My preferred way of using meditation is to let my thoughts run wild for short bursts of time. Then I go back to focus on my breathing. I let this happen several time during my meditation. It helps me release any thoughts that might have kept me up during the night, by letting them happen, and then releasing them when I return focus to my breathing. This also relaxes my body.
The room doesn't have to be silent, the background noise can be a part of the experience. Give your thought permission to wonder rather than try to fully suppress them. That way they don't bombard a restful night sleep.