Lack of sleep can contribute to major health problems. Cortisol production may be affected by insomnia and contribute to stress, inflammation and poor weight regulation.
I am not one of those people who go to sleep the moment their head hits the pillow. I have experiences more problems getting to sleep and having enough deep sleep in the last few decades.
During a very stressful period of my life, I found my iPod helpful at night. Certain music at low volume eased me into sleep. Andreas Scholl's English folk music and Nikolaus Harnoncourt's version of Handel's Messiah are 2 notable examples. Background noise and white noise are well known for helping soothe people and help young children off to sleep.
I found this helpful, but sometimes it didn't work.