Busy brain not letting you sleep? 8 experts offer tips

You’re mentally reviewing the day you just completed while also previewing the day ahead; sometimes, your mind may even reach way back into the archives in addition to also pull up something embarrassing you did back in high school. So fun!

Racing thoughts can be a sign of a serious mental health condition like anxiety. nevertheless these nights also happen to everyone via time to time — in addition to also once we’re too old for bedtime stories, that will’s not always clear what to do.

There’s no one solution that will will work for everybody, of course, so instead, we’ve rounded up suggestions via eight sleep experts. At the very least, that will’s something to read next time you can’t sleep.

Distract yourself with meaningless mental lists.

“The absolute prerequisite for sleep is usually a quiet mind. Think of something else, rather than what’s worrying you — something having a story to that will. that will can be anything of interest, nevertheless of no importance, so you can devote some brain energy to that will without clashing into the real world in addition to also going straight back to your worries.

I fly a lot, so I imagine I have my own private jet in addition to also how might I arrange the furniture on that will. If you’re someone who likes going to music festivals, what might your lineup be?” — Neil Stanley, sleep expert

Try to stay awake instead.

“Thinking about sleep in addition to also wishing for that will to happen is usually a recipe for staying awake. This particular is usually where paradoxical thinking comes in. If you give yourself the paradoxical instruction to stay awake instead, you’ll be more likely to fall asleep.

If you can be comfortable with the idea of remaining awake, then the performance anxiety in addition to also frustration that will are associated with trying to sleep have nowhere to go in addition to also your arousal level drops.” — Colin Espie, professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford

Read: Here’s why that will gets harder to sleep as you get older

Or just get out of bed.

What sleeping position is usually best for you?

“If 20 minutes has gone by as the mind races in addition to also is usually unable to relax back to sleep, that will’s best to get out of bed. Without looking at your phone or any various other screen devices, go to another dimly lit room where you keep a notebook. Write down the thoughts that will are keeping you awake.

Finish with the words, ‘that will can wait until tomorrow.’ Then, go back to bed, focus on the breath, in addition to also mindfully relax into those words, giving yourself permission to yield to sleep.” — Jenni June, sleep consultant

Write down whatever’s freaking you out.

“Spend a maximum of 20 minutes just getting everything out of your head in addition to also onto paper every day. that will’s a therapeutic way to see that will you probably don’t have loads to worry about, rather just a few reoccurring things. You can then see which worries are hypothetical (i.e., what if I make a mistake at work in addition to also lose my job) or ‘real’ worries (e.g., I made a mistake in addition to also have lost my job).

For the real worries you can then make an action plan/problem-solve in addition to also for the hypothetical ones, learn to let them go.” — Kathryn Pinkham, National Health Services insomnia specialist

Read: Sleeping through the night is usually a relatively brand-new invention

Get back in bed in addition to also do some deep breathing.

How your bed may be generating you sick

“Deep breathing … acts as a powerful distraction technique, particularly if paired with counting. You want to aim to breathe out for longer than you breathe in, in addition to also pause after breathing in in addition to also out; so you might choose to count for three when you breathe in, then pause in addition to also count to 5 when you breathe out, then pause.

genuinely focus on your breathing in addition to also counting, in addition to also if your mind wanders off, just take note of that will in addition to also return your attention to the exercise. You may need to do This particular for ten minutes or so.” — Christabel Majendie, sleep therapist

Try not to try so hard.

“Try not to struggle or ‘try harder’ to overcome the sleeplessness or get rid of unwanted thoughts, as This particular can worsen insomnia. One successful approach to overcome This particular negative cycle is usually to instead learn to observe in addition to also accept these struggles, using mindfulness strategies to help.” — Jenny Stephenson, director of HappySleepers.

Or maybe plan how you’ll get some sun inside the a.m.

“Getting more sun exposure inside the midmorning can help readjust the brain’s internal clock in addition to also make that will easier to fall asleep later that will night. In my book, I write about how sun exposure is usually currently a key part of many professional athletes’ travel schedules, in addition to also seen as a way of preventing jet lag. Non-athletes can do similar things.

Someone who can’t seem to fall asleep at night may want to try getting as much exposure to natural light inside the morning, essentially prepping themselves to fall asleep when they want to.” — David K. Randall, author of Dreamland: Adventures inside the Strange Science of Sleep
Read: How to pick a mattress

in addition to also if all else fails …

“The great era of tinkering with sleep aids was common in early modern Europe. Here are a few of my favorites:

• Put some blood-sucking leeches behind your ears. When they bore holes inside the skin, pull them out in addition to also place a grain of opium in each hole. (via 16th-century French physician André du Laurens.)

• Kill a sheep, in addition to also then press its steaming lungs on either side of the head. Keep the lungs in place as long as they remain warm. (via 16th-century French surgeon Ambroise Paré.)

• After the evening meal, eat lettuce, drink wine, in addition to also rub an ointment made of the oil of violets or camphor on the temples. Dissolve a mixture of poppy seeds, lettuce seeds, balsam, saffron, in addition to also sugar in addition to also cook that will in poppy juice. Then listen to pleasant music in addition to also lie down on a bed covered with the leaves of fresh, cool plants. (via 15th-century philosopher Marsilio Ficino.)” — Benjamin Reiss, author of Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World

Busy brain not letting you sleep? 8 experts offer tips

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