Best Sleeping Aids

For some people, sleep comes easy. For others, it doesn’t. Sometimes, staying up too late, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, or engaging in stimulating activities before bed can lead to sleep deprivation. In other cases, stress, anxiety, menopause, or depression can be the cause. Even if you are not diagnosed with sleep apnea or insomnia, you can still fall victim of sleep difficulty. Luckily, there are OTC sleeping aids available to help you fall asleep quicker than normal.

All OTC sleep medications work on the brain to promote drowsiness. They slow down the nervous system, helping induce sleep and ensure the user stays asleep for long. However, some studies suggest that sleep aids owe half their benefits to placebo effect. Regardless, sleep drugs are still proven to be effective in helping one fall asleep faster. If you feel the need to take a sleeping aid from time to time, here are six OTC pills you may want to consider.

Buyers Guide

  1. Can sleeping aids cause allergies?

    Answer: Yes. There can be both active and inactive ingredients in your sleeping aid that can cause an allergic reaction. To ensure safety, talk to your doctor first so he or she can prescribe you a suitable sleeping aid.

  2. How do you know if you are allergic to your sleeping aid?

    Answer: You may be allergic to your sleeping aid if you are starting to experience a blurry vision, some chest pain, difficulty breathing or swallowing, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, rash, or itching.

  3. Are there side effects to taking sleeping aids?

    Answer: Yes. Taking sleeping aids may cause burning or tingling of the hands, changes in appetite, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, gas, headache, heartburn, dry mouth, unusual dreams, and weakness.

Our Top Picks


Amazon Basic Care Basic Care Sleep Aid Tablets

  • 25 mg
  • 96 count
  • Doxylamine succinate
  • Clinically tested

Don’t let lack of sleep affect your performance, mood, or health with this sleeping aid. Its active ingredient is 25 mg doxylamine succinate, a nighttime sleep aid which compares to the active ingredient in Unisom Sleep Tabs. With a single 1-tablet dose, it helps reduce difficulty in falling asleep. This sleep aid is clinically tested and proven effective. It does not contain any pain reliever and is gluten free. It is suitable for adults and children age 12 years or older.


Zentastic Herbal Sleep Aid

  • 1013 mg
  • 60 capsules
  • Made in the USA
  • Non-habit forming

Fall asleep faster with this sleeping aid. It has a dose of melatonin and patented TRAACS magnesium that work quickly to calm restlessness and help you drift off to sleep faster. It has L-glycine and L-tryptophan, which are natural amino acids that help soothe your thoughts and ease you into peaceful sleep. This sleep aid contains suntheanine which is an award-winning and patented form of L-theanine that is clinically proven to promote relaxation. It is a fast-acting herbal formula that is drug free and non-habit forming.


Source Naturals Sleep Science NightRest Multi-Nutrient and Herb Complex

  • Herbal
  • 100 tablets
  • With melatonin
  • Manufactured in the USA

Catch up on your much needed rest with this sleeping aid. It combines melatonin and GABA with key amino acids and soothing herbs to help you sleep well. It supports multiple body systems related to sleep and relaxation using nutrients and inhibitory neurotransmitters. This sleep aid contains chamomile, passionflower, and skullcap to help balance the body’s stress response. It has taurine and glycine that can help support calming brain chemicals and a healthy stress response.


ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid Liquidcaps

  • 50 mg
  • 48 count
  • Diphenhydramine HCl
  • Non-habit forming

Stop tossing and turning at night with this sleeping aid. It contains a non-habit-forming ingredient, diphenhydramine HCI, that helps you get the sleep you need. Each dose contains 50 mg, helping you fall asleep in as little as 20 minutes. This sleep aid helps you get the sound sleep you need by providing relief of occasional sleeplessness. It reduces the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.


PhiNaturals Natural Sleep Aid

  • With melatonin
  • 60 count
  • Pack of 3
  • All-natural ingredients

Fall asleep fast and wake refreshed with this sleeping aid. It is a blended dose of nature’s most potent sleep-inducing herbs: melatonin, GABA, valerian root, passion flower extract, hops flower, skullcap, and chamomile. Formulated specifically to give you restful sleep, it lets you feel well rested instead of waking up groggy. This sleep aid is non-habit forming, so you won’t have to worry about the heavy side effects that come with many drugs and artificial sleep solutions.


Peak Life Force Factor Somnapure Natural Sleep Aid

  • With melatonin, valerian, and chamomile
  • Non-habit forming
  • 60 count
  • Natural ingredients

Sleep soundly at night with this sleeping aid. It contains key natural ingredients and do not include any controlled substances, so you don’t have to worry about becoming dependent. It contains melatonin, valerian root extract, and L-theanine which induce a relaxing calm that will help you fall asleep more quickly. This sleep aid regulates your brain waves and restores your natural circadian rhythm. It will not force you into unnatural and ineffective sleep patterns.

It can be tempting to turn to a sleeping aid when you always find yourself up in the middle of the night. But before you do, it is important to weigh the benefits against the risks. Make sure to use your pills sparingly to avoid dependence and tolerance. Also, it is best to consult first with your physician before taking anything, even if it is over the counter.