A five year old on a sugar high may be easier to put to bed at night than a chronic pain patient. It took me a while to figure this out, but it feels like the pain gets stronger when I lay down and rest and stop distracting myself with TV, books, computer, telephone calls, food and what have you.
And because now I've learned to expect that the pain is going to get worse (or at least feel worse) when I lay down, I try to put it off for as long as possible, and keep clinging to all those distractions.
I can try to trick myself into sleeping by watching a boring movie or taking sleep medication, but the sleep that comes from that doesn't seem to be as beneficial as deep sleep without background noise or prescription medicine. But if I don't get a reasonably good night's rest, the pain is gonna get even worse the next day, throwing me into a helluva pain spike that may last for a week.
So I have to force myself to wind down... which can feel sort of like taming that wild five year old who's screaming "Nooooo, I don't want to go to bed!!!"
Turning off computers, phones and TV an hour before bedtime, taking a hot bath, meditating, having a cup of tea, doing something boring, writing a journal... all these things are great for winding down at night.