3 Ways to have a Well-Rested Brain When it’s Hard
Some nights I struggle to sleep. I toss and turn in my bed, snuggle up with my pillows just to make myself feel better. I believe that I will get it right eventually but it takes hours and hours. There are times where I ask myself, “Does anyone else have this problem? If they don’t, what is the secret?”
If you’re reading this and you have times like these where you can’t sleep whether due to insomnia or any other mental challenges, you’re not alone! If you don’t get any sleep at all, don’t worry.
Life has its seasons. We all go through different phases of life, and we have to experience it in order to get stronger. Sleeping time ranges differently for all people! Although it’s not the end of the world if we don’t have sleep, we can do things a bit more at ease when we do have enough sleep. However, you’re not any less if you have lack of sleep, and you can still make up for it despite it.
Don’t believe in the media that says “you’ll die if you don’t have enough sleep.” Instead, believe in yourself and take your time with this. If you think you will live, you will live. You have to tell yourself that.
Here are 3 best ways you can fall asleep fast!
1. Empty your mind
The most difficult part is this, emptying your mind. When it’s nighttime and everything is quiet, our thoughts become really loud and it can certainly feel overwhelming. When this happens, we must begin to meditate immediately. We must let all our thoughts pass by and instead focus on our deep breaths. Try it with me. Take a deep breath in, and deep breathe out.
Meditation takes time, but through practice, you will eventually get the hang of it. It’s a life long journey, even for me! To me, meditation is letting my mind be and shifting myself back to the present moment. In order to get better sleep than usual, I have to calm my heart, mind, and body. I have to let it be in a completely relaxed position before I get into sleeping.
Usually in order to empty my mind, I have to not think about anything. This is the tough part, because I have a bunch of to-do lists in my mind all the time. But when I begin to ignore my thoughts and imagine peaceful scenery like the beach, river, or forest, I feel better. I also try to not think about anything at all when I’m preparing to close my eyes.
You will be active during the day, so let your monkey brain be at rest. If you can’t sleep, even meditation itself can make up for your missed hours of sleep. Meditation for twenty minutes equals three hours of sleep for a person. The reason for this is because your mind is in such a tranquil state that you’ll need less sleep overtime because of it.
2. Journal before bedtime
This is one of the most important ways to fall asleep. As an individual, I was diagnosed with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Journaling is a relief for me not just because I enjoy writing, but to let out my entire thoughts one step at a time. I’m someone who has a lot on my mind all the time and writing it down helps me feel more in control. For others, it could be in a different way, but for me its writing.
I get intrusive thoughts a lot, especially during the night when I’m ready to sleep. Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that scare us which we can’t run away from. It’s an unwanted thought and it makes us feel bad about ourselves. We begin to worry excessively when there’s nothing to worry about!
Most likely, the majority of things that we are worried about doesn’t even happen!
For this reason, journaling before bedtime allows me to release all my tensions and worries. As I write in my journal, I’m supplementing to my sleep and I end up feeling more relaxed like I do when I meditate.
Something my wellness coach has shared with me is called “Brain Dump.” Brain dump is letting out all your worries on paper and then thinking “Okay, it’s all out and I’m not worried about it anymore.” If that still doesn’t work, you can try writing one positive thing to each worry and see if that works.
3. Talk to a Loved one before you Sleep
This always works the best. When we have gratitude, it gives us a better perspective. Hugging a loved one, sharing them about your day, and staying together will have you sleeping happily in peace. Then you will realize that not getting enough sleep is only just a tiny problem and that there are bigger problems in this world.
Just knowing you’re safe, secure, and loved is enough to help you get through life. So if you don’t get sleep but you have someone that cares, you’ll eventually get sleep in the future!
If you ever have a worry that you can’t get your mind out of and feel embarrassed to talk it out with close individuals, then don’t hesitate to discuss it with a therapist or psychologist.
4. Listen to soothing music
Whether it’s piano instrumentals or your favorite artist, listen to a music that makes your heart beat stay calm and static. Listening to soothing music is very similar to praying.
I enjoy listening to piano instrumentals. It helps me imagine a field of flowers or the ocean waves in a sunny day. Good music brings back good memories, positive thoughts, and a bright imagination. Music brings the best feeling and the world wouldn’t be the same without it.
These are 4 ways I feel sane before bedtime. Sleeping itself even involves determination just like everything else that we do. It takes time, but we got this. Whether we get enough sleep or don’t, we can try. We will live either way.
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Author: Samia Mehbub
Samia Mehbub is a Bangladeshi American writer, inspirational speaker, and aspiring English teacher. She is the author of "Inspired to Comfort Your Soul" and "Inspired to Comfort Your Soul Volume ll." She is also the founder and Youtuber of weaswords, an organization that brings mental health awareness. As a junior at the University of Central Florida majoring in English Literature, she writes for mental health literary magazines, such as Turtle Way and Word Gathering.