Want Better Sleep? Tame That Busy Mind!

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Have you ever wondered why your mind always seem to be more active at night? Well actually it's not, but because you're trying to relax you are more aware of it.

During the day our minds are taken up with our day to day activities but as soon as we lie down at night, our minds seem to come alive. One thought follows another and another and soon you are worrying about everything, including the fact that it's 2.30 am and we're still not asleep!

How can we stop negative thoughts from intruding on our sleep?

Unfortunately it's easy to become negative in our thinking. The mind tends to go into problem solving mode at the end of the day. We focus on our problems and this can build stress which keeps us awake.

To stop this nightly torture, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you take responsibility for things that you shouldn't? Are you worrying about other people's problems? Remind yourself that you can't think for anyone else and just let those worries go.

Are you worrying about something specific? Write it down before going to bed. Tell yourself firmly that you will think about this issue tomorrow morning. The subconscious mind will hear you, but you MUST consciously stop these worrying thoughts as soon as they surface. This becomes easier with practice.

Busy minds are not necessarily a symptom of stress. If you are creative you may have more ideas than you can deal with. Write them down when they pop up or use a voice recorder by the bed.

Some other ways we can stop our spiralling thoughts and get some rest:

Be aware of this; you are not your mind. Your mind is your personality, you are the person who owns your mind and you have to tell it who's in charge! You don't have to follow the path your thoughts are taking.

The mind must be redirected and made to think on one stress free thing. Realize you can control your thoughts, be aware in what direction your thoughts are leading.

I'm not going to trot out the usual remedies for sleep here, simply because physical remedies don't work too well for over active minds. Trying too hard to relax when your mind's racing can do more harm than good. You need to distract your mind and focus it on one thing only.

This will stop one thought developing into another and another.

How to do this? Well to start with we can use an outside source to focus our mind. For instance, listen to a CD. A relaxing CD is not always helpful under these conditions, try an instructional tape where there is someone talking. This will stop your mind wandering and your thoughts will focus on the voice, the more boring the better!

Training your mind to do what you want is the key to better sleep and less stress in your life.

For several ways to stop worry and stress keeping you awake visit: http://www.insomnia-connection.com/ reduce-stress.html your resource for sound advice, products and articles to reduce stress and worry and achieve deep healthy sleep. Wendy Owen is a health researcher and author.

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