Q: How do you wind down and quieten the mind for sleep? I am a major overactive thinker when I am trying to go asleep, I just go over and over things that have happened at work. Thinking what was said, what I should have said, etc. I find it incredibly difficult to switch off and relax, and as I result don't often get a good nights sleep unless I have had several glasses of wine to knock me out!
A: Ahhh, my dear, that's what we call the monkey mind in yoga! There is a great article that I came across that may also offer some assistance to taming the overactive mind/body. Basically, it isn't easy to quiet and that is the whole point of yoga--to quiet the fluctuations of the mind--or so Patanajali says. Unfortunately, I, too, have a very active mind and find myself creating to-do lists while practicing yoga, keep a post-it pad by my bed for those oh-so-important thoughts that come to me late at night, and am constantly working to strengthen the tranquility in my life. Thank Gawd we do yoga!
My top tips for creating a tranquil night's sleep:
1. Talk out what is on your mind--journal, blog, share with your trusted pal.
2. Keep paper and a pen by your bed and in your handbag to note all spur-of-the-moment thoughts that may never return if not captured.
3. When you find yourself battling a feeling of "I should have done better" or "so-and-so's e-mail bothered me," get to the bottom of it. What really is upsetting you? Was it really the e-mail or the message behind it that is leaving you feeling hurt? This has been a very helpful tool when I have that uneasy feeling.
4. Take time to unwind through meditation, a chill yoga practice, writing out tomorrow's agenda, recapping the day, putting on relaxing pulse point cream or music, lighting a candle--basically create a ritual to let your day go!
5. Creating a sacred haven in your bedroom definitely helps -- devoid of TV, computers, too many books (I have heaps of them by my bed . . . ugh!).
Click here for additional tips. Sending you tranquil thoughts and happy zzzzzs!