It may sound obvious, but my best sleep aid tip is to actually decide to go to sleep. So many times when we put our heads to our pillows we haven’t consciously made the decision that we are really going to sleep.
Instead, we wind up starting to think about our problems and worrying about what we will do. Then we spend hours tossing and turning as we plan our financial futures, solve our marital problems, worry about work, etc, etc, etc.
Sure you have to deal with those issues, just not when you are trying to get to sleep. So I just decide it’s time to sleep and use a kind of meditation: as thoughts intrude I just let them go and focus on my breathing and let the random dream images flow through my mind.
I also usually have to have a light snack (like cereal) as part of my bedtime routine. I try to get to bed around the same time every night but I have to get up real early for work. So on weekends I usually get off schedule by a couple of hours at least. That’s when I break out the melatonin to get back on my regular sleep cycle.