Hello, I'm here and I have mastered the art of stopping mind chatter.
I'm only half joking. Really, I'm good at using meditation to fall asleep. And if I'm not asleep I'm often in a dull stupor. Ussually after a nap is about the only time when that's not quite the case, but I can't always have time for a nap before every time before meditating. Sleep hours aren't terrible, but there is room for improvement.
Anyways, I hope to learn how to cultivate a calm alertness. I've noticed some success breathing in quickly (as well as a slow exhale). I'm gradually becomeing a little more aware of when I will pass out, and regulating it with a sharper 'in' breath is helping me extend that drop off while going deeper.