‘Good Night Mind’ Helps You Stop Racing Thoughts So You Can Sleep

Do you lie awake at night, helpless to stop your mind from dwelling on the events of the day or worrying about tomorrow? You are not alone.

Our minds, left to their own devices, have a tendency to bounce around wildly. We may find ourselves revisiting the past with relish or regret, or jumping ahead to create imaginary futures that fill us with worry and dread. Sometimes our brains busy themselves with creative ideas or problem-solving. Getting this busy mind to settle down at bedtime is like trying to tuck in an active toddler for a nap. Nearly everyone has trouble sleeping due to these racing thoughts at times, but for those who deal with it night after night, the “monkey mind” (as meditation teachers call it) robs them of the rest they need to face their daily lives. 

In Good Night, Mind: Turn Off Your Noisy Thoughts and Get a Good Night’s Sleep, authors Collen E. Carney and Rachel Manber present solutions to the problem, based on cognitive behavioral therapy. Carney is the director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University in Toronto and has co-authored five books about sleep issues and insomnia. Manber is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the director of the Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Stanford.

Their book describes  different issues you may have with racing thoughts and offers strategies for training your mind to rest. The book includes some run-of-the-mill sleep advice, like “go to bed at the same time every night” and “create bedtime routines for yourself.” But these seemingly simplistic platitudes are elevated to a new level in Good Night, Mind. The authors explain the science behind the advice and give lots of practical tips that breathe new life into old advice. 

The heart of the book, though, is its advice on silencing the “noisy mind.” The authors offer lots of practical methods for quieting your internal dialog so you can get some rest. Exercises, insights, and worksheets give you lots of practical assistance as you learn to stop ruminating and start sleeping soundly. 

The book is a quick, easy read, and the insights it offers into both the world of sleep and the inner workings of your brain are entertaining as well as helpful. The book will be very useful for anyone who is losing sleep due to racing thoughts and wants to correct the problem without becoming dependent on drugs. 

Some of the techniques the book teaches could also be used during the day to control negative thoughts, worries, or anxiety.