I don't like taking pills for sleep issues (or anything if at all avoidable). People will argue that it helps you start out, but I think it's a bad habit to get into. I've had a lot of issues with sleep myself. Most of this comes from personal experience, but I hope some will help you out--
1) Learn to tell when your body is tired, and learn to let yourself relax. There's a certain skill involved in this. I think we get so overly tired that we get pushed into some wide awake mode where it takes effort to feel that we're tired. Take a second and try and feel for this. Eyes strained, head soar, all the things that happen when your tired.
2) Electricity is your enemy. If you have to have lights on, I've noticed that the white lights keep you up, but a nice dark orange light (fire colored almost) can be relaxing. Of course, no tv computer etc. If you have a free day, try and go an entire day without turning on a single light, the tv or computer.
3) The sun is your friend
. We naturally are meant to sleep when the sun goes down, and wake when it gets up. BUT, we also naturally wake in the middle of the night too. Trying to get a solid 8 hours is unnatural. Read more on 'segmented sleep' and 'second sleep'. It's based on accounts before electricity. This time in the middle of the night was often used as time to talk to neighbors, smoke a pipe, etc. Sleeping like this is the best sleep I have ever gotten. This great;u impacted my day to day life in an amazing way.Sadly, friends in college don't treat you kindly when you want to go to bed at 8 30 on a Friday night...
Another thing to note, after spending a 3 week vacation in the UAE this past winter, I returned about 4pm, waited till sun down and hit the sack. I woke up at 5am, fully energized, and never had jet lag.
4) Stressing about not sleeping only makes it worse. If you find yourself not tired, don't just lay there and force yourself to sleep. Get up and do something low key
5) We all have some sort of a ritual before we go to bed. Brushing the teeth isn't bad, but a shower or washing the face can easily wake you up. Try avoiding it and just crashing into bed (just take good care of your teeth
6) Sound- don't try to drown out sounds with air filters or that sort of thing. If you're constantly being woken by little noises, get ear plugs. I also like cracking the window and listening to traffic in the distance.
7) Sex, specifically for men, releases some chemical in massive amounts that makes you sleepy. Still, if you're single/inactive then it's 'sub' may help too..
8) Ever try swimming laps? An hour of this straight makes me PTFO like nothing else.
9) Being in the sun makes me tired. My college has a giant lazy river, and after floating around that for a few hours I'm ready to hit the sack. Definitely worth a try, especially since our bodies need sun exposure.
I hope some of this helps man, good luck.