* Distract your mind. This is the "counting sheep" strategy, but a more effective exercise is to make up sentences in which each word has to start with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. Example: "All bold cats destroy elegant furnishings." You can skip the "k", "x" and "z".
* Write down a key question that is troubling you and release it to your unconscious mind. Use your first thought on waking to ask yourself whether you have a solution. Einstein used this technique.
* Let your mind drift ahead five years. Will you still be thinking about whatever is keeping you awake? Or will it have minor significance? With the energy that comes from a restful sleep, you'll be ready to tackle anything.
Jurgen Wolff is a hypnotherapist, teacher and writer. His free monthly creativity email bulletin is available from BstormUK@aol.com