Do you struggle to get to sleep? Insomnia can come about for a wide variety of reasons. There are nights when it seems impossible for rest to come along finally.
Instead of waiting for the alarm clock to read 4 am, consider finding the best over-the-counter sleep aids to let your body naturally want to fall asleep.
Here’s what you need to know about these products.
The Best Chart for OTC Sleep Aids in 2022
Most OTC sleep aids are based on supplements or herbal combinations.
These can sometimes interfere with medications being taken, so be sure to speak with a medical provider before choosing one of the products from the chart below.
|LUNA – Natural Sleep Aid||4.3||$$|
|OZzzz’s Sleep Aid for Children||4.6||$|
|Earth’s Design Natural Sleep Aid Pills||4.6||$$|
|Potent Nutrament Sleep & Slumber||4.6||$$|
|Best Naturals Melatonin 5mg||4.8||$|
|Zenwise Labs 100% Natural Sleep Support||4.6||$$$|
|Vicks ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep-Aid||4.5||$$|
|Dr Ts Deep Sleep Aid||4.6||$$$|
|Tired Teddies Natural Sleep Aid for Kids||4.5||$$|
Why Choose an Over-the-Counter Sleep Aid?
You’ve kept up with your bedtime routine for weeks.
Caffeine and other stimulants have been eliminated. You’re getting some exercise regularly; perhaps you’re meditating and have even worked on managing your stress.
Yet sleep is still elusive every single night. This is when you should be considering an OTC sleep aid.
Sleep aids should not be treated as a long-term solution to a problem with insomnia. They aren’t magic pills, but they can help you sleep if nothing else is working and you don’t want to have a prescription aid.
Many of the best over-the-counter sleep aids are antihistamines, but you should take care in using them because most people quickly build up a tolerance to them.
Another effective solution that doesn’t involve allergy medication is the use of the hormone melatonin. This is what your body naturally uses to establish a sleeping cycle.
This sleep aid is particularly useful in managing jet lag and other sleep issues because it reduces how long it takes for a person to fall asleep.
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What Are Common Issues With OTC Sleep Aids?
Even the best over-the-counter sleep aids will place someone at risk of developing unwanted side effects. People’s most common issue when taking sleep aids is the “hangover effect.”
Upon waking up, the sleep aid makes people sometimes feel very dizzy and tired, making it difficult to get moving. Sometimes it even causes people to fall back asleep.
Other common issues include headaches, stomach discomfort, and ongoing fatigue throughout the day.
Certain antihistamines may also cause vision changes, a dry mouth, and stomach cramping several hours after the sleep aid was taken. Ensure that you don’t need to drive somewhere until you know how your OTC sleep aid of choice will affect you.
Sleep aids should never be taken with alcohol. Alcohol will increase the sedative effects of the OTC sleep aid, which can depress the circulatory and nervous systems to the point where life-threatening situations may occur.
Because alcohol works as a depressant on the body, you get less sleep even though you feel tired because of the effects on the central nervous system.
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How To Find the Best OTC Sleep Aid For Me
The first step you must take is to evaluate how your preferred sleep aids may interact with any medications or lifestyle habits you may be unable to change.
People who have asthma, glaucoma, or digestive system issues may need to avoid many OTC sleep aids because they can make their health situation worse instead of better. Speaking with a medical provider about your health history is an important part of this process.
Selecting the type of sleep aid is the next step. You will want to choose a complimentary sleep aid to reduce the chances that other items’ sedative effects are countered.
If you’re already taking allergy medication, for example, melatonin supplements would be better than an antihistamine-based sleep aid.
Consider asking yourself these three questions.
- How much am I willing to spend to make sure I can get to sleep tonight?
- Do I have any allergies to the ingredients in my preferred sleep aid?
- What will happen if I choose a sleep aid that doesn’t work for me as intended?
Most OTC sleep aids are not intended to be taken for more than two weeks. Taking them for an extended period can cause the body to develop a dependency upon them, making it impossible to sleep if the aids aren’t available.
New sleep habits, changes to your sleeping environment, or even replacing a mattress or bed may help to encourage better long-term sleep habits while you manage short-term needs with these aids.
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What Are the Prices of OTC Sleep Aids?
The best over-the-counter sleep aids are very affordable right now. A 2 week supply of your preferred product can generally be found for less than $20.
Certain brand-name products may cost more than this or require you to purchase an extended supply, but most people can find sleep with a sleep aid that costs less than $1 per dose.
Sleep aids are available in a wide variety of dosing formats. Chewables and liquids work the fastest, while tablets and capsules are a little cheaper per dose.
Some supplements are based on natural product combinations and may be used for more than 2 weeks if appropriately supervised by a medical provider.
Look for not habit-forming products while you shop if you believe this could be a potential need.
What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?
Luna Sleep Aids
The marketing materials claim that you can get to sleep in 14 minutes or less after taking this vegetarian capsule. However, results may vary, and you may be waiting 20-30 minutes to make it to your dreams.
However, a 30-minute wait to get to sleep doesn’t sound so bad compared to a whole night of fitful tossing and turning.
In return, you’ll stay asleep longer and feel refreshed in the morning – a winning combination!
Slumber Fit Sleep Aids
This product is based on melatonin and theanine, making it an effective occasional OTC sleep aid when your schedule changes.
It also contains some core minerals that your body needs, such as magnesium, that could provide you with more energy if deficient in them. It is not habit-forming and will encourage the body to drift into a deep sleep.
Combining ingredients naturally relaxes the body, so your mood can stabilize and not have a hangover effect afterward, even if you have to wake up earlier than expected.
Vick’s ZzzQuil Sleep Aids
The problem with many of the best over-the-counter sleep aids is that they are in tablet or capsule form.
This means that it takes time for them to begin working, especially if you’ve just eaten something before going to bed.
This product from Vick’s is liquid-based, with the main ingredient being Diphenhydramine HCI, so you’ll feel sleepy immediately.
It won’t treat the symptoms of an illness like other products. Long-term dosing can develop a tolerance, so only take this sleep aid as needed for best results.
Dr. T’s Deep Sleep
Can you sleep like a baby all night long? This all-natural herbal sleep aid features melatonin and Valerian to make sure you can sleep soundly and wake up feeling rejuvenated.
Vitamin D is also included in this product to help the body absorb the needed herbs while reducing the potential for bothersome leg twitches to keep some people awake. It also contains niacin, however, so drug interactions may need to be considered.
WITH ITS VITAMIN COMBINATION, this OTC sleep aid may not work for everyone, but it may also be the solution you need if nothing else seems to be working.
Tired Teddies Sleep Aids
Ok, parents – the kids aren’t going to sleep at night. You’ve established a straightforward routine, let them have the lavender bath, and even avoided snacks before bed; nothing is working.
This product contains 0.3mg of melatonin, mixed with chamomile and other herbs to encourage sleep safely.
Kids don’t develop a tolerance for these; they aren’t habit-forming either, so you don’t have to put up with those sleepless nights anymore.
It is also free of sugar and many common food allergens. If it doesn’t work for some reason, then you can get your money back. There’s nothing to lose except insomnia!
The best over-the-counter sleep aids help with acute insomnia and change your sleeping habits.
A doctor should constantly evaluate chronic insomnia before seeking an OTC solution.
Use this guide to help find the right product ttohelp you sleep, and you’ll finally be able to rest eeasily
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