So, when we’re young, we hate going to bed. We avoid it like the plague. Then, when we get older, sleep becomes more and more precious as we age. It really is one of the most important factors in what kind of day we have. So, don’t you hate it when you try to go to bed at a reasonable hour, so that you can be refreshed and ready to go the next day, and you just can’t stop your brain? You toss and you turn, thinking and thinking. What do you do?
Older generations might tell you to “try counting sheep”, but I came across a great article in Time Magazine that has some other recommendations. I really like most of them. In all, they give us 9 things to do when you can’t sleep because your mind is racing, but I’ll give you some of my favorites:
Make a to-do list. Many of us can’t fall asleep because we’re too busy thinking about tomorrow and all that it may bring us. So, if you didn’t manage to be super organized and write that “tomorrow to do list” before you get to bed, get OUT of bed and clear your head with all the things that will concern you about tomorrow. May I add that you should try to make sure that you exhaust each idea or item on the to do list BEFORE you get back in bed, or you will re-think each item to death.
Read a book—but nothing too exciting Experts say this is a great way to “re-direct you brain” to think about something neutral instead of all of tomorrow’s nagging concerns. Those same experts caution that it should be something that’s not too stimulating and won’t get you worked up about something else. For many of us, reading in bed for about 20-30 minutes should do the trick, but if that’s not working, get out of bed and go read somewhere else. And, did I mention? You should really read an ACTUAL physical book instead of the digital kind, because those have been stones to disrupt sleep.
Listen to a podcast! How great is this?! Now, this didn’t come from me. Podcasts or audiobooks can take your mind off your worries as well, and they can be good alternatives to reading if you don’t want to turn on a light or strain your tired eyes. You can use headphones to listen without disturbing your bed partner too. Just like books, find a topic that’s not too exciting or upsetting. That’s why MY PODCAST is perfect!
Pray. Now the article recommends meditation, which certainly has its place, but if you believe in God, Pastor James MacDonald recommends the optimal way to pray: on your knees, out loud, with a list. So, take the time to make a list and give God all of your concerns and pray for everyone you know that needs it. That will not only clear your mind, but your heart and spirit as well.
Oh yeah, and my wife Leanne highly recommends taking Melatonin each night to help you fall asleep faster.