Sometimes we can’t stop thinking about certain things or bad experiences we made in the past. Those thoughts and fears bother us that much, that we can’t sleep at night, cause if our mind can’t rest – our body can’t either. Thinking about those things over and over again, day by day and burden ourselves even more that way will sound familiar to you if you struggle with anxiety. They say “time heals” but sometimes you might have the feeling that it is getting even worse.
If you are at that point or just overthinking and can’t fall asleep – those tips might help you to fall asleep faster with a good and positive mind and maybe even reduce anxiety. Especially in context of seasonal affective disorder our sleep schedule can be different than usual.
DISCLAIMER: Those tips just worked for me in my experience which is why I want to share them with you.
- Prepare mentally for bedtime
Find something you like to do in the evening before getting ready for bed. Doing the same things everyday before sleeping helps us finding a routine and also helps our mind and body to switch off and prepare for the night. I love to have a cup of tea before getting ready. Most times I go for a bedtime sleep tea. Those herbal teas often contain camomile and lavender which are known for their calming and relaxing effect. Camomile is also used to reduce anxiety and as a sleep inducer. As a German I love the TRÄUM SCHÖN one from Teekanne. I have been drinking this one for years now, but there are also a lot of other sleep teas available. There are so many things you could do routinely before bed. You could also lay out the clothes you want to wear the next day or pack your bag for tomorrow.
2. Let it go!
We all have our cross to bear and certain problems that depress us in life. Sometimes those thoughts won’t leave us and disturb our sleep. If you struggle with anxiety or panic attacks try to not let your thoughts and fears get the upper hand about yourself! Sometimes you might have the feeling that those thoughts are getting worse and you just can’t escape them. We need to learn how to let go of our fears and live on. An effective strategy to minimize bad thoughts is Journaling. Take a notebook and a pen and write down the answers to the following questions:
- How was my day? Did something important happen?
- Did something went very bad today? If yes, how can I make things right again or better in the future?
- What went very well today?
- What are at least 3 things I am grateful for today?
If we start focussing on the good things in our lives, on those we are grateful for, it will be so much easier for us to neglect our bad thoughts and fears. This way we learn to look at our anxiety from a different angle. We learn to live with it and be happy at the same time. It helps to leave the past behind and focus on the positive. If you start doing that regularly – you will notice a difference in the way you think very quickly! It also just takes 5 minutes. Journaling helps us to fall asleep with a positive mind and be happier on the whole!
3. Night time skincare
Give yourself some more time to get ready for bed. Some of us don’t have a lot of time in the evenings, but it will make a difference if you take just 10 more minutes for some me-time. Find products that work for you and leave you feeling fresh and comfortable in your own skin. I just love night time skincare products! I often use night time masks or even overnight face masks. I like to use the Garnier Hydra Bomb Night Masque Tissue and also the Clarins RE-CHARGE relaxing sleep mask. They are both amazing and make me feel so relaxed and ready to go to bed. My favourite night time product – I can’t live without anymore – is the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It contains pure essential oils and smells like SLEEP. Although it is an oil it absorbs so quickly and doesn’t leave your face greasy – just perfect for the night. That small part of “wellness-time” is very important and helps to a good night sleep – cause if you feel comfortable in your own skin you will be happier with yourself. And when you’re happier with yourself you will fall asleep much easier.
4. Enjoy the time in bed!
Try to keep your bedroom clean and tidy – make you’re bed in the morning! It will make such a difference to go to sleep to a made bed than to a big duvet mess. Maybe light up a candle or use some night time pillow spray. to make it all cozy. I use the deep sleep pillow spray from It Works every night. I just spray it on the pillows or around the bed area. As it also contains lavender, the smell can help you to be more relaxed and fall asleep faster (just like those herbal night teas). If you try to make your time in bed more enjoyable, your mind and body will be much more relaxed and be able to prepare for the night. Grab a book and read a chapter or listen to a podcast! There are also a lot of apps that can help you to relax and fall asleep faster. I used Headspace for one year and it helped me such much as they not only have sleep casts but also meditation courses especially for anxiety. You can also just lay down and relax for a bit before you sleep.
5. Make it a routine!
Having a fixed night time routine helps our mind and body to prepare for the night mentally and physically. If you’ve found what works for you – stick to it! Your sleep is going to be better soon.