An alternative to music - white noise or nature sounds (or in the case of my personal machine, even city/traffic noise). Some of these rely on the sound, others claim more benefits (such as brainwave technology).

I own two, one for travel. I found that after flying or driving for long distances, or when staying in a hotel, there is too much vivid, restless dreaming. A sleep machine works better than background TV or music.

I was surprised at my preferences, I thought I knew what kind of noise I liked or didn’t. There are 20 options on my system. Bubbling brook, rainforest, aviary, wind chines, heartbeat, and crickets are annoying rather than restful. Thunderstorm is perfect. Ebb tide is better than ocean waves.

My machine is no longer available, but there are many options (and many discussions out there about their various merits):

Sleep Sound Machine from Brookstone - Tranquil Moments - Clinically Proven Acoustic Technology

MARPAC SleepMate 980A Dual Speed Electro-Mechanical White Noise Machine / Sound Machine For Sleeping at Home & Travel + Sleep Mask

Sound Oasis Natural Sounds Therapy System and Alarm Clock With FREE Spa Retreat Sound Card and FREE SHIPPING