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I am not a big fan of sedatives - they are addictive and can have side effects such as hallucinations.
For my Mom, I try to keep her active during the day and ask her to try and avoid naps. At night she drinks warm milk or hot chocolate. If your parent can have this, a small glass of red wine works well too (ask his/her doctor). I asked Mom to turn off the TV and play soft music until she goes to sleep. Some radios come with timers that turn off after so many hours. Reading something uplifting works too. If your parent is active, have them exercise or do as much as they can to tire themselves out before bedtime.
It is sad that going to sleep has to be such a chore as we age.