Do affirmations work while you sleep? What should you tell yourself before bed? Do positive affirmations really work or are they just wishful thinking?
Raise your hand if this has happened to you: you’re exhausted. You’ve spent all day looking forward to bed. You finally crawl into bed… but your brain won’t turn off. All of a sudden, your thoughts are racing, and you’re filled with stress and anxiety.
Sleep affirmations (also called night affirmations) are positive statements that can help you calm negativity and get a better night’s sleep.
And (this might surprise you) positive affirmations are backed by scientific evidence! They can actually help you sleep better at night–but you have to use them correctly.
Ready to learn how to create sleep affirmations that really work? Let’s go!
Do Positive Affirmations Really Work?
Yes. Positive affirmations (sometimes called self affirmations) have been shown to have positive effects on behavior.
In 2015, a study published in a major academic journal analyzed multiple previous studies to determine that affirmations can positively affect three things: a) message acceptance, b) intentions to change, and c) subsequent behavior.
This means that affirmations not only impact whether or not we accept the statement we’re repeating (eg “I am open to new opportunities.”), but they can also help create real intention in our brains to change, which ultimately leads to changes in our behavior.
How Do Affirmations Work?
Affirmations for sleep work because of something called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to change and adapt, and experiences like repeating the same affirmation every day can determine how your brain changes.
Here’s An Example of Affirmations in Action
Let’s say you want to start working out regularly. You’ve never been able to stick to a routine, but you know you’d feel better and be much healthier if you made exercise part of your life.
As you think and consider why you don’t work out, you realize you don’t work out because you believe, deep down inside, that you’re lazy. Maybe somebody whose opinion mattered to you a long time ago called you lazy, and you’ve internalized this.
You’ve spent a lifetime being lazy because you thought you were!
But now, you want to change. You choose some affirmations:
- I love to move my body!
- I am happiest when I’m active!
- I am an exerciser!
As you repeat these affirmations, you’ll start to picture your future self (an exercising self!) in your mind.
You’ll also be reminded of a value that’s important to you (exercise), and you’ll be countering the negative self-talk or fears that are probably popping up now that you’re trying to exercise regularly.
Over time, your affirmations will help you become the person and values you’ve focused on.
It’s not magic, it’s just the really incredible science of neuroplasticity, and the incredible power of our minds.
Do Affirmations Work While Sleeping?
Most of what we know about affirmations and neuroplasticity involves the active, waking brain.
There’s just not a lot of evidence to support affirmations’ impact while you’re sleeping. But that doesn’t mean they hurt!
And a lot of people find it’s extremely helpful to hear positive affirmations just before falling asleep, when waking at night, and upon waking in the morning. So if you’d like to use them while sleeping, go ahead!
What Should I Tell Myself Before Bed? (an Important Catch)
You should spend 3-5 minutes before bed repeating a night affirmation that is personal and realistic.
Personal means you’ve chosen it for yourself. Realistic means it’s truthful. But! Don’t confuse aspirational with impossible or unlikely!
You might, for example, want to change your financial situation. Maybe it’s causing you stress, or maybe you just want to be better at money management. An unrealistic affirmation would be, “I will win the lottery.” It’s unlikely that changing your brain will cause you to win the lottery!
However, an affirmation like, “I can make financial choices based on abundance, not scarcity.” could be very effective, if it’s in alignment with your personal values.
To help you get started, we’re including lists of affirmations below. You can choose one that feels impactful to you, or you can use one of ours as a jumping-off point, and create your own!
How to Upgrade Your Sleep Affirmations
Both have been used since ancient times to help with stress, anxiety, and rest, so using them with your affirmations is like a trifecta of natural, earthy, wholesome goodness!!
How to Use Crystals With Affirmations
Crystals can magnify your affirmations, and they can also remind you of your affirmation. They can help block negative energy, and help amplify positive energy.
