Sleep is inherently boring. It’s hard to wind down when there are more interesting things going on in the world, even if those interesting things are just your brain spinning in place or spiraling downwards.
I find for me that playing ‘games’ in my head helps. I imagine a world where I’m in a bomb shelter underground where I have to be completely still AND calm so the enemy doesn’t see that I’m awake. Or I am in a hospital bed, hooked up to a bunch of machines and people are talking about me and they think I’m unconscious but I am awake and I want to hear what they are saying but I need to make sure they don’t realize that I am awake, so I have to be still and calm and keep my breath perfectly regular.
I get that this sounds insane, how can these be peaceful and relaxing? But the guided meditations where you’re relaxing on the beach or whatnot, stress me out or bore me. I can’t keep track because there’s no tension. So instead, I put myself into situations where I need to meditation but where there’s a good reason to do it.
It’s basically mindfulness exercises, to keep myself calm, still, with even breathing… but with a plot that I find interesting enough to keep me going until I physically relax enough that sleep comes. Generally, within the different scenarios, I use different mindfulness techniques like counting breath or scanning my body or feeling my body sink into the underlying ground or float, part by part.
Maybe I should create a mindfulness app with more interesting scenarios for those of us with brains that need the stimulation within the calming 🙂