How To Calm Your Mind For Better Sleep (Without Drugs).

How To Calm Your Mind For Better Sleep (Without Drugs).

Getting quality sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing, but racing thoughts can often prevent you from getting the rest you need. In this comprehensive 2023 guide, we'll explore ways to help you calm your mind before bedtime (without drugs), and establish long-term habits so you can get to sleep faster and improve your overall sleep health.


     Table of Contents

    21 Tips To Quiet Your Thoughts Before Bedtime

    • How Poor Sleep Affects Your Health

    • Common Causes

    • How Much Sleep Do I Need?

     Sleep Hygiene

    • When Should I See A Doctor?


    21 Tips To Help Quiet Your Thoughts Before Bedtime


    Avoid scrolling before bedtime

    1. Avoid Screens Near Bedtime

    The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with our natural sleep rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep. And in someways, contribute to our stress or anxiety. Try turning off your screens an hour before bedtime and replace screen time with calming activities like reading a book, journaling, or stretching to ease your body and mind into sleep.


    Deep Breathing to calm your mind before bedtime

    2. Deep Breathing Exercises

    Deep breathing exercises help activate the body's relaxation response, reducing stress and tension and help you get to sleep faster. Try the 4-7-8 method: inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Practicing deep breathing exercises before bed can help clear your mind and make it easier to drift off to sleep.


    Meditate to calm your mind so you can sleep better

    3. Meditation

    Meditation is a powerful tool for calming the mind and reducing anxiety. As you prepare for bed, find a quiet and comfortable space to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, allowing thoughts to come and go without judgment. Even just a few minutes of meditation can help release tension and prepare your body and mind for sleep. Learn more with The Beginner's Guide to Meditation for Better Sleep.


    Visualization can help you fall asleep by calming your mind

    4. Visualization

    Visualization involves using your imagination to create a peaceful and calming mental image allowing you to relax and fall asleep faster. Picture a serene environment, such as a beach or meadow, where you feel relaxed and safe. Visualization can help distract you from racing thoughts and guide you into a state of relaxation. See our guide on Visualization for Better Sleep.


    Progressive muscle relaxation can help calm your body and mind for better sleep

    5. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

    Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) involves tensing and relaxing muscle groups throughout the body. Begin with your toes and work your way up, tensing each muscle group for five seconds before releasing the tension. PMR can help you become more aware of physical tension and relax your body and mind for sleep.


    Soak in a warm bath to help relax your mind

    6. Soak In A Warm Bath

    A warm bath before bedtime can help signal your body that it's time to wind down. The heat from the bath raises your body temperature, and the subsequent cooling process can promote drowsiness. Add Epsom salts, lavender oil, or other calming scents to enhance the relaxation experience. Allow yourself to soak in the warmth and serenity, washing away the day's stresses and preparing for a restful night's sleep.


    Silk Robe for better sleep

    7. Wear A Relaxing Silk Robe

    Another effective technique to help calm your thoughts before bed is wearing a comfortable, relaxing silk robe. Silk is a luxurious, smooth, and lightweight fabric that feels gentle on the skin, making it an ideal choice for sleepwear. The tactile sensation of wearing a silk robe can create a sense of indulgence and self-care, fostering a positive and calming mental state as you prepare for sleep. Learn more about the calming effects of silk robes.


    8. Aromatherapy

    Aromatherapy uses candles or essential oils to promote relaxation and alleviate stress. Lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang are popular choices for inducing sleep. And now, candles are even available in the calming scent of the ocean. The soothing scents can help calm your mind, making it easier to drift off to sleep.


    Read a book to relax your mind before bedtime

    9. Enjoy a Book

    Reading a book can be a relaxing way to wind down before bed. Choose a book that is engaging but not overly stimulating, such as a light novel or a collection of short stories.


    Affirmations can provide focus to help keep your thoughts from racing before bet

    10. Positive Affirmations

    Positive affirmations are statements that help reinforce a positive mindset and encourage self-compassion. Before bed, repeat affirmations such as "I am worthy of rest" or "I release the worries of the day." By focusing on these positive messages, you can shift your mindset and create a more peaceful mental space for sleep.


    A gratitude list can remind you of positive things, keeping negative thoughts out

    11. Create A Gratitude List

    Gratitude can have a profound impact on our mental wellbeing. Before bed, take a few moments to reflect on what you're grateful for and write down three to five things in a journal. This practice helps shift your focus away from negative thoughts and can create a sense of contentment, making it easier to fall asleep.


