You wouldn’t think anybody as lazy as I am would have any trouble with this, but you’d be wrong. Being very nearly immobile by nature and being sleepy are not the same thing.
Very early in life, Mr. Alphabet and I became dear friends, and he comes to my rescue when I find myself lying sleepless. The quickest way I’ve found to drift into dreamland or, alternatively, amuse myself as I lie sleepless is to make alphabetical lists of fives. Five female names beginning with subsequent letters of the alphabet — Ann, Abigail, Althea, Ashley, zzzzzzzzz…. Or five male names on through the alphabet. Or Biblical names. Or cities. Wherever I drop off one night is where I begin the next night.
Lately, I’ve been doing book titles. This one has lasted me a good, long time, because wandering through my mental stacks sidetracks me into thinking about the books, which unhitches my cart from the horse of everyday reality, and it rolls backwards down the hill of consciousness into the valley of sleep. If that metaphor isn’t better than a sleeping pill, I don’t know what is.
Do you have any tricks for getting to sleep?
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character can’t get to sleep. Why? Does the character want to sleep or want NOT to sleep? What does he or she do?