If you can’t sleep at night, or wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty going back to sleep, you may want to experiment with this practice.
Essentially, it involves squeezing one little squeezable stress ball in your hand (or two balls, i.e. one in each hand). See the description of this one-minute mindfulness exercise.
You pay attention to the sensations in your hand and arm as you hold the ball. You don’t need to force yourself to stop thinking about anything else, just make sure that at least part of your attention is focused on feeling the sensation in your hand and arm as you hold the ball.
Note: Unlike the original one-minute mindfulness exercise, you do not shift the ball from hand to hand. And you do not need to limit the exercise to one minute. The goal here is just to shift your focus to sensations, as opposed to thoughts. It is hard to force yourself to stop thinking. It is easier to redirect your attention to your embodied experience.
So, put one squeezable ball (or two) under your pillow or on your bedside table. And use it if you have difficulty falling asleep or you awaken during the night.