OK, I admit it. I don't understand how sleep works. I just don't get it. Consider the following:
Sunday and Monday nights I get only about 6 hours sleep and wake up before my alarm feeling OK (for a Monday and Tuesday morning). Tuesday night, I go to bed at a decent hour have the recommended 8 hours sleep and wake up feeling like crap. Thinking about it I was a little stressed but I still fell asleep fine but if you don't wake up, even if you have bad dreams, you still feel rested right?
But what I've found more annoying is that I often play soccer late at night and come home physically shattered. It's all I can do to get myself on and off the metro or bus and drag myself back to my apartment. I get ready for bed, my arms and legs feel like leadweights, my eyelids are heavy. I crawl into bed, my body relaxes and then BAM! My mind starts wandering. It becomes hideously active, puzzling over dumb mysteries, like what I'm going to eat for food tomorrow. My body is screaming in protest that it just wants to rest and sleep would be great but yet I lie there. This usually lasts an hour or so before finally I drop off. Of course, I then wake up feeling like crap as well as having stiff, aching limbs. Why is that? It's not as if I have any worries to keep me awake. I'm not an insomniac. I'd finished playing at least 90mins ago and there is no adrenaline flowing.
I do know a tactic that helps you sleep but which I tend to forget. There is a way of completely clearing your mind, allowing you the split second of oppurtunity your brain usually needs to send you to sleep. The trick is to roll your eyes up and push to keep them as far up as possible. The effort that this takes makes it impossible to think about anyting else in any depth. If you do start thinking, you're not trying hard enough. It's not like it makes you pass out, just that if you're tired and your brain is a hive of activity, this will often get you to sleep.