• Kirsti Gwynn

3 Ways to Quiet Racing Thoughts so You Can Sleep

Listen on the Positive EQ Perspective Podcast:

Have you ever been so tired and you just want to go to sleep, but you just can’t because your mind is racing?

Or maybe you fall asleep okay, but you wake up in the middle of the night and you just can’t get back to sleep.

You’re desperately trying to still your mind so you can relax and drift away to dreamland, but you can’t stop thinking about all the things you have to do tomorrow, or worrying about something that might happen, or playing over an incident that made you mad.

A busy mind is one of the biggest obstacles to sleep. And unfortunately, it just seems to go downhill from there, right?

When you haven’t slept well, it seems so much easier to get stressed out during the day or to make silly mistakes you probably wouldn’t make if you'd slept a full 7 - 8 hours.

Insomnia can be incredibly frustrating.

Finding ways that we can help ourselves to sleep better not only feels good, but it’s also good for our mental health. There is now research that indicates that most episodes of mood disorders like depression and anxiety are preceded by at least several weeks of poor sleep - so getting enough sleep can be preventative.

In today’s episode, we’ll talk about 3 techniques that you can use to improve your ability to fall and stay asleep.

All of them will help you to calm a racing mind and relieve any stress that’s getting in the way of your sleep, because it’s almost impossible to sleep in the context of these things. All of them are ones I personally use on a regular basis.

Read until the end, because while all 3 of these have been helpful to me, one of these, in particular, has just been an absolute game-changer for my sleep.

Step #1: Establish a pre-sleep routine

You know how children need a bedtime routine? Well, it turns out that we never really stop needing that.

In fact, I’d argue that the more busy and stressful our lives become, the more we need to give our minds the chance to wind down.

If you’re going straight from a busy working day into bed, or taking care of different tasks and responsibilities, whether they’re to do with work or parenting or general admin, you’re likely going to struggle to switch off.

After all, when we’re trying to get things done, we need to be alert and focused. We need to plan and analyse and make decisions... but sleep requires your mind to lay these abilities aside in favour of rest.

That means that we need to give ourselves some time to transition from one space into another.

A general rule of thumb is to allow at least 90 minutes to wind down before bed. However, this is going to be different for all of us and it can change d