Two strategies. First, get really cold — shaking cold — and as you warm in bed you’ll fall asleep. Second, limit your thoughts to images. Exclude all language. Visual walking through a house where you once lived, or a town. See things in a series, room by room, or street by street, but suppress any words that might enter your mind. This seems to work.
A friend swears by another method: Imagine everyone you love who’s died and force yourself into a crying jag. That’s supposed to work by exhausting your emotions.
If all else fails, pop some Ambien, drink a few gin-and-tonics, eat everything in the kitchen, and fall asleep filled with deep self hatred.
Hey, I hadn’t read a book in ten years when I picked up ‘Bright Lights, Big City.’ That got me reading again after the dreck foisted on me in high school.