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Can’t sleep at night? Put a stop to those racing thoughts…

Ever stayed awake, getting paranoid about the future and not being able to sleep? Don’t worry love, happens to everyone. We all stay awake with this endless train of thoughts; about the presentation tomorrow or just an abstract anxiety about the future. It just won’t stop, would it? Let’s be honest, forcing yourself to sleep doesn’t work either!

We all overthink; there is no denial to that but why does it happen? We overthink because we are desperate creatures hunting for answers. We like certainty and we like being in control. It’s a part of the human survival tactic. It has its pros and cons. We might end up finding the answers, but often we are just stuck. Stuck inside our heads with messy thoughts and questions we didn’t even know we wanted the answers for. Sometimes our life seems more complicated than the American run for President-ship and it all happens when the sun goes down.


We have accepted that we overthink, but we need to do something more than liking those relatability posts on Instagram. On most nights we know why we are awake. But what to do now? There are a few things that you can do to get yourself to stop those thoughts that force you to keep your eyes open.

1. Make a meaningless mental list: Think random things like lists of vegetables you hate or name different snacks you like or pen brands be random. This purposeful distraction will work well to stop the train of overthinking.

2. Get moving! Get out of the bed and go to your balcony or some window. Remember to stay away from your phone or as we call it the night witch. Don’t give into mindless scrolling, it won’t do you any good.

3. Play a game. Another effective way of distracting is games. But only silly ones like repeating a word. The underlying psychology is complex, but the theory is that mouthing a word requires a lot more mental power than just thinking it and the use of that mental power causes a blocking of the original intrusive thought. Pick a syllable or a proper noun or even the word “the”. Pick any and keep repeating!

Might sound really silly but trust us it works.

4. Hello again, my dairy! Write it down. You know why by now, no help needed here. Be honest in what you pen down.

5. This time don’t try hard. Don’t try hard to put yourself to sleep. The more you think of sleeping the more thoughts you add. So continue down the road of random stories and let yourself drift into sleep.

6. Equal breathes. Lie down and control your breath. Equal lengths during inhale and exhale. Count from 1-4 while doing this. Make it a point to focus on your breathing and not on those thoughts.

So, there you have it, a few tools and techniques to help you “shut down your brain” for sleep. These instances are sometimes inevitable. Fair warning, this might sound like your mom but, stay away from social media. The more ideas you feed to your brain the more active it gets. Forming unnecessary links between your issues and the content consumed. Accept that you have these thoughts and find a solution instead of typing in your Netflix password.

Sometimes persistent overthinking may be symptomatic of chronic insomnia, and a little extra work is required. Sometimes this kind of overthinking can be part of a larger problem like anxiety or depression. If after trying the advice above, you’re still having trouble, it might be worth contacting a professional for some extra help.

Remember- you are not alone.