Here's a practice technique I've used for improving my use of numbers. I accidentally found it serves other purposes as well.
When I wake up in the middle of the night, I often practice counting in Spanish. I've found it makes me feel like I'm making constructive use of being awake without having to get up (and waking up even more). At first, my counting was poor, so it took some effort. Now, I do it in triads, 1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-5, etc. I found this gives a bit more association with counting since I'm repeating neighboring numbers more than once. It also slows me down. At times, I "visualize" writing the numbers and move my hand slightly as if writing them as I think them. I've also started running through clock times in the same way. E.g. 1:00, 1:30, 2:00..., and then 1:10, 1:20, 1:30, ...
An unexpected benefit is that it helps me monitor how awake I really am and how much I am fading in and out of sleep. There were a few times I could have sworn I was wide awake, but didn't make it to 20 before I re-awoke and realized I had stopped. A few times I didn't even make it to 10. A few times, I stopped and restarted maybe 4 or 5 times. I could have sworn I was wide awake the whole time, but actually was sleeping much more than I thought. If I make it to 100 without a break, it's time to get up and read a book. When I do this, I find I worry much less about falling back asleep. I've found myself getting up less than I used to.
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- Yellow Belt
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- x 184
Apparently, counting backwards in threes is a good trick for getting to sleep: it's mentally-taxing enough to stop you ruminating, but easy enough to fall asleep doing. I suspect the doctor who recommended this meant in your native language, though - it might be overly challenging in a L2!
: Russian without Toil
- Blue Belt
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I live this idea! I listen to audio books in L2 to fall back asleep. It usually only takes a few sentences to a paragraph though before I am out. I'm wake up a few chapters later and by the time I catch the thread of where I am I the story, I am asleep again
But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.
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