Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Switching off mentally

I have a serious problem. Some would not think it is a problem, but it does interfere with my life. My mind does not switch off. It is hard for me to sleep because my mind is going a mile a minute. I have had this problem for as long as I can remember. There is just too much to think about.

It has been getting better. I have developed a few habits to help me be able to get to sleep easier. From what I hear, I am not alone in this problem. Many people are unable to unwind and just switch off and drift off to sleep easily.

Part of me doesn’t mind this “problem”. I get so many ideas every day. I love the getting ideas. I don’t love not being able to stop the flow. I’d love to be able to switch my brain and all its ideas on and off like a tap. Since I can’t, I will have to do the next best thing.

What is the next best thing? Well, the little habits I have developed to help me. Here they are

1.) Don’t do anything stimulating before bed. I don’t always follow this one. If I am online or furiously writing things out in a notebook before I go to bed, there is no way my brain will switch off. It is going to keep thinking about everything I have just been doing. This is extremely hard for me. I like to be doing something all the time.

2.) Keep a notebook handy. It doesn’t have to be specifically pen and paper, the notebook application in your phone is fine. Why have one handy? So you can write down any ideas you have. I cannot sleep if I have thought of something, but not written it down. If it is written down I can focus on it in the morning. If I don’t write it down, I am so scared I will forget it I can’t sleep.

3.) 30 minutes before bed switch off and do something that doesn’t require much brain activity. Read a magazine or a book. I can’t read finance books or anything before bed, as they just make me think more.

4.) Meditate. I find this helps a lot when I am trying to switch off. It was hard for me at first to learn how to do it, but now I know how it has helped so much.

I am not perfect and don’t do everything I’ve listed here all the time, but I do try. This is just what works for me.

There are a few other things I do to ensure I can get to sleep, they are not related to switching off mentally, but they are still good.

1.) Don’t eat too close to bed time. If my stomach is full and trying to digest whatever I have just eaten, I can’t relax and fall to sleep easily.

2.) No chocolate/caffeinated products after 5pm. I avoid them anyway, but if I do have them, I can’t have them in the evening or I will be up all night.

3.) Eat good food. The healthier I eat, the easier I sleep. It probably has something to do with my body actually getting nutrients it needs and not working overtime to get rid of junk it doesn’t.

4.) Exercise. Keeping active makes my body feel like it has done something and I am more likely to sleep better. The exercise needs to be done earlier in the day though, not right before bed.

Is there anything you do to switch off and sleep better?


  1. Thank you for the follow, following you on GFC as well! Great blog. Make sure to take a second and check out everything on mine; all the wonderful giveaways too!
    Stay Fabulous

  2. Hi, I am a new follower on your blog from Friday parties. I would love a follow back: Thanks and have a great weekend.

  3. Hi i am your newest follow from Friday Blog Hop..come on by and follow back :)!


  4. Thanks for finding me, I am totally following you back! I love that your not all about Reviews and giveaways. Not that I don't love a good giveaway that is...

    Anyway, I am the same way. The worst thing is when my mind is going like you say when someone is trying to talk to me. I tune them out. I am aware of it though, and I have to really concentrate to listen.

    Thanks for following me, and I am glad that your excited for Tuesday and the Just One Change. I will see you then!

  5. Hi there!! New follower from FMBT hop!! I read this post and it almost sounds like I wrote it!! My mind is always going and the only thing that works right now to help me wind down is music. Usually some mellow and melodic helps me drift off. I say usually because sometimes it just gets it going again. I am working on learning to meditate and hopefully I can get more than 4 hours of sleep daily. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Hi I am not a follower, I just thought that I could help here or at least share what I have learnt and do myself. From what I have learnt through my past struggles and interests in the subject is this; for myself I have to let go off active thoughts that I have and worries of the what ifs about tommorrow. For this I used almost like a mantra in my head repeatedly while lying in bed something like if i let go of my thoughts I will fall asleep. this sounds dull and robotic but it helps you I think to show your inner self/subconscious that it can learn to slow down ( switch of the thoughts). It sounds like from what you have said this would be good to try as like you I struggle to not be actively thinking or have a racy mind in bed. So repeatedly saying this to yourself gives you something to work on which actually puts you to sleep. I also have a mental picture of it happening as I say it. You said you have done some meditation well that will help you focus on it. If you would like to know more just ask.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.