6 Night Affirmations That Will Help You Sleep

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/ March 8, 2021
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Stressful times call for simple and easy self-care strategies—which may be why night affirmations for sleep are surging in popularity. Night affirmations, aka bedtime affirmations, are positive statements you can quietly say to yourself, write out, or repeat in your head to support a good night’s sleep.

If your wind-down routine has nothing on racing thoughts fueled by doom-scrolling or Sunday scaries, night affirmations could help ease your mind by rooting you in the present and reminding you that you can fall asleep.

“When you create a bedtime affirmation practice, you make peace and calm a priority,” says Valerie Knopik, PhD, psychologist and teacher for Yoga Medicine Online. “This is thought to change your pre-sleep thoughts, and by extension, make peaceful sleep more of a reality.”

Learn about the science behind night affirmations for sleep and how to add them to your bedtime routine.

How night affirmations work

Changing the way you think about sleep may help improve your ability to sleep, says Barbaranne Branca, PhD, certified neuropsychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher at Studio Be in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

“When you create a bedtime affirmation practice, you make peace and calm a priority."

Brain scans of people practicing night affirmations show increased activity in neural pathways—connections between different parts of the brain—linked to corresponding behavior changes in the future, per a 2015 study in Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.

Night affirmations can help you take advantage of neuroplasticity, or your brain's ability to strengthen certain pathways, to ease your stressboost your self-esteem, and up your ability to adopt healthy habits.

journal to write night affirmations in, sleep mask, slippers, and cup of tea

Night affirmations are positive statements you can quietly say to yourself, write out, or repeat in your head to support a good night’s sleep.

How to use night affirmations for sleep

Use nighttime affirmations as a final step in your evening ritual to get yourself into the right mindset for sleep. After you’ve crawled into bed, repeat your chosen affirmation with thoughtfulness and presence about 10 times, advises Branca. Repeat as necessary for about three minutes, giving your mind and body permission to rest.

Keep in mind that night affirmations won’t make negative thoughts or feelings magically disappear—and that’s OK. “Think of your mind as a muscle,” says Knopik. “You’re strengthening the positive thought patterns that serve you.” Practice and patience are key.

Best night affirmations for sleep

To get started with night affirmations, use these prompts.

I release today

Hung up over a bad day? “Give yourself permission to leave the burdens and stresses of the day behind in order to start fresh and renewed tomorrow,” says Knopik. “The less you carry, the lighter you become, and the easier it is for sleep to carry you.”

I choose calm and peace

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with a flood of negative emotions, especially when the list of stressors you’re dealing with during the day is long. This nighttime affirmation gives you permission to choose peace over anxiety, says Knopik.

I am not my thoughts

When your thoughts take over, it can feel as if they’re your only reality and they’re in control. Repeat this night affirmation to remind yourself you’re not your thoughts and you have the power to observe them without latching on, says Knopik.

I am grateful

A great theme for bedtime affirmations is gratitude, says Knopik. Ending your day with feelings of gratefulness can help lower your blood pressure, increase your optimism, and improve the quality and duration of your sleep.

I am doing the best I can

Stressed out about work? Use nighttime affirmations to replace negative self-talk with positive statements, says Branca. Beyond "I am doing the best that I can," customize your night affirmations to address specific concerns.

For example, if you’re worried about giving a presentation, remind yourself of your qualifications and previous successes by repeating the following: "I am well-educated and prepared, and I have all the abilities I need to do a good job tomorrow."

I can do this

When negative thoughts about sleep are the problem, it might help to simply remind yourself you're capable of getting a good night's sleep.

If you’ve tried night affirmations for a week or so and you’re still struggling night after night, you may have a sleep disorder such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Since sleep is vital for your health and well-being, don’t hesitate to reach out to a healthcare provider for help.

lauren krouse

Lauren Krouse

Lauren Krouse is a freelance writer who covers health, domestic violence, and self-advocacy. Her work appears inWomen's Health, Men's Health, Prevention, Self, HuffPost, and elsewhere. When she's not writing, you can find her trying to meditate more, weightlifting, or walking in the woods with her partner and black lab. Visit her website.

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