If you’ve ever found yourself lying awake at night worrying about tomorrow’s to-do list, you’re not alone. Trouble sleeping is a common problem. While there could be many factors that contribute to restlessness or insomnia, one of the most common is focusing on the thoughts that are swirling around in your head. Whether it’s tomorrow’s important meeting or that argument you had today with your spouse, thoughts that are spiraling out of control can keep you from getting a restful night of sleep. One way to manage all the worries is to write them down.
There are a number of ways you can journal as a way to manage your racing thoughts and get a better night’s rest. Let’s explore some of those, why journaling helps you to get to sleep faster, along with some tips on how to keep a journal before bed to achieve improved sleep quality.
Reasons to Keep a Journal at Night
There are a few reasons why you may find your thoughts racing at night when you’re ready for sleep. When we’re busy during the day, our brains are focused on the tasks at hand. It’s more difficult for other thoughts to creep in. Before bed, however, things tend to be more quiet and still. Your brain starts working in overdrive, allowing thoughts and worries to race in your mind. A journal can give you a place to put all those things that are taking up space in your head. It gives some sort of closure to your day and a feeling of resolution, allowing you to unwind and prepare for rest.
Tips for Keeping a Nighttime Journal
There are a number of ways you can use a journal to clear your mind and get a better night’s sleep. Creating a journaling ritual before sleep can be a self-care practice, as well. Light some candles, play soft music, and drink a soothing non-caffeinated beverage. Create a relaxing atmosphere to go with your writing ritual. Writing about any fears or worries can be a good way to gain perspective and get them out of your head. It’s also been shown that writing tomorrow’s to-do list can lead to improved sleep because it allows you to feel less-stressed and more prepared for the next day. Free writing whatever’s on your mind or doing a mind dump to get everything out can also prove to be beneficial.
No matter how you use your journal, writing in the evening before bed comes with numerous benefits, including better sleep quality. Keeping a journal near your bed is also helpful for those times when you wake up overwhelmed with anxious thoughts. Take time to cultivate a routine that works for you and see if your sleep doesn’t improve.