Do you often lie awake at night thinking so much that you’re unable to switch your brain off? Do you find that you’re not getting enough hours of sleep each night as a result? Are you desperate for a solution? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be learning about why we overthink – especially when we go to bed – and what we can do about it so that we don’t have to miss out on any more sleep.
Why Is Sleep Important?
A good night’s sleep is absolutely vital for our health. In fact, it is just as important for us as eating healthily and exercising. Aside from our bodies needing sleep to rest each night and prepare for the next day, there are many advantages to sleeping well. Let’s take a quick look:
- Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain. In one extensive study, children and adults with short sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to develop obesity, respectively. On the other hand, people who sleep well tend to be less likely to overeat.
- Good sleep can improve concentration and productivity. It can also improve memory performance and problem-solving skills. However, poor sleep can negatively impact some aspects of brain function. The effects are almost similar to what happens when we consume too much alcohol.
- If you sleep less than seven or eight hours a night, you are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, numerous studies show links between sleep deprivation and type 2 diabetes.
- People who have poor sleep patterns may be at greater risk of developing depression.
- Sleeping well helps your immune function and consequently makes it less likely for you to catch a cold.
Why Do We Overthink?
So, just why is it that so many of us end up overthinking at night? Well, it’s largely down to our brains processing the events of the day. Our days are busier than ever in the modern world, and we are receiving more information than we ever have before (especially with the constant rise and distraction of technology). Therefore, we don’t have time to process everything throughout the day. We’re more likely to reflect the moment that we stop rushing around, i.e. when we crawl into bed at night.
Another potential reason for overthinking is technology activating our beta brainwave state. This state is present when we are alert, attentive, making decisions, solving problems and generally engaged in mental activity. This can be anxiety-provoking. Therefore, it is wise that we ditch our phones and gadgets a while before going to bed. This allows the mind to wind down for the night and not remain tangled in technology.
Overthinking can seriously affect our sleep and keep us feeling anxious and stressed. So just what steps can we take to reduce our chances of lying awake at night thinking? Keep reading to find out.
How Can We Stop Overthinking?
In order to decrease your chances of overthinking at night and consequently undersleeping (which may put your health at risk), we have a few top tips that you can follow to help switch off your thoughts before you go to sleep:
- Make time to wind down: A great idea is to start getting into the habit of setting aside an hour to relax before you plan to go to bed each night. It’s important to take the time to wind down and process the events of the day. It’s essential to take part in this pre-bed ritual regularly. We are creatures of habit and repetition, and routine is the ‘language of the brain’.
- Talk to somebody about your thoughts: Another effective technique is to talk things through with a loved one. A proper heart-to-heart is really good for us. It’s a great way of processing the day, but it’s also good to feel a connection with someone, which increases our general happiness. It makes the idea of overthinking less stressful when you share it.
- Write your thoughts in a journal: If you’re not much of a talker or prefer solitude, a great idea might be to jot your thoughts in a journal entry. This way, you can still process your thoughts and set them out in front of you. It’s important when you’ve finished writing to put the journal out of sight so that you are reminding yourself not to let these thoughts linger. Another great tip is to try and write a number of positive things in your journal, too, so that you aren’t just inundated with negativity.
- Try deep breathing: This can work as a powerful distraction technique (especially in combination with counting). Sleep therapist Christabel Majendie argues that you should try to ‘breathe out for longer than you breathe in’, and if your mind wanders, then just take note and return your attention to breathing exercises.
- Get sun exposure in the morning: Getting sun exposure in the morning (mid-morning ideally) can help your brain’s internal clock to readjust, making it easier to fall asleep later that night. Basically, exposing yourself to natural light in the morning prepares you for sleep later. In fact, did you know that many professional athletes do this to help prevent jet lag? Clever stuff.
Hopefully, these pointers will help you to switch off your brain at night and keep those overwhelming thoughts at bay. Maybe try a different one each night until you work out which one speaks to you most. Aside from following some of our top tips, natural plant extracts may just be the ticket to satisfying sleep and stress-free snoozing.
Here’s An Idea: Try Supplementing Your Sleep
Yawns have designed Night Caps – capsules containing a fresh sleep supplement that has been crafted specially to help you switch off your mind and body each night. If this wasn’t enough, each capsule is completely organic and full of exotic plant extracts. Let’s have a more detailed look at what you can expect to find in every capsule:
- Ashwagandha powder: This carefully selected ingredient is also known as Indian Ginseng. It may help to influence your natural hormone levels and manage stress symptoms that might otherwise cause your mind to race. It might even impact your mood, along with signs of inflammation and some cholesterol-related symptoms.
- Valerian root powder: This plant is used all over the world. It has the potential to help you get off to sleep as well as possibly reducing some anxiety symptoms.
- Griffonia seed extract: These seeds originate from the beans of a vine that is native to Africa. They may potentially influence your serotonin levels (a hormone that helps fight depression symptoms and affects how we feel). It could also impact your self-care routine, reduce the frequency of migraines, and help you get off to sleep more quickly too!
- Black pepper powder: More likely than not, this ingredient is in your kitchen. However, you may not be aware of just how extraordinary it is. Black pepper powder is high in antioxidants and it’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It might also be able to affect some natural mental processes and various dynamics within your body.
As you can see, it’s a pretty exciting list of ingredients covering an impressive range of potential benefits. Night Caps are a natural way to develop your bedtime routine, with premium ingredients and the best possible efforts made to improve your sleep. Furthermore, our packaging is also completely transparent, just like our ingredients list, so you know that we’re not playing any mind games.
Overthinking is often a curse and can leave us feeling stressed, agitated and (worst of all) exhausted. Luckily, the team at Yawns have worked tirelessly to help give you the best possible chance of supplementing your sleep. All you need is two capsules a night. Better still, combine this routine with the other tips we’ve mentioned in this article. You never know; you just might find yourself sleeping soundly with fewer thoughts crowding your mind.