My dad was Nyquil's biggest fan until we bought him a lavender scented pillow :) Give these a try and get yourself away from those sleeping pills! 1. Hops Beer fans will no doubt be familiar with the calming effect of hops, used in beer making. For sleep purposes, this extract has been used as a mild sedative for anxiety and insomnia. Ask your doctor before taking 30 to 120 milligrams before sleep. 2. Lavender I can't get enough of lavender. It's a cheap, nontoxic way to slip into a peaceful slumber. Find a spray with real lavender and spritz it on your pillow before bedtime. Or buy a lavender-filled pillow. 3. Melatonin Although some experts recommend taking higher doses, studies show that lower doses are more effective. Plus, there's concern that too-high doses could cause toxicity as well as raise the risk of depression or infertility. Ask your doctor before taking 0.3 to 0.5 milligrams before bed. 4. Meditation Try easy yoga stretches in bed followed by simple meditation. Close your eyes and, for 5 to 10 minutes, pay attention to nothing but your breathing. 5. Valerian Valerian is one of the most common sleep remedies for insomnia. Numerous studies have found that valerian improves deep sleep, speed of falling asleep, and overall quality of sleep. Ask your doctor before taking 200 to 800 milligrams before bed.