Is this also a German idiom for "trying to go to sleep"?
Sheep counting is one of many methods to get tired. Some people count imaginary sheep. So it is not a phase for trying to go to sleep, but an activity some people really do.
That's more or less what Raymond was asking, right?
Yeah, it's the same in English, German, Dutch and possibly other languages.
@Abendbrot ...but it is an activity some people really do in order to induce sleep. In English, "counting sheep" is often a metaphor for going to sleep.
Irving Berlin wrote a song that starts,
"When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep..."
Sheep is singular and plural in english?