how to clear a busy head before bed

Five ways to shhh the chitter chatter and get some sleep

how to clear a busy head before bed

Nothing steals our precious zzz’s quite like a whirring mind. There’s the tricky getting to sleep part. The never-ending counting sheep part. And the waking up in the night and not being able to drift off again part.

Phew. That’s tiring. So what’s the secret to emptying your mind for top quality kip? Our trusty sleep expert Dave Gibson reckons there are some tricks we can do during the day that’ll help. Read on for the full low-down.

  1. relaxation techniques

    Find winding down at bedtime hard? Changes to our daily routines like being at home with the kids or using our dining tables as a makeshift office can make it tricky to relax and switch off because we’ve blurred the line between work and play.

    Luckily, we have a 5 minute bedtime meditation that’s perfect for soothing busy minds. And because it’s guided, all you have to do is hit play and relax. With one for adults (and another for little ones), going to bed can feel more blissful than a Sunday morning.
  2. write down your worries

    One way to help a busy mind that’s focused on bothersome thoughts is to get them down on paper. This helps us to have a birds’ eye view of what we’re grappling with. And it might even show that our thoughts aren’t as serious as we first thought.

    The secret to doing this? Choose a time each day to jot your worries down, like before bed if you have a few minutes’ peace. This means you’ve spent time dealing with them and your mind can move on to the happy stuff (like sleep). Simple.
  3. share how you’re feeling

    Sometimes it’s just better to spill. If you’re a bottle-it-up kind of person, you could try speaking to someone. Sure, it may involve a little push out of your comfort zone, but what’s a comfort zone anyway?

    A massive part of beating that whirring mind is to talk through what we’re thinking and why we’re feeling a certain way. Even if it’s a toughie. So if you don’t feel like you have someone you can talk to, chatlines like Mind can help you to get those worries off your chest.
  4. stick to a routine

    We humans are hard-wired to like a routine. And approaching each day with a purpose while taking time for breaks and rest has been shown to boost all of those nice happy hormones (like dopamine) that make us feel top notch.

    Our trusty routine calculator can help you nail a routine that’ll help you feel grounded, focused and more relaxed for sleep. Sounds nice, doesn’t it
  5. get colouring

    Colouring isn’t just for kids. It’s a brilliantly mindful activity, switching our minds from (over)thinking mode to doing mode. So the next time you’re feeling bogged down by thoughts, give our colouring in template a go.

    Our top tip? Don’t worry about colouring within the lines. Let yourself get carried away and those bothersome thoughts will float off into the distance. Ahhhh.