Here on the SoftLayer overnight shift (aka "team undead"), the technicians (aka "SLombies") often find it difficult to get a full 8 hours of sleep.
Quick science lesson: the body produces melatonin when it is dark outside. This regulates the sleep cycle. So it's only natural that it is hard to sleep during the day.
Initially I had been drinking a beer or five to go to bed every morning. Since I don't want to have liver failure at age 43, I decided to check out some alternatives. I used Unisom Sleep Tabs for a while, but I have been looking for substitutes, since they are essentially the sleep inducing antihistamine contained in NyQuil. The warning on the box says not to consume any alcoholic beverage with these, and it doesn't recommend long term usage of the drug.
The new alternative: relaxation beverages
A relaxation beverage is the polar opposite of an energy drink. It is designed to calm and slow you down. They have ingredients such as: kava kava, valerian root, and melatonin. I have tried two different brands: Drank and Sippin Syrup. These are both references to the "purple stuff" drug that is created by mixing codeine and sprite. There is also a Purple Stuff brand (codeine free, of course), but I have not had an opportunity to try this yet. You can get it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/16-Pack-Pro-Relaxation-Beverage-Classic/dp/B002SMZM92.
You'll often find Drank at a 7-11, but sadly the 7-11 near me stopped carrying it. It has a grape soda flavor, and it certainly lacks the medicinal taste of most energy drinks. It is in a standard 16oz energy drink sized can. It will knock you out pretty easily. You can buy it by the case from the website: http://www.drankbeverage.com/
This one is my favorite. It's effectiveness is very similar to Drank. The best part about this one is that it comes in a resealable container, so you can have just half a dose if you are already tired. It comes in 3 flavors: Purple (grape), Kandy (cream soda), and Griptonite (grape apple flavor). There is also a low carb version called Sippin Syrup Zero, which doesn't really interest me personally. They make a concentrated shot version called a Lil Sip. When I ordered, they were nice enough to send me a free T-shirt as well. You can order it by the case (12 or 24 packs) from their website: http://sippinsyrup.com/
I have been getting much better sleep these days! I highly recommend either of these products.