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I understand your not wanting to take prescription sleep aids. The ingredient that works in the cold medicines is the antihistamine. It has a side effect of making someone drowsy. If you want to try that, diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is the one to try.
You can also try lifestyle changes to help sleep. These involve daily exercise (at least 4 hours before bed); avoiding caffeine after 3 p. m.; avoiding alcohol; no screen time within an hour of bed (tablet, telephone, computer, TV). Meditation or yoga to relieve stress at some point daily can also make sleeping easier.