I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have a hard time getting my brain to power off at the end of the day. It’s almost like the computer program that runs constantly in the background. You know, the one that asks if you’re sure because you could lose unsaved data?

With the end of a nine weeks coming up at work, my husband taking certification courses and working, running after both girls…you get it. The day never seems to end. And when I finally get a chance to lay in bed, I crash hard.

After many nights of this and restless sleep, I decided to research and try out techniques to help my brain slow down. Here’s a few that I have liked best.

1. Brain Dump- yes, it’s as appealing as it sounds. The first few times are tough because you want what you write onto the paper to make sense. It doesn’t have to. Write whatever comes to mind. Grocery items, a to-do list, or just random thoughts. If I’m able to get it out of my head and onto paper, it doesn’t creep back in just before I drift off.

2. Mind numbing games- this one sounds counter-productive. And for some it may be. For me, if I play a crossword game it helps to slow my mind down. I can last maybe five to ten minutes before I risk dropping the phone on my face from getting sleepy. Sometimes I even get my husband to play it while I watch and fall asleep on his shoulder. (He secretly enjoys this one too!)

3. Read- I can usually grab the book I’m currently reading and enjoy it for a few minutes to make myself sleepy. It’s almost like I’m not in my own thoughts, so they drift off and I can do the same. Now, I can’t do the Kindle version for this. It has to be a physical book. For some reason it has a different effect.

4. Melatonin- there…I admit it. I sometimes take one of my daughter’s melatonin gummies to help me sleep. I don’t wake up feeling groggy like I do when I take any other form of sleep aid. This is the one I resort to when it’s been an incredibly hectic day and I feel like I got nothing done.

And if none of these work, I move on to my tried and true method.

5. Write- I feel like this one is a given, especially since I’m laying in bed as I type this post. It kind of wraps up a brain dump into making myself think and getting out what’s on my mind. I’ve tried journaling, but it’s not for me. I have random notes stuck everywhere and ideas for stories on the corners of notebook pages.

As short as this list is, it makes me happy to share it. For all you parents out there, my daughter does these things also. Her go-to is reading. I’ve found flashlights and books under her pillow many mornings from where she read to put herself to sleep.

How to you make your brain power off? What’s your go-to method to “shut down” from the day?

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