I don't know if it's just a writer thing, but I get spells of insomnia all of the time. I will be laying in bed, fully aware that I NEED to get to sleep so that I can function the next day, but I just can't. I am usually fairly tired, too, but my mind just can't shut down. I once heard that if you want to imagine what the mind of a creative individual looks like, think of a web browser with thousands of tabs open all the time. I can't help but laugh, because it's completely true! My mind has a hard time turning off, which makes bed time almost impossible.
I'm not the kind of person who would take prescription pills. Not knocking those who do, because we all have issues that could be helped with them, but it's just not my style. My anxiety is already through the roof, and I know I would be imagining every side effect possible from the drugs. I would much rather use something natural to help with my problems, and luckily there are tons of things you can do to try and promote better sleep patterns that are natural.
If your sleep problems are getting bad enough that they are interfering with your job and day-to-day life, it's probably time to see someone about it. Your best bet is to see a therapist, who can help get to the root of your sleep issues. They can help give you ideas to fall asleep easier, and even stay asleep. You should first see someone who focuses on natural remedies, rather than medication. I always like to try every possible alternative before I resort to meds. Your therapist may ask you to keep a sleep journal, so that they can better understand what issues you are having before recommending a solution (or two).
One of the main reasons people suffer from insomnia is because their minds cannot slow down. When you go to bed with a lot on your mind, you are going to end up laying their thinking about everything before you can fall asleep. The best solution for this is to "wind down" before bed and clear your mind. Meditating is a way to be mindful and aware of all of the thoughts running through your mind. Most people who practice mindful meditation find that they are more at peace and calm after. If you allow your mind to drift during meditation, you are going to feel more relaxed later, and you may be able to finally get some sleep in that night. Studies have shown that mindful meditation led by a certified instructor improves insomnia, depression, and fatigue better than prescription medication.
If you have tried these suggestions, and still are having a hard time catching some shut-eye, there are some natural "cocktails" you can whip up before bed that may help. Almost everyone has heard of sleepy-time tea, a tea drink that contains ingredients like chamomile that help you fall asleep naturally. There are many more drinks you can take before bed that can help you just as much as sleepytime tea can. Hot milk is very well known for helping you fall asleep because of the tryptophan that is in the milk helps you produce sleep-aiding hormones. Some homemade drinks like turmeric golden milk can help you fall asleep by mixing coconut milk, turmeric, honey and cinnamon. Not only does it help you fall asleep, but it can also help certain illnesses like the common cold. Win-win situation there! If you like to enjoy an adult beverage before bed from time to time, many people swear by mixing hot water, whiskey, and honey for a fool-proof sleep aid.
If none of these work, don't be ashamed to visit the doctor for a prescription. I like to try out every other option first, but sometimes there is nothing that will work for a person. Using medicine to fall asleep when needed is better than going about your life seriously sleep deprived. It can even be dangerous to try and function normally when you haven't gotten a good night's sleep in too long. There's no denying that there are many ways you can try to get sleep in a natural, healthy way, however. It is also never a "one size fits all" sort of thing, what works for someone else may not work for you, so don't be discouraged if you can't find the answer right away. Just keep trying, and you will get it all figured out one day.