Great thread! A few thoughts:
-- Melatonin is GREAT stuff. When I took it, it worked like the proverbial charm. I slept all night long and had amazing, detailed dreams that I remembered in the morning. In fact, it worked SO well that I stopped taking it. Cold. BAD IDEA. This triggered a severe biochemical depression that lasted for months. If you take it and stop, taper off--don't just quit.
-- Most adults don't have any sort of a sleep ritual, and sleep rituals can really help with getting to sleep in the first place and getting back to sleep if you wake up. I blundered my way into a sort of musical breathing meditation. Here's how it works:
1. Choose a SLOW song that you like. Some work better than others. Greensleeves is a perfect match for my breathing, for example, or My Favorite Things, from Sound of Music, or Camelot.
2. Thinking of the song tune, count backwards from 1000 with each breath. In--1000. Out-999. In-998. Out-997. Etc. But do it to the tune of the song.
I find this occupies my WHOLE brain--it shuts off the part that wants to endlessly go through all the stuff on my to-do list, and basically BORES me to sleep.
Weird, I know, but it really works. Or, in a pinch, Benadryl is good, too.