In what ways does listening to affirmations while sleeping work?

What are sleep affirmations?

Sleep affirmations are quotes, positive statements or phrases that you say to yourself before sleep. Focusing on positive thoughts is the best way to induce relaxation in your mind. Coupled with regularly paced deep breathing and a relaxed body position, lying down with all muscles, relaxed you are preparing the body, mind and spirit for a good night’s sleep.

How do sleep affirmations work … if you are asleep?

How does listening to affirmations while sleeping work?
Sleep affirmations, or pillow affirmations as they are sometimes called, work by directly accessing the subconscious brain. When we sleep, our unconscious mind is awake, sorting and processing information. This is partly what dreams do, sort and process information so that we can wake in a positive state of mind the next morning. You can repeat your affirmations to yourself before you fall asleep, or you can use an audio recording and play your affirmations as you are falling asleep

Brain waves

Waking up and falling asleep are both times in your day when you can experience a particular kind of sleep learning. When you are asleep your brain experiences delta brain waves which operate at a low frequency. Immediately that you wake up and just before falling asleep the theta brain waves start to function and they operate at a higher frequency. This theta state, combined with the mix of moving from one frequency to another mixes reality and your sleep state preparation and is the perfect time to access your subconscious mind.

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The Power of the subconscious mind

The subconscious mind processes information. In addition to processing, it acts as a library of our beliefs and values. While we are in a sleep state your subconscious mind is filtering information, deciding what to send to the conscious mind, what to save for later as well as determining how we remember our lives and how we monitor the information around us.

How to prepare your subconscious mind by reprogramming it

You don’t need to reprogramme your subconscious mind before creating and using your sleep affirmations.

However if you understand that the subconscious mind can experience positive changes by being retrained with positive statements, daily affirmations, visualisation and even the use of binaural beats you will probably want to do as much as you can to put yourself in a positive state throughout your waking, as well as your resting, time.

You reprogramme your subconscious mind by:

  1. Adopting powerful empowering beliefs in your conscious state – create new language and replace limiting negative thoughts and beliefs. Rewrite your personal values to use language that contains positive phrases and brings positive energy to your beliefs.
  2. Addressing anxiety by creating positive affirmations for them, and also to use those positive affirmations to release negative energy.
  3. Accepting the uncertainty of our lives, what we can’t control, and enjoying the ride.
  4. Creating your perfect environment. Where you live, your house or flat, who you are friends with, all these give messages to your brain. So limit negative influences in your environment.
  5. Visualisation – Focus on your desired outcomes, what you want your life to look like, how you want events and situations to turn out.
  6. Using binaural beats – I’ve read about using binaural beats (and white noise which is a similar concept but different practice) to help adhd brains to concentrate more effectively. You can also use them to relax, and when the subconscious listens to music it relaxes and absorbs information better.
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Benefits of practicing positive sleep affirmations

If you are in need of restful sleep practicing your positive affirmations before bed is a great way to induce calmness to the sleeping brain. Not only that but, with regular practice, your brain will carry that positivity with you into the next day.

Get positive

Had a bad day? Don’t take it into sleep with you, leave it at the door! Using your positive sleep affirmations before bed changes your brain’s state from one of anxiety to one of positive thinking. Bed time affirmations will put you in a positive, calm mood before sleep.


Reprogramming your subconscious mind coupled with sleep affirmations becomes a powerful tool to create lasting confidence in your life. Being able to take the negativity of your memories and replace them with new memories which contribute powerfully and positively to your life is one of the positive ways that you can influence your own life.

Faster decision making

Studies have shown that there is a direct link between the positive state induced by positive affirmations and the speed of decision making. If you are stuck in negativity, rumination or doubt then create both conscious affirmations and subliminal messages for the brain via sleep affirmations in order to overhaul your brain engine and speed up.

Improved physical health

Positive statement repeated back to yourself can release feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin which help relieve stress. Negativity always seems to have a detrimental effect on our mental health, we feel listless, we don’t want to take exercise, we focus inward. One of the good things about affirmations is how they can take us from a state of negativity to one of positivity in a very short time. And positive states are good for our physical health.

So let’s move on to creating some sleep affirmations for yourself.

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How to write your sleep affirmations

Use the present tense

Write your sleep affirmations in the present tense.

Make it personal and simple

Use ‘I’ statements and try and keep the phrases simple, removing unnecessary language.

For example “I am worthy of love” or “I receive love” is probably better than saying “I accept that I am worthy of love”. If you want to use accept you can always just say, “I accept myself”. However repeating these phrases is also about how you feel when you are saying them, so if saying a phrase that is slightly longer, or unusually put together, feels good to you then use it.

Use positive language

Create your phrases using affirming language. You want to feel better just by your choice of words.

Examples of positive affirmations are:

“I am strong and capable” rather than ‘I am becoming more capable’ / “I receive healing in my body”, rather than ‘I accept that healing is possible’.
See above however regarding phrases that resonate with you and are personal to you. The idea of the shorter affirmation is to remove any doubt. So just make sure if you use a longer phrase that there is not any doubt lingering that could cause the mind/brain to reject the statement as positive.

