You should use the way your body works to your advantage.
Light is the most important factor that regulates your sleep rythm.
To wake up, you should expose yourself to the maximum amount of light possible. The easiest way to do that is to go outside! (The measurable amount of light outside is 10 times more than in a room with unshaded windows.)
If you cannot go outside, buy a daylight lamp and expose yourself to its light during breakfast (for at least 20 minutes).
To fall asleep, on the other hand, you should dim your lights at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Red light aids the production of sleep hormones in your body, so avoid the blueish hues of displays (like phones, tablets and TVs).
In general, being cold wakes you up. So try taking cold (or at least cool) showers in the morning or warm showers in the evening. If you don't shower in the morning, splash your face with cold water.
In the evening, keep your your bedroom cool but your feet warm. Having cold feet keeps you from falling asleep, but so does a hot and stuffy bedroom.
If you're not lactose intollerant, drink 1 glass of warm milk with honey before going to bed.
Certain teas like hops, melissa, valerian and lavender can help you get sleepy, but they don't work like chemical medication where 1 pill makes you sleep. You'd have to drink the tea regularily for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Hands off any drink with alcohol or caffein! Otherwise I would avoid cold and fizzy drinks.
A full stomach makes you sleepy, but it actually hinders you from falling asleep. Either eat a light dinner or eat early enough that most of the food already passed your stomach when you go to bed.
Avoid foods for dinner that are harder to digest like lettuce (or salad in general), mushrooms and too much fat.
You can train your body to fall sleep quicker if you go to bed for no other purpose than to sleep. This is called Classical Conditioning and takes a few weeks to accomplish, but is extremely effective.
The rules are simple:
- When you wake up, stand up. Don't lie around for half an hour before getting up.
- When you lie down, don't do anything but sleep. No TV, smartphone or novel in bed.
- If you want to lie down but not sleep, lie down on the couch, but not the bed.