What tossing, twisting, turning thoughts tumble through your cranium as you do your best to coax sleep to stay? Do you find that your nighttime thoughts are darker than your daytime thoughts? Are you ever afraid to go to bed, knowing that sleep will NOT come easily or well? Is it nighttime when all the fears, and "reality" of this world come out to play?
"Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning, weeping only lasts for the night..." Some of my favorite lyrics in a song. So many times in my life the darkness of night seems reflective of the darkness of my thoughts. Then when I awaken to light pouring in my window the darkness of night is banished...until bedtime when it again makes its appearance.
Coping strategies...can you memorize a poem, scripture, song, something that will invite peace and rest, and banish the darkness of nighttime? Maybe you could print a large copy version of something positive that you want to memorize or contemplate as you send your mind into "rest" mode.
When you climb in to bed can you have a "meditation basket," (my own personal go to) and a personal journal right there on your night table? So...in this basket you have items that represent ONLY positive things...ok one exception, something negative that taught you something positive. You take each item out. Feel it enclose it with your hand(s), remember it...what memory does it bring back? If it brings back multiple memories choose ONE for this night. Use your senses to take you back to the memory or lesson learned. Smell it, see it, taste it, (I can ALWAYS taste brine when I'm close to the ocean), hear it. Celebrate it! What does that mean? In my own world to celebrate means to attach joyous connection to an experience.
Next, write thoughts as they come to your mind in your journal. We often hear these days of the benefit of "gratitude" journals. Instead of just approaching the ideas of things that you are grateful for, you could allow your thoughts, and feeling free rein. Maybe something that seems negative at the surface can lead to positive new ideas. Remember you are trying to nudge yourself into sleep so don't use this time to spend hours examining situations and ideas. Try a bright sunshiny afternoon under a big tree in your yard for that idea.
There is no right and wrong in your journalizing. Freedom of expression can surprise you and lead you to new ideas about old experiences. I love to write in longhand my thoughts. I once heard a comparison that I love. "Pen to paper for a writer is like brush to canvas to an artist. There is a sense of flow, a releasing as thoughts come from your brain and are transported smoothly to paper. In this time and place in history many prefer the use of laptop computers, or smart phones.
Again, there is no right or wrong in how to record these ideas....except, there is no lasting method of saving ideas recorded on a computer. I adore reading about the lives of my great-great grandparents. The only medium that they had available was a pen, or pencil and paper. Technology makes such rapid transitions these days that who knows if in 50 years there will be any way of connecting the current technology to play it back.
So...are you writing just for your own introspection? Or do you have the historian in yourself longing to communicate thoughts and ideas that can be read by future generations?
Last but not least. When you have expounded and explored the limitless landscape of your mind it's time to ready your mind for sleep. So...climb into your bed in your favorite sleeping position. Envision all of the thoughts of consciousness as though underneath them is an enormous drain. You will now pull the plug and any and all thoughts will slide down through the drain. You can be methodical in this cleansing process, taking each thought item by item until there are no residual concepts lurking in your sub-conscious. Or you can do as I prefer, just dump them all into that huge space and watch as they all disappear down the drain! Now that there are no thoughts, feelings, or memories lurking about you can let yourself slide away into rest.
The human mind and body is miraculous. Learning to use them to your best benefit is one of the keys to a happy life.