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I find the antihistamine Chlortrimeton very effective in helping me sleep. That's a brand name -- its chemical name is chlorpheniramine and various stores have their own house brands. Its a holdover from before the days of non-drowsy antihistamines. I take half to 3/4 of a 4mg tablet about two hours before I want to go to sleep. It not only helps me get to sleep but it also helps me get back to sleep if I wake up too early.

I know you said you didn't want to take pills but this feels much more benign to me than pills I've tried that are aimed directly at sleeplessness, rather than address it as a side effect. I've also tried the antihistamine Benadryl. It works but it leaves an unpleasant hangover.

YMMV. There are folks who are not made drowsy by chlorpheniramine and others who love Benadryl.

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