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How to Stop Overthinking for Better Sleep

Are you looking for a better night’s sleep? Many of us reading this may have periodic or frequent nights where we find it difficult to fall asleep. Or, once asleep, it may be hard to stay asleep for a full night’s rest.

There can be many causes for difficulty sleeping, and it’s important to rule out medical issues or

concerns, such as respiratory or hormonal issues. The next most common cause of sleep disturbance or insomnia is overthinking. You may find yourself with a “racing mind” at night, thinking about things that happened – or didn’t – during the day. Or your to do list for the next day.

Or something random that happened 10 years ago that pops into your mind the minute you start to dose off!

This can be caused by the normal stress of our day, and good sleep hygiene – getting ourselves calm and relaxed leading up to bed – can help a lot. This includes having a regular night time routine such as reading before bed, reducing screens, or taking a calming bath.

If your overthinking persists, you may want to try these strategies:

1. Re-schedule your “thinking time”: Write down anything that is on your mind before bed. Do

this outside of your bedroom, to condition your brain that these thoughts do not belong at

bedtime. Schedule a “thinking time” for the next day when you can go over the list, worry; or,

better yet, brainstorm solutions and answers.

2. Breathe in calmness: The subconscious part of our mind that is in charge of these racing thoughts, responds well to symbols, visualization and metaphor. Take advantage of this by imagining or pretending – as you are laying in bed – that there are molecules of calmness in the air. And each time you take a deep breath in, you breath in these molecules of calmness. Sense

them travelling in through your nose, and being carried throughout your whole body. Relaxing

each part of your body as they move. I use this to induce relaxation in my sessions with clients!

3. Transition to sleep with trance: Our brains waves naturally slow down (from beta to theta and

delta waves) as we fall asleep. Hypnosis accesses these same slower brain wave states, so you

can use self-hypnosis to help you brain transition faster into the sleep. You can find self-hypnosis for sleep audio recordings on Youtube. Or, sign up on my website for free self-hypnosis recordings at Using them nightly will train your brain to make it easier to fall asleep!

If you continue to experience challenges falling or staying asleep, your brain may be running a

subconscious belief or pattern from the past that is keeping you awake. Some examples of this include sleeping lightly to listen for kids (even once they are grown), being on call for work, having been awoken at one point to an emergency or bad news at night, or there may be other reasons why your brain doesn’t feel comfortable or safe to sleep.

On the other hand, sometimes we stay awake subconsciously for a positive reason – for example, you have learned to believe that sleep is unproductive, that you are missing out on something if you go to bed, or that it’s the only time you have for yourself.

These are some of the issues that I work with people on in hypnotherapy, and if you’d like to know more about how hypnotherapy could help, you can schedule a free consultation (online or in person) on my website:

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