Before you start worrying about your poor blogger, let me say this: I normally sleep very well. So well, in fact, that I'm practically narcoleptic (see the list of Movies I have slept through, which I'm afraid has grown longer since I wrote it). But every once in a while I find myself staring up at the bedroom ceiling, obsessing over some moronic thing and trying to convince my brain to shut the hell up. That's when I bust out my favorite go-to-sleep techniques. Try 'em: they're cheaper than Ambien and won't make you scarf down the contents of your refrigerator.
1. Naming all the states in alphabetical order. I usually forget one of the M states. There are just too freakin' many of those; one of them's gotta go. Maybe Maryland.
2. Making a list of songs with names in the title (also in alphabetical order). "Alison," "Beth," "Sweet Caroline..." This can, however, cause some wretched tune to get stuck in your head the next day. I warn against picking "Help Me, Rhonda" for R.
3. Counting back from 100. It's actually not just counting: you have to imagine yourself writing each number on a chalkboard and then erasing it. I learned this one as a kid from a book called How to Make Your Dreams Work for You. For the record, I have never been able to Make My Dreams Work for Me. (Tragic, I know.)
4. Telling myself the plot of a movie or a book. Babe (yeah, the g.d. talking pig movie) is a standby. I usually don't get too far past the point where Farmer Hoggett wins the little dude at the fair.
5. Doing multiplication tables. The problem with this? It makes me realize I suck at arithmetic. Once I get past the fives I really have to work at it.