If you're after a supplement for getting to sleep the best one out there is Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, so it is a natural supplement. The pineal gland produces less and less of this hormone as we age and because people think I'm old (81) I take two 3 mg tablets at bed time to assist in my sleep. These should only be taken at bed time but I've found that they can also assist in releasing anxiety in the daytime too but you have to be very careful on that level. I don't use it for that purpose.
For your underlying condition that has caused your sleep disruption there are a few things that I'd suggest. Number one, if you have an aversion to counseling or you don't have good health insurance, find a close friend that you can open up to and talk about what happened to you. Many times, simply talking about what has happened helps us to release it or to let it go but our society is so "grin and bear it" oriented that it doesn't often get done.
I'm a huge proponent of meditation. I've used meditation to release PTSD and it works. It can take some time, but it does assist in letting it go. From what you've written you are probably dealing with PTSD. There are a lot of types of meditation and if you don't know which to turn to I would suggest going to a place like Amazon and getting a CD that talks your through a deep relaxation. Use that to let your problems go. Dedicate some time each day to doing this - at least 20 minutes. I practice my meditation for 60 minutes per sitting at least once a day. It does work. Doing this just prior to bed time should help you out.
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can also buy it as a supplement.
Your body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours.
Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression.
Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all.
Melatonin supplements are sometimes used to treat jet lag or sleep problems (insomnia). Scientists are also looking at other good uses for melatonin, such as:
It may be that melatonin, when taken as a supplement, can stop or slow the spread of cancer, make the immune system stronger, or slow down the aging process. But these areas need more research.
Melatonin is also being studied to see if it can be used to treat sleep problems in people who are blind.1 Since these people cannot see light, they may have sleep problems such as sleeping during the day and being awake at night.
In most cases, melatonin supplements are safe in low doses for short-term and long-term use. But be sure to talk with your doctor about taking them.
Children and pregnant or nursing women should not take melatonin without talking to a doctor first.
Melatonin does have side effects. But they will go away when you stop taking the supplement. Side effects may include:
If melatonin makes you feel drowsy, do not drive or operate machinery when you are taking it.
During health exams, tell your doctor if you are taking melatonin. And tell your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping (insomnia), because it may be related to a medical problem.
In adults, melatonin is taken in doses from 0.2 to 20.0 mg, based on the reason for its use. The right dose varies widely from one person to another. Talk to your doctor to learn the right dosage and to find out if melatonin is right for you.
You can buy melatonin supplements without a prescription at health food stores, drugstores, and online. Melatonin should only be taken in its man-made form. The form that comes from ground-up cow pineal glands is rarely used, because it may spread disease.
To make a long story short I used to have no trouble sleeping but a stressful life event earlier this year changed all that.
This is the key to the problem, "Stressfull life event"
While the suggestions of taking something by mouth might help to some extent short term, you will eventually have to deal with the life event in your mind to clear the stress.
Emotional Freedom Technique might do the trick. CS has a forum. This post on that forum which I haven't tried looks to be right in your wheelhouse. http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1965608#i
And my favorite: Self hypnosis, which I do know about, and have no doubt that it would do the job .
Not hard to learn, but would take a little more effort than the EFT. Or you could seek out a professional to teach you, and to take you into a hypnotic trance to set you up to continue on your own.
Audible.com has a MP3 version called "Deep Sleep every night" that is reasonably priced that you just listen to nightly before you go to bed.