    Military technique for better sleep

    12. Try The Military Technique

    The military technique, derived from a method used by the U.S. Navy, is a sleep-inducing strategy that involves relaxing your body and mind in a systematic way so you can fall asleep faster. Begin by relaxing your facial muscles, then your shoulders, arms, and legs. Take slow, deep breaths, and visualize yourself in a calming environment. Repeat the phrase "don't think, don't think" to help quiet your mind. This technique can help you fall asleep more quickly by training your body to relax on command.


    Stay awake to fall asleep

    13. Paradoxical Intention

    Paradoxical intention involves trying to stay awake rather than focusing on falling asleep. The idea is that the pressure to fall asleep can exacerbate anxiety and make it even more difficult to relax. By telling yourself to stay awake, you remove this pressure and may find it easier to drift off to sleep naturally.


    Acupressure to calm your mind before bedtime

    14. Acupressure

    Acupressure is an ancient healing technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to promote relaxation and alleviate tension. Before bed, try applying gentle pressure to the point between your eyebrows, the base of your skull, or the insides of your wrists. Stimulating these points can help relax your body and encourage sleep.


    Sleep socks designed to help you sleep better

    15. Wear Sleep Socks

    Wearing sleep socks to bed can help regulate your body temperature, promoting a more comfortable sleep environment. Studies have shown that warm feet can aid in falling asleep faster, as they signal your body to redistribute heat more evenly, which in turn helps you relax and drift off to sleep.


    Jigsaw puzzles can help you sleep

    16. Do A Jigsaw Puzzle

    Engaging in a calming activity like a jigsaw puzzle can help quiet your mind before bed. By focusing on the task at hand, you can redirect your thoughts away from stressors and anxieties. Choose a puzzle that is challenging but not overly complicated, and allow yourself to become absorbed in the activity as you prepare for sleep.


    Journaling before bedtime can calm your mind

    17. Write Down Your Worries In A Journal

    Journaling can be a therapeutic way to release anxiety and process your thoughts before bed. Set aside time each night to write down any worries or concerns you may have, allowing yourself to acknowledge and validate these feelings. Once you've put your thoughts on paper, you can mentally let them go, creating a sense of closure and promoting relaxation. Get your No Worries Sleep Journal today.


    Cooler temps can help you sleep

    18. Lower The Temperature Of Your Bedroom

    A cool bedroom environment can help facilitate quicker sleep, as our body temperature naturally drops when we fall asleep. Aim to keep your bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees Celsius). Experiment with different temperature settings to find the one that works best for you, and consider using breathable bedding and pajamas to help regulate your body temperature throughout the night.


    Pajama leggings for a calming mind

    19. Wear Pajama Leggings

    Incorporating pajama leggings into your sleepwear can also contribute to a calmer mind and better sleep. Pajama leggings are designed to provide a snug, comfortable fit that gently hugs your body, offering a soothing sensation. This gentle compression can act as a supportive embrace, helping you feel secure and relaxed as you unwind before bedtime.


    Hide your clock to lower stress before bedtime

    20. Hide Your Clock

    Watching the clock can heighten anxiety and make it more difficult to fall asleep. To prevent this, turn your clock away from you or place it in a drawer. Removing the visual reminder of the time allows you to focus on relaxation rather than feeling pressure to fall asleep, creating a more conducive environment for rest.


    No naps in the daytime

    21. Avoid Daytime Napping

    Although daytime naps can be refreshing, they can also interfere with your nighttime sleep. If you're struggling to fall asleep quickly at night, try to avoid napping during the day. If you must nap, keep it short and limit it to the early afternoon, as napping too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep schedule and make it harder to fall asleep at night.


    Watch what you eat before bedtime

    22. Watch What You Eat

    Diet plays a crucial role in sleep quality. Avoid large, heavy meals and stimulants like caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Instead, opt for lighter meals and calming beverages such as herbal tea. Consuming foods rich in tryptophan, magnesium, and melatonin, such as turkey, almonds, and cherries, can also promote better sleep. Establishing healthy eating habits can have a positive impact on your sleep quality and overall wellbeing. And as a bonus, we've have even prepared a guide to The Best Foods That Make You Sleepy.


