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Going to sleep can sometimes be the biggest challenge of the day. That familiar feeling of sitting in the dark, looking at the ceiling, completely consumed by thoughts. I know because I’ve been there too. Anxiety before sleep can be exhausting. It can make you dread going to sleep.
But before delving into the details, it’s important to first ask yourself…
How many hours of sleep are you actually getting?
According to the American Sleep Association, the sleep needs are as follows 1:
Adult: 7 – 9 hours
Teenager: 8 – 10 hours
6 – 12 years: 9- 12 hours
3 – 5 years: 10 – 13 hours (including naps)
1 – 2 years: 11 – 14 hours (including naps)
Infants 4 -12 months: 12 – 16 hours (including naps)
Here’s something else you need to know – when you go to bed at 10pm-11pm and you’re getting up at 6am-7pm, you think you’re getting 8 hours of sleep. But you’re not.
During sleep, we have many stages. One includes being awake.
And I was surprised to learn when I started tracking my sleep with my Fitbit (nifty little thing that Fitbit!). Turns out the whole time I thought I was getting 8 hours of sleep, I was getting 6 hours. I spent nearly 2 hours of my sleep cycle awake – tossing and turning.
I don’t know about you, but for me anything less than 8 hours a sleep doesn’t not make me a nice person!!
So before you go ahead and read these rituals, it’s also worth looking at how long you’re actually sleeping for.
Are you giving yourself enough time to sleep? The more sleep deprived you are, the more it can bring on things like anxiety before sleep.
If the hours of shut eye aren’t the problem and getting lost in thought and worry is still an issue these 6 simple sleep rituals that can help stop anxiety before sleep.
Meditation can have a hard rap. Don’t lie down. Try not to move. Breathy deeply.
So many instructions. It’s no wonder so many avoid it.
But there are some great meditation apps out there that can help guide you to sleep.
I’m a huge fan of the Headspace App.
They have a mini session to listen to before bed which is what I use.
Or you an can opt for the 30 day sleep course. Andy says it can help change your mind and body towards sleep. But its recommended you do it during the day and not before bed, as it doesn’t help you get to sleep right then and there.
Headspace does cost though.
A free alternative that I’ve used and I highly recommend is Insight Timer.
It has over 6527 free guided meditations so it’s fair to say you won’t run out of choice!
Related post: Struggling With Meditation? 4 Must Have Meditation Tips
White Noise App
So I’m not sure if you’ve seen the movie White Noise? Yes, then you’ll know why, when I heard of a White Noise app it freaked me the f*ck out. Why, oh why, would anyone want to fall asleep to that creepy television sound.
Incase you haven’t seen the White Noise movie. Please just ignore all the above and get on it (a lot quicker than I did).
I heard about someone else using a white noise app. Hearing how they’d had success with it, I thought it was time to give my red-eyed, grumpy-ass self, a try.
Wow! So this is now what I use every night (to my boyfriends disappointment).
So firstly – what is white noise. White noise is a fancy term for background sounds.
The app I use is the White Noise Generator by Relaxio.
And it is now forever raining in my land of comfortable, anxiety and thought-free bed as I use it to listen to… the sound of rain!
If you’re one of those people that love falling asleep to the sound of rain (like I am), this app is very much your jam.
If you have another sound that you prefer to fall asleep, don’t stress! The White Noise Generator also has sounds of:
- A crackling fire
- A train
- Night nature sounds (crickets etc.)
- Beach Waves
- A fan
Yes these sounds are all random, but yes they all have the possibility of making anxiety before sleep, a past time.
Listening to rain, I fell asleep like a baby and had one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a long time.
As you can see, I highly recommend this app. You can mix and match sounds as you like. But all in all it’s a simple and amazing solution for the restless sleepers out there!
A hypnosis app is a great way to stop anxiety before sleep. It’s a type of guidance without going down the meditation route.
Let someone else lull you into a sleep!
I admit I did try the Sleep Well Hypnosis app (before I knew the wonders of white noise) and found it similar to meditation.
It had a body relaxing technique that works well.
Researching hypnosis apps, I found two others that are rated really high!
- Sleep Deeply (4.9/5 with over 600 reviews)
- Deep Sleep & Relax Hypnosis (4/5 with over 4,000 reviews)
- Sleep Well Hypnosis (4/5 with over 1,000 reviews)
If you’re willing to throw some coin at it (literally, it’s only a few dollars), the Sleep Well Hypnosis app has a “sleep Booster with binaural beats to induce your brainwave frequency into an optimal state for deep, restorative sleep” 2https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.surfcityapps.sleepwell&hl=en[/reg]. Worth a try!
Plan for your day the night before
Before my room is filled with rain, and thanks to the 90 Day Year course, I plan my day the night before. A trick I’ve also learnt from the 90 Day Year is not just to write down your tasks for the day, but the focuses or projects they relate to.
So you don’t just have a to do list, but a focused, productive day ahead that you know is related to your goals. It’s a great productivity hack to make sure you stay focused on the big ticketed items. Not the distracting, small tasks that can fill up our day.
And by doing all this you indirectly help stop your anxiety before sleep since most of our anxiety lies in tomorrow. It answers all big, hairy night questions we face like “what am I doing tomorrow” and “where I am I going with it”.
So try and plan your day before and see how you feel!
Dr Wayne Dyer Guidance
The chances are you know who Wayne Dyer is (and I’m way behind). But if you don’t, you can read more about who he is here.
In a nutshell – he’s been quoted as the man behind motivation and spirituality.
I got stuck into his documentary The Shift last night and stumbled across the below YouTube video.
It’s a short speech by Dyer about a night routine to do before bed. I found it helped my anxiety before sleep. It’s a gentle reminder to focus on being grateful for the day and focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want.
Which is another habit that can welcome anxiety before sleep!
So if you’re looking more for a short suggestion for a night routine, try listening to this.
Do you have a before-bed routine to help anxiety before sleep? Or an app that you can’t live without for better sleep? I’d love to know!
- https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep/sleep-statistics/ ↩