To help with sleep, place your crystal underneath your pillow or on your nightstand, and hold it while you repeat your night affirmations.
If you’re struggling to fall asleep, you can picture your crystal surrounding you with love and light, or picture it blocking negative energy.
You can also use your crystals with your essential oils in a crystal roller bottle, like this one.
Our favorite crystals for sleep are:
- Rose quartz
How to Use Essential Oils with Affirmations
Essential oils have been scientifically studied and proven to help with stress, anxiety, and deep sleep.
They work via aromatherapy and via topical application.
You can diffuse your favorite blend while you sleep at night. Start your diffuser a few hours before bed, while you’re winding down, and while you’re repeating your sleep affirmations.
Or, make your own roller bottle blend and roll on the bottom of your feet, the base of your spine, the back of your neck, and the inside of your wrists before bed. Breathe in deeply while you repeat your affirmations.
This post has 21 different sleep blend recipes you can diffuse or use for roller bottles!
The best essential oils for sleep are:
- Roman chamomile
- Ylang ylang
- Clary sage
Night Affirmations to Help You Fall Asleep
- Sleep is a place for me to heal. I relax my body and welcome the healing sleep will bring me tonight.
- I am worthy of rest and relaxation. I don’t have to fix everything. Tonight, I will take a break from fixing everything and receive the rest I deserve.
- I am worthy of healing, restorative rest. I will partner with it tonight to receive the sleep I need.
- I breathe in peace and rest. I breathe out fear and worry. I breathe in joy and love. I breathe out stress and anger.
- Today, I did my best. I am proud of myself. I celebrate myself. I will sleep and dream well tonight.
- I open my hands to let go of stress and worry. I don’t need to keep it. I can release it. And instead, I open my arms and heart to receive love and joy. I will sleep great tonight!
- I am in a cocoon of dreaminess and joy. I am wrapped in light and love. I am relaxing into sleep.
- Sleeping is my natural state at night. It is good and safe for me to sleep. I am healthy and well and will rest beautifully tonight.
- My brain is calming. My muscles are relaxing. My eyes are closing. My breath is slowing. I am ready to sleep all night long.
- I have worked hard today, and now I will take a break to rest and recharge. Sleep will come to me naturally and gently, and I will wake restored and refreshed in the morning.
Grab our essential oils feeling chart right here.
Sleep Affirmations for Anxiety
- I have done my best today. I place my hand over my heart and forgive myself for wherever I fell short. I am free to sleep tonight.
- Tonight is a pause from worry and stress. Tonight there is no worry and stress, just sleep and rest. I hide in this pause and I am well.
- I am lighter than worry and anxiety. It cannot hold me down! I float above it and my body is free to drift off into sleep.
- I inhale love and light and exhale every worry.
- I give myself permission to stop fixing everything. I give myself permission to rest and sleep well.
Read about using crystals for stress and anxiety relief here.
Sleep Affirmations for Self Love
- I am worthy of love and acceptance, and I give it to myself, first and foremost. I can sleep loved tonight!
- I deserve love and am worthy to receive it in abundance from all my relationships.
- I am thankful for love and the joy it brings, and I find it wherever I go because I bring it with me!
- Love surrounds me and holds me, even when I sleep.
- I let go of past mistakes in love and open my heart to sustaining joyful love that holds me all night long.
Night Affirmations for Kids
- I have lots of feelings, and that’s a good thing!
- I am loved and accepted.
- I am loved no matter what I do.
- I am a great friend.
- I try again even if I fail the first time.
Grab our free printable with morning and evening routines for kids right here!
Sleep Affirmations for Mental Health
- My heart is open to love and joy; fear and uncertainty have no place in me.
- I am strong and full of life; I can face the future with confidence and hope.
- I won’t compare myself to others; I am unique and valuable the way that I am.
- I am worthy of love; I open my arms to receive it.
- I will be present in every moment today.
Read more about putting your mental health first here.