Make sure you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning.
Make it as close to 7 hours as possible,.
Turn off the damn TV and computer.
Don't drink booze or caffeine 4 hours before you are going to sleep.
Warm milk does actually help, put a little honey and nutmeg in it for flavor.
I had this last night twist and turned for almost 3 hours :/ I suggest closing your eyes and trying to mentally image somewhere happy, awesome or just peaceful our bodies can't sleep if the mind doesn't want to slow down. Kinda like sort of a pre-sleep meditation to attempt to be someplace and let it's sounds, smells, view help you drift to sleep
For me, I tend to Imagine flying through space or a beautiful sunset on a hillside and then I'm usually out within 5-10 minutes
Also for some folks it helps to wear a noise suppressing apparatus of some kind and have a very dark room and comfortable temperature
I have a CD player and I've got some quiet music that I'll listen to....it relaxes me and I'm asleep long before the CD is over. I try to stay away from music that has words because I find myself "singing" along and that defeats the purpose of the music.
Some CDs that I have used are: Jim Brickman ( he's got a lot of music & usually has only one or two songs with words), a CD with a collection of lullaby songs, classical music (I've got a CD that's got a Beethoven Piano Concerto that I heard while at a concert of The Cleveland Orchestra) I listen to this quite regularly. Buy a CD of quiet jazz music or other background music. For me, this works pretty well.
Sometimes, for the short term (up to two weeks) I've used some pills to help me sleep. One over the counter medicine that works is diphenhydramine (50mgs). Diphenhydramine is the same ingredient as Benadryl. So you can get the Target equivalent of Benadryl. Target also has a "nighttime sleep aid" which is where the sleep stuff is, but it is cheaper to use the Target Benadryl.
The Niquil-ZZZZZ stuff is also the diphenhydramine...but it's a lot more expensive because you're buying the brand. If you're unsure of using a sleep aid, talk with your store pharmacist and the pharmacist will help you.
One other thing that I do is kind of like "counting sheep" I'll lay on my back and take deep breaths...concentrating only on breathing.....but count each time you exhale. For me, I'm usually asleep before I hit 75 exhales. If my mind wanders I'll make myself start to count all over again.
Sure do hope that some of these ideas might work for you.
If sleep remains difficult, try some relaxation techniques...or, see your doctor if you have one.
If you are interested in any kind of natural supplements, you might try Valerian root capsules, 5-HTP capsules, or good old-fashioned Chamomile Tea...there is a brand called Traditional medicinals that makes good quality organic teas, and they do one that is a Chamomile/Lavender combo ( lavender may sound odd as an ingestible/drinkable thing, but it's good ) that works for me sometimes. Even if it doesn't put me to sleep it smells and tastes great...
Good luck-I battle insomnia constantly and the whole "flexible schedule" thing does not help at all. Though I guess if I had better self-discipline about my waking and bedtimes regardless of my schedule it wouldn't be so bad...
The differences in being tired vs sleepy:
A hot soaking bath with Epsom salts is good for muscle aches & it relaxes you, too.
In addition to the suggested CDs above, check the Lifescape CDs. Deep Relaxation is a good one for quelling the noise in your head. Imagine all your thoughts as noisy little appliances in a room; you go around shutting them off one by one until all is quiet except for the crickets in the background.
I found with music that it tends to run to personal taste.
When I had to work graveyards and needed to block out a lot of noise during the day I found that Rage Against The Machine, Black Flag and Nine Inch Nails worked pretty well to sleep to.
I used to have insomnia, what i would do is drink a beer or two, and play some video games or look up stuff on youtube...dont rush to fall asleep because then you won't, just get up, do something for like 30 minutes to ease your mind, and try at it again.