Thoughts are a central part of bodily functions, in the same way that we breathe or the heart beats and circulates blood. We know that these things are happening, but our moment by moment awareness is not on them. Thoughts are not something that can be stopped. In fact, we need our thoughts as they are connected to Universal energies and are a central part of the physical manifestation of things and experiences. Even if we wanted to stop thoughts we could not and it is not in our interests to do so.
Meditation does not allow you to stop thought. It enables you to rise above them. They are still taking place without your awareness of them. During meditation, your awareness and energy have moved to a higher level, where the thoughts do not reach. It is whilst you are in this higher state of awareness that Universal energies can be engaged. Their vibrations are light as are yours in the meditative state which facilities the connection and you are no longer aware of the thoughts. They are still there and your neurons are still firing, only you have now surpassed them.
Meditation allows you to relax your physical body and rejuvenate. The lightness and reduction of resistance during meditation gives your physical body an opportunity to let go of negative energies that have built up, which in turn will give you better sleep. You will become calmer and less anxious. Lots of new emotions will be experienced and sleep is one of them.