10 Techniques to Stop an Active Mind at Night

Does your mind always overactive before sleep and make you unable to sleep? Check out sleep experts tips to stop an active mind at night!

4 mins read
how to stop an active mind at night

Dealing with a racing mind at night can be incredibly frustrating, making it challenging to find peace and restful sleep. While common techniques like establishing a bedtime routine and practicing meditation can be effective, exploring unconventional methods can provide a fresh approach. This time, we will delve into some unorthodox and genius hacks that can help you stop an active mind, allowing for a more tranquil and rejuvenating sleep experience at night.

1. Unload All Your Thoughts Into Paper

Brain dumping is an effective technique to unload your racing thoughts onto paper, clearing mental clutter and promoting relaxation. Before bedtime, take a notebook and write down everything that comes to mind without judgment or structure.

Let your thoughts flow freely, covering worries, ideas, and tasks. This process externalizes your thoughts, providing a sense of release and allowing your mind to let go. By embracing brain dumping regularly, you can quiet your mind and find solace in a clearer mental space.

2. Create a Worry Box

If worries tend to dominate your mind at night, a worry box can be a powerful tool. Designate a small box or container as your worry box and place it near your bedside. Before going to sleep, write down any concerns or anxieties on a small piece of paper and place them inside the box.

Visualize these worries being safely stored away until the next day, allowing yourself to mentally let go and focus on rest. The physical act of symbolically containing your worries can help calm your mind and create a sense of control over them.


3. Embrace Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using scents to promote relaxation and calmness. Experiment with essential oils known for their soothing properties, such as lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood. Incorporate these oils into your bedtime routine by diffusing them in your bedroom or adding a few drops to a warm bath.

Alternatively, you can create a calming pillow spray by mixing a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle and lightly misting your pillow and bedding. The pleasant aromas can help stop an active mind, easing you into a peaceful sleep at night.

4. Practice Thought Labeling

Thought labeling is a technique that involves mentally categorizing your thoughts to distance yourself from them. As thoughts arise, observe them without judgment and assign them a neutral label. For example, if a thought is related to work, label it as “work.”

By acknowledging and labeling your thoughts, you create a mental separation, preventing them from consuming your mind. This practice helps you cultivate a more detached and peaceful state of mind, facilitating a smoother transition into sleep.

5. Engage in Guided Visualization

Guided visualization is a powerful technique that utilizes your imagination to create a mental landscape conducive to relaxation and sleep. Before bedtime, find a quiet space and listen to guided visualization recordings or apps that lead you through calming scenarios.


Imagine yourself in serene natural settings like a peaceful beach or a tranquil forest. Engage all your senses and immerse yourself in the visualization, focusing on the details and sensations. This technique allows your mind to shift away from racing thoughts and redirects your focus to a more serene and restful state.

6. Experiment with Soundscapes

Soundscapes are ambient recordings that mimic natural or soothing environments, helping to create a tranquil atmosphere for sleep. Explore different soundscapes, such as gentle rain, ocean waves, or forest sounds, and find the ones that resonate with you.

You can find these recordings online or through mobile apps. Experiment with different soundscapes to determine which ones help drown out racing thoughts and create a peaceful auditory environment for sleep. The soothing sounds can promote relaxation and provide a focal point for your mind, allowing it to settle down and prepare for rest.

7. Engage in Guided Progressive Relaxation

Progressive relaxation is a technique that involves systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups to promote physical and mental relaxation. To take it a step further, try incorporating guided progressive relaxation into your nighttime routine.

Find guided recordings or apps that lead you through the process, providing instructions on which muscles to tense and release. As you focus on each muscle group, imagine the tension melting away, allowing your body to sink into a state of deep relaxation.


This technique not only relaxes your body but also helps calm an active mind by redirecting your focus to the physical sensations of relaxation.

8. Create a “Winding Down” Ritual

In addition to establishing a bedtime routine, creating a specific “winding down” ritual can help signal to your mind that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. This ritual can involve a series of calming activities that you enjoy. For example, you could start by dimming the lights in your home and lighting a scented candle or incense with a relaxing aroma, such as chamomile or lavender.

Engage in activities that promote mindfulness, such as gentle stretching or practicing a few minutes of gratitude meditation. Additionally, you can sip on a cup of herbal tea known for its calming properties, such as chamomile or valerian root. By consistently engaging in this winding down ritual before bed, you create a soothing and predictable routine that helps stop your active mind and prepare you for a peaceful night’s sleep at night.

9. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) techniques

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a proven therapeutic approach for addressing sleep difficulties, including an active mind at night. While it’s typically recommended to seek guidance from a trained therapist, there are some techniques you can try on your own. One technique is called “stimulus control.” This involves associating your bed and bedroom only with sleep and intimacy.

Remove activities like reading, watching TV, or working from your sleep environment. Reserve your bed exclusively for sleep, so your mind starts to associate it with rest and relaxation. Another CBT-I technique is “thought challenging.” When you notice racing or intrusive thoughts at night, challenge their validity and replace them with more positive or calming thoughts. Use evidence-based reasoning to counter negative or anxious thoughts and reframe them in a more balanced or realistic way.


By employing these CBT-I techniques, you can retrain your mind to associate your bed with sleep and develop a healthier thought pattern that promotes a quieter mind at night.

10. Practice Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude journaling involves focusing on the positive aspects of your day and expressing gratitude for them. Before going to bed, take a few minutes to write down three things you are grateful for. Reflect on moments of joy, small victories, or acts of kindness you experienced.

This practice shifts your attention from negative or racing thoughts to a mindset of gratitude and contentment. By fostering a positive outlook, you can quiet your mind and cultivate a sense of peace before sleep.

Bottom Line

Quieting an active mind at night requires a personalized approach. While traditional techniques like meditation and establishing routines are effective, exploring unorthodox methods can offer unique solutions.

Experiment with these techniques and discover the ones that resonate with you, bringing you closer to a tranquil night’s rest.