Calm minds, peaceful nights: A guide to better sleep
By Haneen Ahmad

It’s 2:58 AM. You have been up for at least an hour and a half. By this point you’ve already reviewed half your to-do list for tomorrow, conjured up 11 life regrets, engaged in some negative self-talk, aaaand had to pee twice (Just me? Maybe I drink too much water). We’ve all been there. Those nights that you wake up in the middle of the night and just can’t shut off. Racing thoughts that you just aren’t able to disengage with. And all of a sudden it seems like you are in a whirlwind of negativity.

So what do you do? Let’s explore how to interrupt old thought patterns and alter our thinking in a way that serves us.

When we expose ourselves to positive thinking our negative thoughts begin to unravel. Here are some tips and tricks to help combat those insomnia filled nights and transform them into peacefulness.

First and foremost create a bedtime routine that best serves you. Make sure you have an hour of screen-free time before bed. Try setting a reminder on your phone for 9:00 PM reminding you to unplug and begin your bedtime routine. Engage in a self-care activity. Enjoy a cup of your favorite sleepy time tea. Journal, practice yoga, stretch, try to melt away any worries from your day so that they don’t creep up on you in the middle of the night.

Once you’re in bed begin with some deep breathing techniques. Breathwork is such a powerful tool that benefits us mentally but also physically does wonders for our body.  It relaxes muscles, detoxes our body, and releases endorphins. Breath air into your abdomen, not lungs, to the count of 4. Breath out to the count of 8. Breathing out longer than you breathe in will facilitate the release of tension in your body. You’ll start to notice how relaxed your body starts to become.

Meditation. This will kick things up a notch for you. In a good way of course. I like to listen to a bedtime meditation that guides me to a sleepy place but you could find one regarding any topic that helps you relax. (anxiety reduction, healthy pregnancy, etc) The imagery associated with meditations will help you visualize and invite that restful energy you deserve.

Gratitude reminders. I cannot stress this one enough. When we show thanks and gratitude our mental health is positively affected tenfold. Grateful people are generally happy people. I have yet to meet someone who is grateful and miserable.

Writing out your fears or thoughts. Get them out of your head and on paper. Burn that sucker or tear it up if you have to.

Affirmations. These are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and subconscious mind. You deserve a restful, peaceful night of sleep. Imagine waking up in the morning feeling refreshed. repeat these affirmations to yourself or create some of your own.

  • I release today and any heaviness or negativity that came with it
  • I invite deep and restful sleep
  • I have permission to fall asleep

And if all else fails, remember that feelings and thoughts are just visitors. You can entertain them but then shortly after send them on their way. Acknowledge them, but they don’t need to move in with you. You are not roommates.

Wishing you all the rest. xx
Haneen