You may think that more thinking won't help you think less. But this isn't exactly thinking. It's more like listening to yourself so you can understand what happens inside of you. Why were you angry today? Why were you sad? Our inner self is like a child seeking attention and affection. Once we give it to him it quiets down. And I'm not just being metaphoric. I've noticed that the first night I listened to myself , it took me three hours to quiet down, the next one took less, and the next one even less. Instead of letting the cup of inner frustrations get filled I emptied it little by little, by listening and looking inside.
I then pretend like I am sleeping, I will even go as far as image ming like someone is watching me and I am trying to fool them. Much like a child.might to a parent. This helps me to focus only on my breath and to put my body and mind into a space that simulates sleep.
This is if you're really just lying down and trying to minimize thoughts.
I personally unplug from "screen" like computer or phone and do anything else keeping my social distancing in mind. Like I walk/run around my home, across the street listening to music in my headphones optionally during my run. I dance on my own or stretch or right down some of my fav recipes etc.
Also, picking a consistent bedtime has been really important for me. Even though work schedules can be crazy, going to bed around the same time each night has made a huge difference in my ability to fall asleep quickly.
And finally, if sleep just isn’t happening, going to sit on the couch with my phone until I feel a bit more tired, and then returning to bed later, can sometimes help reduce the stress of racing thoughts.
Most of all, be generous with yourself. Stress is the enemy of sleep.
1. Meditation. I recommend Headspace for beginners. Or you can simply use the meditations provided by Fabulous. This will take a while to implement as the practice of quieting the mind takes some time to learn.
2. Play relaxing soft music. Somehow, that keeps the brain occupied sometimes.
3. Journal. Instead of letting your thoughts/feelings stew in your head, purge them out of your system by writing them down. This especially helps if you have things you're bothered by and wouldn't leave you alone at night.
4. Read a relaxing PHYSICAL book. Entertains the mind and keeps it occupied until you're ready to sleep. This works when your mind is bored, without the side effects of glaring blue light messing with your sleep hormones (melatonin) from being naturally produced by your body.
5. Chat with a good friend. Similar effects to journaling down your thoughts.