Now that you have created some affirmations for yourself it is time to put them into practice.

How to practice sleep affirmations

Create a relaxing environment

In order to receive new information into the subconscious brain, be as relaxed as possible. Create a routine for yourself where you retire to your bedroom at a certain time, and have a short routine around getting into bed. Eliminate background noise. Aside from anything else your sleep quality will probably increase just from the routine. The routine also creates a mental space for the brain to relax, you are giving it cues that the day is over, and it can start to relax.

While you are in the process of practicing your sleep affirmations make sure you get enough sleep. Being rested and not in a stressed state is much better for you.

Get comfy – lie down

Lie down or sit up with pillows supporting you. Whatever position feels the most comfortable to you.

Focus on your breath

Create a sense of calmness through your breathing. Be conscious of it, don’t try and control it in any way. Take a deep breath in and then release it. And repeat!

Repeat or listen to your affirmations

Now you can start with your affirmations. Repeat them to yourself, out loud or listen to audio affirmations. You could also write them down if you prefer.

Stay focussed and relax by concentrating on your breath and letting your breathing be relaxed and regular.

As you repeat your affirmations visualise yourself achieving your goal or acting out/performing what you affirmations are. Truly embody it.

Say your affirmations every day on an ongoing basis. Try to make it a part of your daily life, like cleaning your teeth or taking your make up off at the end of the day.

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Staying patient – when you’ll see results

It can take a while to start to see the positive effect of what you are doing. Give it time, maintain a regular practice and you will notice that your self-perception changes. Although sleep affirmations are an excellent way to change your thoughts and beliefs, they have to be coupled with action. Work on yourself during your waking hours too.

Examples of affirmations

You need your own affirmations for the particular life situation you find yourself in. Here are a few examples, but if you can think of your own, all the better. Write your favourite affirmations down in your journal so that you can refer to them. Add more as you think of other phrases that are personal to you and that you can hear on your own voice.

Sleep affirmations for confidence

I have my own back

I trust myself

I have the power to create the life I want

There is nothing I can’t be, accomplish or do

I am strong, powerful and brave

Sleep affirmations for anxiety

I am safe

I release the stress from my body

I release peace into my body

I am proud to have done my best today

This is life, and I do not fear

Sleep affirmations for success

I have my own back

I can do hard things

It’s not easy, but I did it

It’s not easy and I’m doing it

I programme my mind for success

I deserve to be well paid for my work

Abundance is my right and it flows to me with ease

Sleep affirmations for healing

My body is amazing

My body is healing itself

My body is protected

I love my body

I am friends with my body

I welcome healing to my body

Sleep affirmations for body positivity

I am grateful for my body and I love my body

My body is amazing and I am thankful for how it moves

I am beautiful

I am strong

I am unique, there is no-one like me

My body is the perfect shape for me

I love and accept my body

Sleep affirmations for sleep

I relax

My breathing slows as I relax

I am ready for sleep and to wake refreshed

I release the thoughts that I didn’t do well and accept that I did my best

I thank today for everything it has brought me and look forward to tomorrow

I quiet my mind and let peace float into my body

I relax my face, my jaw, my neck, my arms, my stomach, my legs, my feet

I always sleep well and awake refreshed

Sleep comes easily to me

Sleep affirmations for students

I am grateful for my education and love that I am able to learn

I accept all the information that has come to me today and let my brain order it while I sleep

I am ready for all challenges that come my way

I release all my revision back to my brain and ask that it be sorted and organised so that I remember it

I am grateful for my brain, let it expand to take in everything I have learned today

I am thankful for my experience as a student

I quiet my mind and my brain and reduce stress levels in my body. I see them go down, my breathing deepens. All is calm

Sleep affirmations for work

I let go of comparison and know that my work is good

I rest from work to be refreshed for tomorrow

I focus on my goal and the results will follow

I commit myself to my work

I am confident in my abilities and they improve daily

Each day I am getting better

Sleep affirmations for gratitude

I am grateful for my life

I turn challenges into opportunities

All around me I am surrounded by blessings and love

I am grateful for nature that surrounds me

I am loved

Grief affirmations to help you sleep

Life is hard right now and that’s ok

I love you and I’m grateful for your life

I release my pain into the night and accept sleep

I life this sadness out of my body and breathe it out into the loving embrace of the universe

I will take care of myself during this hard time

It’s ok to feel like this, right now I release my grief out of my body and breathe in love

Sleep affirmations for parents

I rest now to be refreshed for my children tomorrow

I am grateful to be a parent to my children

I take time for myself now and will be fully present to my children tomorrow

I am thankful for this journey as a parent and grateful for what it is teaching me

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you like this you may also like:

17 reflection journal prompts to get to know yourself better
Simple mindfulness journal prompts and exercises to appreciate life better
Attraction affirmations to create your dream life

Finally, let me tell you a little bit about Wardrobe Journaling. It is the process I have created that helps you understand yourself better through journaling and through thinking about the clothes you wear and your own unique personality. There are lots of Wardrobe Journaling blog posts available on this site. There is also the entirely unique Wardrobe Journaling course. If you want to take a step further into your own self development and self care this is a great, gentle but powerful course to take.

Have a great day!


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