For what it's worth, I've heard that alcohol does in fact help you fall asleep, but the quality of your sleep isnt very good so you still feel pretty much like a zombie in the morning. Like you, Fromper, I don't care for the taste of beer- so I've never tried this out myself. Anyway, I figure insomnia is less of a problem than alcoholism would be (if I were prone to it- and I have reason to think I might be).
Anyhow- I have trouble falling asleep (and sometimes staying asleep) quite often. I find that leaving a radio on (not too loud) helps me drift off. My attention is drawn to whatever I'm listening to, instead of my mind racing about this, that, or something else. I can even fall asleep listening to "Coast To Coast"!!! (For those who aren't familiar with it, it's a late-night talk show that deals with ghosts, aliens, magic, conspiracies, etc, etc.... you get the picture. I find it merely amusing rather than unsettling.)
I've heard that a workout earlier in the day will make it difficult to fall asleep if you exercise too soon before going to bed, but I haven't experienced this. My workouts just leave me in a warm, loose, laid-back mood.
Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.