How to Calm Your Mind and Enjoy Peaceful Sleep

Posted: Apr 09 in Lifestyle by

Do you have trouble getting to sleep because your mind buzzes with worries? Like you, many people toss and turn, longing for shuteye but unable to stop consistent problems surfacing. The key to great sleep is knowing how to turn off your internal voice. These tips show you how.


Calm your autonomic nervous system

Your autonomic nervous system decides whether you are calm or primed for action. When you’re stressed, your system goes into fight-or-flight mode and you experience symptoms of anxiety. Your heart beats fast and your muscles tense. You become hyper-alert and focus on difficulties.

Do the symptoms sound familiar? When you lie in bed worrying, you want to deal with problems rather than sleep. To change your physical and mental state, you need to calm your nervous system so you enter rest mode.

The easiest and fastest route to calmness is to make yourself as comfortable as possible and focus on long deep breaths. Breathe the way you do when you relax and your autonomic system will help you rest.

To achieve a tranquil state inhale through your nose as though sucking air into your belly, exhale at a slow pace, and follow your breath with your mind.


Creative visualization

You often visualize, picturing chores, travel routes, and memories. The difference between relaxing imagery and everyday visualization is you focus rather than let your mind flow aimlessly.

While lying in bed, get comfy, close your eyes, and picture a beautiful, relaxing scene. For instance, you might visualize a long sandy beach with the sun setting on the horizon. You can add details like waves lapping on the shore and gulls calling too.

Or, picture a beloved pet or person you love, or make up a scene involving a fantastic imaginary place like a castle or an enchanted forest. Pour your attention into creating a picture that makes you feel terrific. If your mind wanders, pull it back to the scene and you’ll soon relax and go to sleep.


Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness can be like the practice of visualization. Instead of picturing a scene, though, think of a simple object such as a candle flame. Watch the flame flicker, or imagine a crystal and see it from all angles, turning it around in your mind. Or place attention on a mantra, the word ‘peace’ perhaps, and repeat it in your head as you drift to sleep.

The idea is to choose what to focus on and keep returning your attention to your chosen subject if unwanted thoughts arise. Combine mindfulness with deep breathing as well and you’ll relax.


Tense and relax

Tense and relax your muscles one by one, working along your body–up from the toes to your head or vice versa–and you’ll become calm and ready to sleep. As you concentrate on squeezing each set of muscles, holding, and then releasing tension, your mind will shift from worries to engage with the process. Your entire system will relax as though you are sinking into serenity.


Put away your troubles

Sometimes, the easiest way to stop worrying and sleep is to write problems in a journal. Putting pen to paper is symbolic of placing your troubles out of reach. You know they exist, but your brain understands it need not point them out because you’ve created a reminder to consider another time. You are free to relax and sleep.

If a pen and paper aren’t to hand, imagine placing worries in a box with a heavy lid you can’t reopen until the following day. Inform your brain it’s safe to stop worrying because you can deal with problems another time.


It is frustrating and stressful to lie awake when you want to sleep. However, follow the tips mentioned and you can calm your mind and enjoy a good night’s rest.


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