What to Say to Yourself Before Bed
Our minds do some interesting things to us around bedtime. It’s as if the moment our heads hit the pillow, our brains start coursing through every single anxiety-ridden thought from the past day/week/year/etc. We start running through lists of things we failed to do, things we still need to do, arguments that we’ve had with our friends and/or family, bills that are sitting on our desks, unpaid, and all of the other things that cause us to toss and turn restlessly. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who experience an abnormal amount of stress are more likely to develop insomnia (or hyper-arousal), thus rendering them fatigued and unproductive in their daily lives. In order to alleviate this bedtime agitation, it’s important to get ourselves into a routine of calming our minds down before we go to sleep. Here are a few things to tell yourself at bedtime that could potentially help:
#1: “Today, I’m thankful for…”
Instead of ruminating about all of the various facets of your life that are causing you anxiety, before you go to bed, think about the things that make you happy. Think about the great support system that you have in your family and friends. Think about how lucky you are to have the job that you do, a place to live, and food to eat. Think about your pets and your favorite glass of wine at your favorite little cafe. And cheese. Think about cheese. Allowing yourself to be grateful for the good things in your life will allow your mind to drift peacefully off to sleep.
#2: “Let it go.”
Arguing is a part of life that we must accept. It’s not fun, but oftentimes, it can be necessary. However, if a certain fight is causing you to stress and potentially to lose sleep, then you should just let it go before bedtime. Ask yourself if the argument was truly worth it in the first place, and if not, tell yourself to let go of resentment and negative emotions. It’s not an easy task, but a good night’s rest is worth it. Or, if you’re not quite ready to just let it go, then promise yourself that you will revisit the issue the next day, after your brain has had time to rest and process. You will approach the situation in a much more calm and reflective manner once you’ve had the opportunity to sleep on it.
#3: “I can do this.”
Oftentimes, stress brings along with it an unfortunate blow to one’s self-esteem. Your confidence may be at an all-time low if you can’t seem to get things together in your daily life (and a lack of sleep doesn’t help the situation much, either). If this is causing you to not sleep well at night, take a few moments after you lie down to think about all of your good, strong qualities. Appreciate yourself for being considerate, creative, and ambitious. Remind yourself of all of the accomplishments that these qualities have helped you to attain.