Most people I have met have suffered some degree of insomnia and I have developed a technique that helps me get back to sleep when my mind starts spinning.
What happens when we wake up in the middle of the night and we can not go back to sleep? Most people that I have talked to agree that they start to think, about tomorrow or yesterday, they think about their to do list or their job, something they really have no control over in the middle of the night. They are not in the here and now.
What helps me get back to sleep is to bring my mind back to bed. This may sound funny at first but what I have found is I know my physical body is lying in bed but my mental body has left the room, it is not confined to the bedroom like my body. Thoughts are things and can wake us up just like the alarm clock does. The only way to stop a thought is by shifting our focus and activating a new thought form.
Here is what I do to get back to sleep when my mind wakes me up. The first thing is to want to go back to sleep. This is usually not a problem for most people because it is the middle of the night. Now I shift my focus into the bedroom, bringing my total awareness into the room. The first few times it is hard to keep your full attention in the room but like any skill it gets easier and easier. Then I bring my focus and attention back into the bed, becoming aware of the sheets and pillows and my physical body which has been there all along, I get my mind into the here and now, if I can keep my awareness in the bed for 5-10 breaths or more I fall back asleep. This is a skill that takes some practice but it works for me all the time.
Basically, it is using the first step of the Quick Coherence Technique from Heartmath, heart focus, with a little twist. I do not focus on my heart to get back to sleep I focus on my body and the bed. The only way I have found to stop the mental chatter is using concentrated mental focus, this is why people like to play games, hobbies, sports etc... it allows them to focus the mind and get a break from that insanity in the head. So next time you are lying in bed and cannot fall a sleep remember, GET YOUR HEAD BACK IN THE BED.
If you still have trouble give me, John Denney, a call and I will help solve your sleeping problems. :)