My inner monologue needs to shut the F-up!

(I’m trying to sleep)

That little voice. The one that whispers to you at 3 am, preventing you from falling asleep. The same one that reminds you of all of the errands you failed to complete throughout your waking hours. It’s an inner monologue that likes to casually remind you of all of your past failures while you are desperately looking to get some sleep. Its breath is heavy with judgment and ridicule as you begin thinking about the path you’ve taken in life. You begin thinking about how you need to call your Mom more often, and how you need to eat a cleaner diet. The voice begins to give you a narrative toward solving all of the problems you have at work, while simultaneously giving you specific instructions on how to make a Bundt cake for your office party. At this point, your inner monologue is yelling at you, while you lay with eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling.

It can be something as simple as one negative thought that can trigger our mental chatter. You look at the clock and begin to stress why you are not sleeping, which only keeps you awake longer. Finally, once you begin to get tired, the voice disappears now you realize it is now 30 minutes before you have to be at work. Your alarm begins to go off as you barely hear it because now exhaustion has kicked in. You manage to pull yourself out of bed, stumbling into the shower, cursing that f*cking little voice because you’ll be exhausted for the rest of the day.

What is the voice you ask? It’s your subconscious mind unloading all of the “unprocessed” data you have been accumulating throughout your days. Since our brains do not come with an on/off button, it’ll wait till you are conveniently relaxed to unload all of the data you have been storing (suppressing). So how do we get our inner monologue to shut the F-up? Well, glad you asked, because here are 10 convenient ways to allow yourself to sleep like a baby tonight:

Set yourself up for sleeping success, by powering down for the night.

Position yourself for optimum sleep my first turning off all gadgets and shutting down social media for the night. You are not doing yourself any favors by scrolling through your Facebook feed right before bed. I don’t know about you but my inner monologue loves nothing more than to be fed a fat juicy piece of Facebook gossip, sending shots of adrenaline to my brain right before bed. Or another way to guarantee a shitty night of sleep is to see how much of a loser I’ve become by viewing how one of my old college buddies Facebook feed who just purchased his third home while I lay in my itty-bitty one bedroom apartment.

Set it up, process it, then clear it off your desk in real-time.

A great way to get your inner chatter to shut the F-up is to handle problems as they arise. Your inner monologue would love nothing more than to remind at 2 am of the sales report you failed to finish. So during your waking hours try your best to handle obstacles, problems, and situations before they have a chance to wake you up in the middle of the night.

Make a list.

If by chance you are human and unable to solve all problems as they arise, then a great way to shut off the mental noise before bedtime is to get it out of your head onto paper. Studies have suggested that when you write down what is bothering you before jumping in bed, you are actually beating your inner voice to the punch by consciously addressing it before your subconscious has a chance to chime in and wake you while you are snoozing.

Set the temperature at the perfect level.

Before you jump into the sack try this scenario. Set your temperature at 67 degrees. If you like it a little colder feel free to turn it down to 65, if you like it warmer then increase it to 72. But in the event of trying to sleep, make sure you get the temperature exactly the way you want it. Optimum temperature is essential for getting proper shut-eye and keeping your inner monologue from disrupting you, and if you are like me the colder the better for a great night of sleep.

Make your bed as if you were on a mission

A great way to stop the mental noise during sleeping hours to have such an incredibly comfy bed that your level of comfort is actually greater than the mental disruption. I learned this from my girlfriend. Her bed is so ridiculously comfortable that my inner monologue is rendered helpless from the super soft sheets and ultra cozy comforter that zaps my mental noise before it even has a chance to get started.

Watch what you eat.

One amazing way to get your inner voice to shut the F-up is to feed it. Yes, I said to feed it! Now I’m not saying you should feed yourself garbage like sweets, candy, or junk food. However, if you eat a small clean snack like a handful of cherries or banana with a tablespoon of almond butter prior to going to bed you are stabilizing your metabolism. Because when you are asleep, you are essentially starving yourself for 6 to 8 hours. A recent study suggests that if you eat tart cherries before bed you could potentially increase your levels of serotonin to allow you to sleep better. When your belly is full it gives your inner voice one less thing to keep you up. Think of it like this, if you are hungry your inner monologue will let you know loud and clear. But if you are satisfied with a belly full of clean healthy snacks, like carrots and celery with hummus, then you are stabilizing your glucose levels allowing you to decrease any sleep issues or fatigue, staving off hunger.

Exercise earlier in the day.

Some forms of insomnia been associated with depression and anxiety. Exercise is a powerful way to combat the inner monologue and reduce certain forms of depression and anxiety. There is an increase in blood flow to your brain when you workout. Your body releases stress-fighting chemicals that allow for mood regulation like endorphin otherwise known as the mind’s “happy drug”. Which is why many times we feel so much more at ease after a good sweat because the endorphin spiking and interacting with the brain’s receptors reducing your perception of stress, anxiety, and even depression. Your inner monologue doesn’t stand a chance to interrupt your sleep when you are this relaxed.

Make a habit of going to bed at the same time.

Developing a positive sleep pattern is essential to turn off the mental chatter from preventing you from a good night’s sleep. Once you develop a pattern your body will begin to anticipate the time you should be sleeping thereby decreasing the probability of the disrupting voice of the chatter. It is essential to develop this pattern because it allows your body to reset its energy levels for optimal balance during the course of your daytime hours. And going to bed the same time everyday allows your conscious-thought to train your subconscious-thought (inner monologue) to anticipate when you are supposed to be asleep.

Be mindful of the present.

Your inner chatter loves nothing more than to dwell on past failures to whisper softly in your ear as you attempt to drift off to never-never-land. Let’s also not forget how our mental noise is magnified when it contemplates the future of where you want to be in life, not to mention what you think you’ll be doing. However, the simple fact is the past has already happened and the future has yet to be. Therefore, no need to worry about either because being present is the moment at hand. So to stop the inner monologue from making you stress out, grab a piece of blank paper and describe something that you are sincerely grateful for prior to bedtime. Being grateful of the present gives you a sense peace and brings a sense of calm about you, setting you up for a great night’s sleep.

Plan for the following day like a BOSS!

One excellent way to shut off the inner monologue from waking you during the middle of the night is to meticulously plan your day. Planning your day allows for you to be more prepared for any obstacles that will certainly surface throughout the course of your day. Set aside time during the evening before bed and structure the successful day that you envision. Feel free to push your limits by making a sound outline of what you want to accomplish. Be bold in your approach because you might just surprise yourself on how much you accomplish. Remember, you are the architect of your day and if you have a sound blueprint for success the mental noise in your head will subside if there isn’t a reason to worry.

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