Give the Mind Something Else To Do Other Than Think
The mind thinks like the heart beats and the stomach digests. It is in constant activity. The “Stop Thinking” command does not work with the mind like the “Sit!” command works with a trained dog! We can, however, redirect the activity of the mind. We can do a quick body scan to be aware of tension in any part of the body and relax. We can also give the mind the task of concentrating on the breath. You can even count breaths. It works better than counting sheep.
While the usual advice from self-help books deals with preparing the body, the practice of mindfulness helps us prepare the mind for sleep.