Won’t STFU

Posted: February 17, 2017 To: Study
Content 10 tips for getting to sleep when your brain won t stfu

It happens to all of us. You’re exhausted. Your head hits the pillow, and you wait for sleep. It doesn’t come.  Instead, it’s like a switch gets turned on inside your brain. Here comes the unending stream of thoughts.

  • What’s the name of that restaurant I went to in Key West five years ago?

  • I forgot to call my aunt.

  • I think my missing cell phone case is in my glove box.

  • I can’t believe I said something that stupid in front of my boss.

  • These pillow cases need washing.

  • I should rehash a casual conversation I had a week ago.

  • Tacos would be amazing right now.

Your stream of consciousness may vary.

Here’s some hopeful news, you don’t have to lay there and suffer until exhaustion finally forces you to sleep. There are a few tips to help you make your brain STFU.

  1. Get Things Resolved Before Bedtime

Start each day with a to do list. When you get things done, cross them off the list. If you don’t get something done, add it to the list for tomorrow before you go to bed. If you know that you have finished a task or that you have plans to get to it tomorrow, it won’t weigh so heavily on your mind.

  1. Engage in Physical Activity Every Day

People who exercise are better sleepers. Vigorous exercisers report the best results. However, if you are fairly inactive, even thirty minutes or so of activity could make a real difference in your ability to fall asleep without all of the mental ‘noise’.

  1. Turn on a Fan or Use a White Noise App

Sometimes a soothing, non distracting noise can give you something to focus on while you go to sleep. This may keep those intrusive thoughts at bay.

  1. Try The Cold Room Warm Blanket Trick

Comfort is a major factor when it comes to getting to sleep and being able to stay asleep. Room temperature is a big part of this. Try turning your thermostat down until your room is a bit chilly. Then, sleep  under a warm, heavy blanket or quilt. Many people find this combination to be perfect for sleeping.

  1. Go Electronics Free Thirty Minutes Before Bedtime

Chances are, a good bit of the things going through your mind relate to your most recent interactions. If you’ve been duking it out with someone over politics on Facebook, for example, you’ll probably rehash that conversation as you are trying to sleep. Try to turn off all electronics for a bit before you go to bed.

  1. Take a Chill Pill

No, not drugs! However, you could try a supplement like Melatonin. Another option is to drink an herbal tea that is designed to help you relax.

  1. Get Out of Bed

If you lay in bed for long periods of time allowing dozens of thoughts to keep you awake, you could be unintentionally training your brain to do that. If you can’t sleep after fifteen minutes, get up and do something that is calm and quiet. This will retrain  your brain to view the bed as a place to sleep. It’s probably a good idea to avoid studying or watching television in bed as well.

  1. Think Repetitively

There’s something to be said for counting sleep. If you can successfully get your mind to focus on something boring and redundant, you leave less room for it to spend on the thoughts that keep you awake. Try repeating the same phrase over and over again in your mind. Counting backwards can also work.

  1. If it Bothers You Excessively Get up And Write it Down

If it’s one thought, not multiple thoughts keeping you awake,  you might be able to put your mind at ease by simply getting up and writing it down.

  1. Get up at The Same Time Each Morning

It’s very possible to improve your sleep hygiene simply by waking up at the same time each morning. Then, try to avoid taking naps.

Conclusion

You really can control your thoughts and get a better night of sleep. Start by trying a few of the tips above. Well rested students function better at school, and suffer less from common illnesses.

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