Regularly staying awake a bit too much or having the bad habit of insomnia both fit this protocol. Read also Insomnia. Don't forget to follow the Sleep Checklist.
You must have a deep relaxation procedure
THREE CHOICES (AND NO COMPROMISE!)
You have three choices:
1. Occupy your mind with what is keeping you awake or
2. Write down what you need to get off your mind (notebook next to bed) and/or
3. Occupy your mind with something that distracts and calms you.
You can't do 1. and 3. at the same time, so the solution is always to use displacement (similar to inserting something into a full sink of water and displacing the water, which then runs out). Do not allow yourself to entertain the useless and damaging thought loops of negatives.
Not a difficult concept.
And you, amazingly, have the basic ability to do it. You have the ability to direct your attention to something. (When you use the method below, you will be exercising this ability to get you back to doing the counting, as you will inevitably stray or be distracted. You simply acknowledge that you drifted and go back to the counting.)
TALKIN' TO MYSELF
As with any nonsense thoughts streaming through my mind, I often talk back or use them to convert to a Higher Self conversation. I especially talk in soothing terms to my "self" (actually my little brain).
Of course, when I'm sleeping or in a slower state of trying to go to sleep, my sentences may not be very eloquent. I might even just use one or two word thoughts.
Pick whatever you like. Use a small number of words or use whatever works; I'm used to doing this so I can create alot of talking to myself that is soothing. Memorize a few; plus have a copy of this or a modification by the side of the bed.
I'm secure and comfy
I could use the old mainstays of "Stop!" or "not now [children}"
There there Keith just relax and chill out...
These are only mental recordings, nothing is happening right now.
Those thoughts are random and are nonsense.
These thoughts are not real. They are just thoughts.
They are of no concern now
These are just brain messages floating through. Just old recording, with no real sense. I do my thinking with my thinking higher brain.
I don't have to think about anything now.
I'll not solve this now, so I'll do it later if I so choose in the light of day. I'll handle it in writing as I know that works.
I'll cope just fine with this in reality, in the actual world in the morning.
I know it does no good to ruminate on this right now. I need to sleep now.
I don't need to rehearse anything in this diminished state. I don't need to solve anything, as I never quite seem to be able to do anyway while in bed. Now is the time to rest, and sleep if that is what happens.
I will now relax and go deeper and deeper and deeper.
I will be fine tomorrow and I'll adjust if I don't sleep that well, but I'm guaranteed rest through doing the 10 to 1 thing.
Things are fine right now, in this moment. All around me is open. I'm comfy and in a shelter. I will be fine.
Thinking in this state and without a means to use it is absolutely a waste. I refuse to let those random thoughts dominate my mind. I will not let the monkeys go loose.
Of course, I find that after a short period of time, after reassuring myself, I run out of things to say to myself. So, of course, I use my two standard distraction methods calming and "dream creating" (see Dreaming For Fun While Sleeping - you could have a list of "things to dream about for fun" by your bedside).
THE "AVAILABLE FOR A DUMP" PRACTICE
And I have this peculiar little practice, which dovetails a bit with a practice recommended by a number of specialists. I keep a pen on top of a notebook next to me (with a little flashlight if it is dark) and then I write down any thoughts where I need to remember something to do or pay attention to. I'll write some thoughts also if I need to get them on paper.
It is proven that writing actually helps calm the brain and increase the thinking brain's straight thinking so that stupid recordings aren't believed. It also increases one's perspective. It can also help provide a little more distance between you and the automatic thoughts, so you're more able to realize that they are not you.
I'll just let myself write as much as I want to or feel the need to with no requirement not to (because it might disturb my sleep, but I find it doesn't really).
I like the latter better, but sometimes I just am not as inclined or capable. So my mainstay, which I can do more than a 1,000 counts in and could probably go to 10,000, and if I never go to sleep, I' find myself quite rested. But I don't think I've made it to a 1000, as sleep starts to happen zzzzzz.
My procedure is simply the count down from 10 to 1 routine, relaxing some part of my body as I go down the scale. There is always something that is not totally relaxed (i.e. tense to at least some degree). My jaw is a humdinger and I can do lots of 10 to 1's, though I may find my attention going to a tight temple and relax it for awhile. Even my foot can relax more, though I find relaxing my eyes and my finer muscles extremely soothing. See The Other Method Of Relaxing The Body - Counting.
Only a nemoid couldn't do this...