    Sleep mask to calm your mind and help you sleep better

    23. Wear A Sleep Mask

    Wearing a sleep mask to cover your eyes can help calm your mind and improve sleep quality in several ways. Firstly, it blocks out light, which can stimulate the brain and disrupt the natural production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Secondly, it creates a soothing and dark environment, which triggers the body's natural relaxation response and helps lower stress levels. Additionally, sleep masks can also reduce eye strain and muscle tension, promoting deeper and more restful sleep. Overall, using a sleep mask can improve sleep quality and contribute to overall well-being.



    Get out of bed if you cant sleep

    Don't Stay In Bed

    If you're unable to fall asleep after 20-30 minutes, get out of bed and engage in a calming activity, such as deep breathing exercises or writing a gratitude list. Lying in bed awake can create anxiety and make it even more challenging to fall asleep. By removing yourself from the sleep environment temporarily, you can break the cycle of anxiety and return to bed when you're feeling more relaxed.

    Poor sleep can hurt your immune system

    How Poor Sleep Affects Your Health

    One of the most immediate effects of sleep deprivation is fatigue. When we don't get enough sleep, we're more likely to feel tired and sluggish during the day, which can impact our productivity, mood, and overall quality of life.

    But fatigue is just the tip of the iceberg. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to a variety of health problems.


    Weakened Immune System

    Sleep deprivation can weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold and flu.


    Increased Risk of Heart Disease

    According to the American Heart Association, sleep deprivation is a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.


    Weight gain

    Lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and weight gain. This is thought to be due to the impact of sleep deprivation on hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism.


    Mental Health Problems

    Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.


    Impaired Cognitive Function

    Sleep deprivation can impair our ability to think clearly, make decisions, and process information. This can impact our work and daily life.

      In short, when we don't get enough sleep because of stress and anxiety, it can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. It's important to prioritize sleep and take steps to manage stress and anxiety in order to get the rest we need.

       BACK TO TOP

      Stress can keep your mind from being calm

      Common Causes Of A Restless Mind

      So, what are the root causes of this issue? There are many factors that can contribute to a restless mind, and remember no two people are the same, so what is causing your problem may have no effect on others. Here are the most common causes.


      Stress and Anxiety

      When you're feeling stressed or anxious, it can be tough to quiet your mind and unwind. You may find yourself ruminating on the things that are causing you stress or worrying about what the future holds.



      In today's digital age, we're constantly bombarded with information and stimuli. If you're scrolling through social media, watching TV, or working on your computer late into the evening, your brain may still be in an active and alert state when it's time to go to bed.


      Lack of Routine

      If you don't have a consistent bedtime routine, your brain may not be prepared for sleep when it's time to turn in. Creating a predictable routine can help signal to your brain that it's time to wind down.


      Physical Discomfort

      If you're uncomfortable in any way, such as from a sore back or neck, it can be tough to relax and fall asleep. This can lead to racing thoughts as you try to get comfortable.


      Medications Or Health Conditions

      Certain medications or health conditions, such as depression or anxiety disorders, can interfere with your ability to control your thoughts at night and fall asleep.

      It's important to identify the root cause of your racing thoughts at bedtime in order to address them effectively and improve your sleep. Remember to be kind to yourself and prioritize self-care as you work on calming your mind before bed.

       BACK TO TOP

      How much sleep do you need

      How much sleep do I need?

      While the amount of sleep each person needs can vary depending on their age, lifestyle, and individual needs, there are general recommendations based on national research.

      The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18-60 years should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night to maintain optimal health and well-being. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately one-third of adults in the United States do not meet this recommendation.

      The recommended amount of sleep can vary based on certain demographics. For example, the National Sleep Foundation reports that newborns (0-3 months) need 14-17 hours of sleep per day, while infants (4-11 months) need 12-15 hours per day. Toddlers (1-2 years) require 11-14 hours of sleep per day, while preschoolers (3-5 years) need 10-13 hours. School-aged children (6-13 years) require 9-11 hours of sleep, while teenagers (14-17 years) need 8-10 hours per day.

      Additionally, the amount of sleep needed can also vary based on individual factors, such as genetics, medical conditions, and lifestyle habits. For example, pregnant women may require more sleep due to the physical demands of pregnancy, while athletes may need more sleep to support muscle recovery and performance.

       BACK TO TOP

      Exercise can help you get to sleep easier

      Sleep Hygiene

      Getting enough quality sleep is essential for overall health and wellbeing. However, with the fast-paced and busy lifestyles of today, many people struggle to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Developing healthy sleep habits can promote restful slumber and better sleep quality. Here are some of the best habits for future sleep health.



