How to Switch Off a Busy Brain Before Bed
Posted by Nicola Elliott
Night time is meant to equal wind down time but often it’s the opposite. As your tiresome body hits the duvet after a long day, a cacophony of thoughts can still be whirring around in your head...
Did I send that email to Brian in accounts? What am I going to wear to that wedding? What’s that weird dripping sound? Why did I have that last glass of wine? What’s the meaning of life? Crap, I forgot to empty the washing machine. Why am I the only person in this house who empties the washing machine? Should I cut back on dairy? I wonder what Deliciously Ella is making for her morning smoothie tomorrow? What IS that dripping sound?
EARTH YOUR BROWThis is such a simple but powerful action – What is this? I hear you say. Press your hand against your forehead and it will instantly soothe your parasympathetic nervous system, mediating stress hormones and quietening a busy mind. Child’s pose before bed is perfect for this: rest your head on the floor, or on your folded hands. Soften your eyes and your jaw and let gravity do the work for you, disentangling your mind and body from the busyness of your day.
BRAIN DOWNLOADScribble down any concerns or any nagging thoughts. Much better to get it out than let them amplify in your mind. Ask yourself whether these things really are as real and pressing as you first thought. Write down anything you genuinely need to tackle tomorrow. You can then let it slip from your mind, safe in the knowledge that your notes will remind you…
CREATE OR REPLAY YOUR ‘BEST’ DAYRather than let your mind linger on worry or tomorrow’s to do list, focus your mind on making your perfect day. From how you will wake, to what you’ll eat, filling it with your favourite activities and company. I’m often asleep before I get to ‘lunch’…
USE A MANTRAIf you still feel it hard to unwind, or are finding it hard to get back to sleep, try the following lines: ‘If I can’t sleep, I will rest. If I can’t slow my mind, I will soften my body. I receive the inhalation, I surrender to the exhalation. I become my breath’. As you repeat it, work on physically softening any tension you find in your body and feeling the sensations of your breathing.
DEVELOP A RITUAL OF RELAXATION BEFORE BED
Try a digital detox (ie turn off your tech), try something you find soothing. Read? Writing? 5 minute yoga routine you watched on YouTube earlier? You will detach from stimulation.. Scent gives you a powerful kick here – try scented candles, room sprays, pillow spray, body oil and hand balms.