What causes us to lose out on our zzzzzzzzzz's varies from person to person. Common culprits include stress, ruminating thoughts, anxiety, some prescription meds, alcohol, travel, and decreasing levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycles (aka circadian rhythm). While melatonin naturally decreases with age, a lack of complete darkness in the room you sleep in can hamper its production at any age! The importance of sleeping in a dark room cannot be overstated, even down to installing room darkening shades and covering tiny blue and red lights coming from your clock radio, TV, home alarm system, or even from an electric toothbrush in an adjacent bathroom.
If you are looking for a supplement to aid in falling and staying asleep and you have addressed the obvious physical and emotional triggers, I recommend taking 1 mg of melatonin and 200 mg of L-theanine along with a trio of calming herbs that includes valerian, hops, and lemon balm extract. All of these can be readily found in a health food store, individually or in combination. Take them 30 to 60 minutes before turning in for the night. Happy sleeping!