You’ve settled in for a good’s night sleep, but instead of drifting off to dreamland, you find your brain has kicked into high gear. You may be running through your to-do list, forming a grocery list in your head, or worrying about the next day’s tasks. If you find yourself lying in bed with an exhausted body and a mind that just won’t quit, stop tossing and turning. Try these helpful tips for turning off a racing mind and getting the shuteye your body needs.
10. Make a List
Sometimes it is helpful to get those thoughts and worries out of your mind and down on paper. A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that subjects who wrote down future duties at bedtime fell asleep faster than those who wrote down a recap of the previous day. Instead of continuing to recite the next day’s to-do list in your mind, grab a notebook and put that list down on paper. Once you know you have a plan for those tasks and they won’t be forgotten, you free up your mind and allow it to rest.
9. Get Up
If you’ve spent 20 to 30 minutes tossing and turning with no sleep in sight, it may be best to break the cycle and get out of bed. Since you want your body to associate your bedroom with sleep, leave your bedroom for another area of the house. Don’t engage in strenuous or stimulating activities that will further prevent sleep. Keep the lights dim and avoid using screens such as your television, computer, or smartphone.