How Positive Thinking Can Help You Sleep Better
Life is too short to not sleep well. But with so much stress, negative thoughts, and anxiety in our daily lives, it can be hard to relax your mind and body so they can rest and recover. If these stress and anxiety triggers are causing you to have a bad sleep, positive thinking can help you sleep better.
Positive Outlook and Sleep: What Is the Link?
Even if you can’t change your situation, a positive outlook can still help you sleep better by helping you relax. As you step back from the situation, you see more clearly. You now have the space to see things differently and work out a solution that will work for you – not against you. You also see how your thinking may be exaggerating the problem. With this new attitude, you perform more effectively. So, what was once a case of sleep deprivation can be easily reversed with a positive mind and outlook.
How Thinking Affects Sleep
At the root of tense and anxious thoughts is worrying about what “might happen.” Thoughts like “What if I accidentally do XYZ?” or “What if they do ABC?” and the like dominate your thoughts, and you fall into a spiral of worry. This hypes up the sympathetic nervous system and heightens your level of stress, which can keep you up for hours. The result is that instead of sleeping, you toss and turn all night.
But with a positive mindset and outlook, this worry is transformed into hope and action. You see the issues more clearly. You appreciate them and their benefits. You gain the confidence and strength to prevent them from happening. You also remember and resort to your coping skills to overcome them. And you look forward to your ability to solve the issues.
So, if you want more restful sleep, positive thinking can make a difference. Instead of the stress-inducing cycle of worry and negative focus, you’ll have peaceful rest with hours of uninterrupted, restful sleep. This positive thinking is what you need to revitalize your sleep cycle.
Related: Answers to Your Questions about Sleep
Some studies show that positive thinking can help one get good quality sleep at night.
A study published online in 2017 concluded that people who appreciate what they have and have a positive outlook on life were 63% less likely to display sleep apnea as well as 52% less likely to show signs of restless legs syndrome.
Another study of 3500 young and midle-aged adults in the U.S. found that optimistic people sleep better and longer.
What Happens When You Start Thinking Positive
Positive thinking can help decrease cortisol and increase serotonin in your brain, which can help promote an improved mood in general, make you feel good, and create a sense of well-being. One feels emotionally stable, happy, calmer, and less anxious, all feelings conducive to getting a good night’s sleep.
Constant negative thinking can leave you in a state of heightened awareness. When you’re alert and ready to react all the time, it will not be easy to let down your guard and relax to get the sleep you need. When you think positive thoughts and allow your brain to react to the world more positively, you reap all sorts of benefits, such as increased productivity and creativity, as well as relaxation and better sleep.
How to overcome negative thoughts and think positive?
Say out loud to yourself positive affirmations that you believe in. Positive affirmations are all about how you see and view yourself.
Examples of positive affirmations or positive thoughts before bed can be:
‘Everything will be okay’
‘I am in control of my life and feelings’
‘I have people that love me’
‘I have a lot to be grateful for’
‘Tomorrow will be better’
‘I have done my best today and now deserve to sleep’
‘Everything I need is within me’
It is best that these affirmations are about the positive strengths that you already have, such as being productive, determined, and friendly.
There are many ways that you can make positive affirmations. You can do it with a pen and paper and write things down. As you are doing this, take note of the little things that you enjoy doing and things that you already do well. Write down those things.
You can also write down the things that you want to improve on and as you do, make sure that your affirmations are based on what you really want and need in your life, not expectations that have been placed on you.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Your emotions are contagious. So, try to avoid negative people at all costs. You can do things like listening to positive music, listening to podcasts that are positive, or spending time with positive people.
Most people can find positive people if they try. If you have a hard time finding positive people, join a meetup group that has positive people, or spend time doing fun activities like hiking, biking, or even fishing.
Try to surround yourself with happy, thriving people. People who have their own life under control and if possible, people that are also pursuing their goals. This positive thinking will be contagious and will help you to keep moving forward in your life. By doing this, you will be able to find a group of people that can help you stay positive and healthy.
Practise Good Sleep Hygiene
Prioritize your sleep by practising good sleep hygiene and by ensuring you sleep at least 8 hours at night. Create a clean, decluttered bedroom space that invites rest.
Engage in relaxing activities such as calming, soothing music, warm baths or showers, light walking, essential oil aromatherapy, tai chi, meditation, stretching, or yoga.
Avoid television, internet, electronics, and social media, at least 2 hours before bed to give your brain a chance to unwind and relax so you can easily drift off to sleep at bedtime.
Maintain a gratitude journal or a sleep diary. Jot down all the things you loved about your day and feel grateful for. Thinking happy thoughts at bedtime will have you drifting off to dreamland in no time.
With the right attitude, techniques, and a positive mindset, you can sleep better and have a better life. The key is to monitor your thought patterns, negative self-talk, and to reduce stressors in your life. Don’t try hard to sleep; instead, allow sleep to happen. Think positive, smile, and start editing your mindset. It works! Positive thinking can help you sleep better!
Before I go to sleep, I grab a pen and my diary and write down five nice things about my day. By writing down positive experiences I had during the day, I push worries and negative thoughts out of my mind. I am happier and more relaxed when I go to bed. I think this helps me a lot to fall asleep and to sleep well.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Riku!
By thinking and writing down positive things about your day in your diary or journal every night for 15 minutes before bed, you are making a choice to focus on the good things in your life, manage stress and negative emotions, and clear your mind of worries for simply good sleep at night!
Positive thinking leads to not just good sleep but is the key to happiness in your life!
Positive thoughts not only relax you for better sleep at night but can also make you focus on the brighter side of life, giving you the positive energy and resilience to overcome challenges, make you believe that things will work out at the end, and help you anticipate good things.
Thinking positive thoughts is a state of mind worth pursuing.
Your sleep, overall health, and happiness, can definitely depend on the quality of your thoughts.
Thinking positive thoughts can help you sleep better and, as you so aptly said, the key to happiness in your life!
Insomnia is a common thread amongst way too many people that I know. We have all shared tips, tricks, and remedies for this frustrating problem! Lately, many of us have found help from the Calm app and its many different solutions including guided meditations, masterclasses on living well, and my recent favorite “sleep stories.” I think one reason the sleep stories work so well is that they do take the mind to a positive place!
Saying aloud positive sleep affirmations, keeping a daily gratitude journal, and using, like you have mentioned, a positive thinking app, every night can definitely reduce stress levels, help you feel more relaxed, positive, and happier, learn more about yourself, and help you unwind for better sleep at night!
A lot of great tips in your article to think positive and to relax before bed. Thanks!
We’re glad you enjoyed reading our article and found it helpful!
This certainly is a very useful and interesting post.
It is essential that we get a good night’s sleep, or before very long we cannot function properly at any level.
Positive thinking is an excellent way to calm the mind and allow the body to settle before bedtime for better sleep.
I think that writing it down certainly reinforces it, but we must at the least, say it out loud, rather than just think it in our head.
These are great tips and I hope that loads of people benefit from it.
Thank you! We are glad that you found this post interesting and helpful!
We agree with you that, positive thoughts, when spoken, are powerful.
Instead of just thinking positive thoughts, saying them aloud allows your mind to be more focused and engaged with the positive thoughts or affirmations, and gives you a greater appreciation for the meaning conveyed in the words.
So, yes, vocalize positive thoughts or affirmations before bed to guide you into a relaxed, peaceful, and positive state of mind so your body can get the good sleep it deserves!