When Your Brain Keeps You Awake
What. A. Long. Day.
Thankfully you’ve finally made it into bed. And all you want to do is drift off into that wonderful, rejuvenating world of sleep. But just as you close your eyes and exhale, it begins—a muffled hint of thought. And then, seemly against your will, you tune into the “chatter”, which makes it all the more pronounced. Yep. Your busy brain is at it again!
If you suffer from sleep-preventing “brain chatter”, you, my friend, are in good, albeit, tired, company. What I have discovered is that there are ways to get your brain to shut down or “up”—whichever direction suits you.
The first way to settle your brain is to prepare your mental muscle, ahead of time, to go to bed. You do this by taking a few minutes before lights out to: 1) Mentally review the day you’ve just completed and 2) Schedule the day to come. If this is done prior to head-on-pillow time, there will be much less “thought fodder” for you to chew on.
Secondly, keep a pencil and notepad on your night stand. If a thought pops into your head that your brain decides is critically important for you to remember for tomorrow—and therefore refuses to let it go—roll over and write it down. That way your brain (and body) can be rest assured.
Third, you will need to police the content of your pre-sleep brain chatter. I suggest you limit your thoughts to the following subjects: good things that happened that day, accomplishments made, things/events/people that brought you joy. Any other subject will likely cause your heart rate to rise, and in doing so, chasing away your slumber.
Finally, make your “departing” thoughts of the day be ones of gratitude. Recounting God’s goodness will bathe your brain in contentment—and a contented brain always sleeps soundly!