I think it’s fair to say that for many of us, times have been particularly trying lately. Within the context of current affairs and the 24/7 news cycle and social media its often easy to get sucked into a negative headspace. It’s certainly something that I have struggled with recently and one thing I’ve implemented that has made a difference that I want to share with you today is positive affirmations before bed. I will also be sharing 43 of my favourite bedtime affirmations with you, as well as the app I’m currently using that helps me.
What is a positive affirmation?
When we are talking about positive affirmations we simply mean a positive statement that gives emotional support or encouragement.
This may just be a sentence that says something positive and uplifting.
Positive affirmations are especially when you are in a negative headspace and can help you diminish negative thoughts and thinking.
You’ve probably even used positive affirmations in the past without realising, for example, ‘I can only do my best’.
For examples of positive bedtime affirmations please scroll further down this post.
How do you use affirmations?
You can use affirmations by creating a regular practice. Slot them into a time of the day that works for you – you can tag them onto a routine you already have established, for example, after your workout, first thing in the morning or right before bed.
You can write them down in a physical journal or an app. I use the app Journal which has an option to add daily affirmations every day. It can be customised to your own needs and has some suggestions for affirmations too. Mine is set to be updated twice a day.
Do affirmations before sleep work?
Catherine Moore, Psychologist, MBA sites six examples of evidence from empirical studies that suggest that positive self-affirmation practices can be beneficial:
- Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015);
- Self-affirmations have been used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behavior (Cooke et al., 2014);
- They may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance, including interventions (Logel & Cohen, 2012);
- They can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better (Harris et al., 2007) and to eat more fruit and vegetables (Epton & Harris, 2008);
- They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at college (Layous et al., 2017);
- Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Wiesenfeld et al., 2001).
Is it better to write or say affirmations? Do you say affirmations out loud?
Whether it is better to write or say affirmation is a matter of personal preference. It can also depend on your learning style and how you best take in information.
I would advise trying it out and seeing which feels better to you.
Personally I write mine in an app and then I say it to myself in my head several times. If I’m particularly struggling then I say it out loud to really help bring it home.
What is important is repetition and visualising the positive affirmation.
Do affirmations change your brain?
According to Catherine Moore, Psychologist, MBA at Positive Psychology:
There is MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks. If you want to be super specific, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex—involved in positive valuation and self-related information processing – becomes more active when we consider our personal values.
Falk et al., 2015; Cascio et al., 2016
How many affirmations is too many?
How many affirmations is too many depends on your personal preference. You want to make sure you can repeat the affirmations several times – up to 10 times.
What is important is that you really soak the affirmations in. If you have too many affirmations then it’s harder to really accept each one into your mind and body.
A good way to start is to choose one per day and repeat it several times. Then build up to repeating it 10 times.
Once you are comfortable with that routine you can start to consider introducing more affirmations, one extra one every few days. Then you’ll find what feels right for you.
Personally three feels good to me. More than that feels overwhelming.
Why are affirmations so powerful?
Affirmations are so powerful because you are tapping into your sub-concious. The most powerful affirmations are authentic affirmations that speak to your inner truth and remind you of it.
Positive affirmations can remind you of what you know deep down to be true but have forgotten or neglected in the hustle and bustle of busy modern life.
The power of positive affirmations lies in taking a moment out of your day to slow down and remind yourself of who you are, what you want in life and what you can achieve.
Can positive affirmations heal your body?
Saying positive affirmations can heal your body might be a bit of a stretch. For example, if you’ve sprained your ankle, all the positive affirmations in the world aren’t going to fix it instantly.
However, there are a number of studies that confirm the benefits of affirmations. Affirmations are proven to be able to help decrease health-deteriorating stress. They can help you tap into your body’s parasympathetic nervous system to relax.
Tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system can provide numerous health benefits. It can help your relax, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, reduce your cortisol levels (aka stress), and improve your circadian rhythm and quality of sleep.
In addition, some affirmations may result in your achieving a more healthy lifestyle, for example, more movement and exercise or eating more nutritious foods which could also help your body to heal and become healthier.
So whilst positive affirmations won’t directly heal your body, they can definitely have a positive impact on your health.
What are the best sleep affirmations?
The best sleep affirmations are aligned to your value system and are about things that matter to you. For sleep affirmations to be successful authentic, that is, consistent with your inner truth and value system.
Whilst I have a bunch of suggestions for you below, choose the ones that mean the most to you and then adapt them to your circumstances.
Think about what you are trying to achieve and make sure your night affirmations will help you with that.
Avoid toxic positivity – affirmations that just say everything is great or your are amazing all the time aren’t realistic or authentic. It’s ok to acknowledge when you are finding life hard.
When should I say my affirmations?
You can choose to say affirmations whenever you like.
Some people like to say positive affirmations before bed to cleanse them of their day and set themselves up for a peaceful night.
Some people prefer to say their affirmations first thing in the morning to start their day off with intention. Personally, I prefer to do both as bookends to my day.
43 positive affirmations before bed
12 night affirmations for self love
I am enough.
I did enough today.
I have done my best today.
I believe in myself, and trust my own wisdom.
I accept and love myself as I am.
I am a priority in my own life.
I am proud of who I am becoming.
I am loved and cherished by my family and friends.
I deserve a peaceful and loving life.
I am a good person who deserves happiness, health and love.
I deserve time to heal.
I allow myself to be who I truly am.
10 bedtime affirmations for the soul
I listen to what my body is trying to tell me.
I am rooted in the energy of Mother Earth.
I am thankful for this opportunity to rest and reset my mind.
I follow my heart’s calling.
It is a miracle I am here right now. My life is a blessing.
I live in harmony with all other beings.
I choose love and kindness every day.
I let go of all that no longer serves me.
I am ready to receive through my dreams.
I choose to believe that people have good intentions.
11 positive affirmations for sleep anxiety
My mind and body are ready to rest.
In this moment, I am safe.
I heal my mind and body whilst I rest and sleep.
I am in a safe place to sleep and rest.
As I lie down to sleep, everything is as it should be, and it is ok for me to rest.
I have survived all my worst days so far, there is nothing I can not overcome.
My deepest desires are being fulfilled as I sleep.
My muscles are relaxed and I am calm.
I am breathing slowly and deeply and filling myself with calm and relaxation.
Everything is temporary, this too shall pass.
The universe will take me where I’m meant to be. I don’t have to worry about making decisions.
10 bedtime affirmations for success
I am the lead character in my own life.
Inhale the future, exhale the past.
I trust my journey, even when I don’t understand my journey.
I have the ability to be successful.
New doors are opening all the time.
I can accomplish what I set my mind to.
My work makes a difference in this world.
I deserve to have a successful career and abundance.
My determination is stronger than my fear.
I have unique gifts and skills that are an asset to any company.
Positive affirmations before bed summary
Hopefully you are now convinced that positive affirmations before bed are worthwhile and you have a nice selection to choose from to practice each night for a few minutes to achieve positive thoughts before sleep.
Do let me know in the comments if you try any of these and what the results were for you!
If you liked this post you might also like:
- The ultimate guide to surviving when your kids don’t sleep through the night
- How to get more sleep, when your kids won’t sleep
- How to get your child to go to sleep on their own
- 15 body positive Instagram accounts you should be following
- 10 tips on how to get into and stay in a great exercise routine