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5 Ways to Quiet Your Mind When You Can't Sleep

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

It can be challenging to quiet an overactive mind and get a good night's sleep. If you're struggling with insomnia, try these five techniques to calm your thoughts and get some rest.

1. Practice deep breathing exercises.

Deep breathing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to calm the mind and body. When you're struggling to sleep, take a few deep breaths. Focus on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your lungs.

2. Visualize a peaceful scene.

Close your eyes, and picturing a tranquil setting can help quiet your thoughts and ease your sleep. Imagine yourself in a beautiful meadow or by a calm ocean. Alternatively, try to recall a happy memory from your past.

3. Repeat a mantra or affirmation.

Focusing on a positive phrase or statement can help keep your mind and quiet racing thoughts. Pick something simple and repeat it to yourself until you drift off to sleep. Some examples include "I am safe and loved" or "I am calm and at peace."

4. Listen to calming music or nature sounds.

Sometimes, white noise or gentle music can help to soothe the mind and allow you to fall asleep. Many free downloads and apps are available with different kinds of calming sounds. Experiment until you find something that works for you.

5. Get up and move around.

If you've been trying to sleep for more than 20 minutes with no success, it may be helpful to get up and do something else for a little while. Sometimes, trying too hard to sleep can keep you awake. Taking a break and reading or doing a relaxation exercise can help break the cycle and allow you to fall asleep more easily.

When you're struggling with insomnia, trying different techniques to quiet your thoughts and promote sleep can be helpful. If you're still having trouble, talk to your doctor about other options that may be available to you.

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