      Regular exercise and yoga can improve sleep quality by reducing stress, anxiety, and promoting physical relaxation. Aim to engage in moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, but avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime, as they can be overly stimulating. Yoga, with its focus on mindfulness and deep breathing, can be especially helpful for promoting relaxation and better sleep.


      Get Outside And Into Nature

      Nature can improve sleep quality by reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and fostering a sense of inner peace. Engaging in nature-based activities such as forest bathing or bird watching during the day can help calm racing thoughts during the night, leading to better sleep.


      Develop A Consistent Sleep Routine

      Establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep quickly and wake up each day. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Creating a bedtime routine that includes relaxing activities, such as reading or meditation, can further signal your body that it's time to sleep.


      Declutter Your Bedroom

      A cluttered bedroom can lead to a cluttered mind, making it more difficult to relax and fall asleep. Creating a serene and organized sleep environment is essential for calming your thoughts and promoting restful slumber. By decluttering your bedroom, you not only create a visually appealing space, but you also reduce the distractions and stressors that can keep you awake at night.


      Journal About Your Worries

      Regularly journaling about your worries can help you process your thoughts and gain perspective on your concerns. This practice can reduce anxiety and stress, promoting better sleep in the long run. Set aside time each day to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, acknowledging them without judgment, and allowing yourself to let go of any lingering tension.



      Daily meditation can have lasting benefits for sleep health. By practicing mindfulness and focusing on your breath, you can train your mind to become more resilient to stress and anxiety. Over time, this can lead to improved sleep quality and a greater sense of overall wellbeing.


      Practice Mindfulness

      Mindfulness involves being present in the moment and fully engaged in your experiences without judgment. Incorporating mindfulness into your daily life can help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation. Activities such as mindful eating, walking, or even simply paying attention to your breath can help cultivate mindfulness and improve sleep quality.


      Practice Forgiveness

      Holding onto grudges or unresolved conflicts can contribute to anxiety and disrupt sleep. Practicing forgiveness, both for yourself and others, can help release emotional burdens and create a more peaceful mindset for sleep. Reflect on any lingering resentments and actively work to let go of them, focusing on compassion and understanding.


      Don't Compare Yourself To Others

      Comparing yourself to others can create feelings of inadequacy and negatively impact your mental wellbeing. Recognize that everyone's life journey is unique, and focus on your own progress and achievements instead. By cultivating a mindset of self-compassion and acceptance, you can create a more positive mental space that supports better sleep.

       BACK TO TOP

      See a doc if you still cant sleep

      When Should You See a Doctor?


      Frequent Mood Swings

      If you're experiencing frequent mood swings or intense emotions that are impacting your daily life and sleep, it's essential to seek help from a mental health professional. These symptoms may be indicative of an underlying issue that requires attention and treatment. A trained professional can help you identify the causes of your mood swings and provide appropriate support and guidance.


      No Longer Enjoying Your Favorite Activities

      A loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed can be a sign of an underlying mental health issue. If this change is affecting your sleep and overall wellbeing, it's crucial to consult a mental health professional. They can help you understand the root cause of your feelings and provide appropriate treatment and support.


      Decreased Energy

      If you're consistently experiencing low energy levels despite getting enough sleep, it may be a sign of an underlying issue, such as sleep apnea or depression. It's essential to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your situation and recommend appropriate interventions to help you regain your energy and improve your sleep quality.


      Changes In Appetite

      Significant changes in appetite, such as overeating or loss of appetite, can be indicative of an underlying issue that may be impacting your sleep.


      Consult a healthcare professional immediately if you have any of the above symptoms or think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, chronic insomnia, or other serious sleep disorders. To learn more, visit:


      The quest for a peaceful and restful sleep can be a difficult one, with many obstacles to overcome. It's okay to feel overwhelmed at times, and it's important to be patient and compassionate with yourself as you explore different techniques and products.

      Creating healthy sleep habits, such as exercise, a consistent sleep routine, decluttering your bedroom, and practicing mindfulness and forgiveness, can help promote better sleep quality and reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, it's important to avoid using electronics before bedtime, limit caffeine and alcohol intake, and create a relaxing sleep environment.

      Remember that change takes time, and finding the right combination of strategies and products may require persistence or experimentation. Be open to trying new things, but also recognize that what works for someone else may not work for you. Embrace the journey towards better sleep and be kind to yourself along the way.

       BACK TO TOP 


      Back to blog