Best OTC Sleep Aid

Insomnia is considered a kind of disease. So people take medications to get relief from this disease. Insomnia involves having trouble falling asleep. People with insomnia may awaken too early or not feel refreshed upon waking. If you want to know what medication type is helpful for insomnia, you are in the right place now. I am here to share the medication details from my vast knowledge of Health Studies and Health Awareness.I hope you will go through this article on Best OTC Sleep Aid from the beginning to the end for a clear idea about the medication of sleep aids and their use.

What Are OTC Sleep Aids?

OTC (over-the-counter) sleep aids are adequate for an occasional sleepless night, meant to be temporary, and nobody should take over an extended time for insomnia. Many of them are natural and contain ingredients, such as melatonin, while other medicines contain antihistamines. All OTC sleep pills are not as strong as prescribed sleeping medication. But they are often even as effective as assisting you in nodding off and staying asleep in periods of temporary sleep disturbances.

Let’s take a glance at the simplest OTC sleeping aids on the market today. We always highly recommend adjusting your remedy options together with your doctor or health care professional, though they’re widely available as an over-the-counter option.

When to Use Sleeping Pills?

It’s essential to try to find the source or reason you are having difficulty falling asleep. It can help you make positive changes to alleviate your symptoms and help you find the best sleeping aids for your particular situation.

Suppose you experience temporary sleep disruption due to stress, anxiety, or jet-lag, an OTC sleeping aid you need. We recommend using OTC sleeping pills for no longer than two weeks. If you have been suffering from sleep issues for more than two weeks, a doctor’s visit may be something to envision. Generally speaking, it is always best to naturally resolve your problems than relying on medicine and supplements. Things like a sleep routine, meditation, and healthy eating can dramatically help your sleep quality. Also, you can do physical exercise every day.

Best OTC Sleep Aids

There are the most straightforward sleeping pills available without a prescription. These often contain some combination of medicines to assist in provoking drowsiness. They will also cause grogginess within the morning for a few users.

The most common components found in OTC sleeping pills are antihistamines and Diphenhydramine. Those are sedatives that help create drowsiness and keep users asleep for a more extended time. They do not usually cause any severe side-effects, but they become ineffective over time.
Other standard components in OTC sleeping pills are melatonin and Valerian root. Melatonin may be a naturally produced hormone that helps your bodies regulate sleep and wake schedules. It’s secreted within the evening when the body starts to urge ready for sleep. Melatonin supplements will help prepare your body for sleep if your body isn’t creating enough hormones. On the other hand, the Valerian root contains calming and relaxing properties.

Natural / Melatonin a Best OTC Sleep Aid

It would be best if you applied natural solutions before using other OTC options. Natural ingredients tend to bear fewer side effects on your bodies and your alertness in the morning.

Melatonin is a natural hormone made within the pineal body of the brain. During the day, the retinas perceive natural light and signal the brain to secrete hormones. It is like cortisol that promotes feelings of wakefulness and application. As daylight fades within the evening, the pineal body receives signals to release melatonin, making you feel tired and relaxed.
To spice up low melatonin levels, some people take melatonin supplements. These supplements could also be made up of animals, microorganisms, or, most frequently, synthetic components.
These include biological time sleep disorders that reduce your melatonin levels, like delayed sleep-wake phase disorder or shift work disorder and certain sleep disorders in children. Melatonin can also improve symptoms for travelers experiencing fatigue.

You can get melatonin supplements without a prescription from drug stores, supermarkets, and online shops. The pills tend to return in doses of 1–5 milligrams (mg), and an individual should take them at bedtime. The followings are some other options by natural ingredients –

1.      Wild Thera

It is a balm that people apply to their temples, forehead, and upper lip before bed to help them relax. It has natural herbs and essential oils to calm the mind and body. Thus it helps to clear your airways and get you ready for sleep. This balm is all-natural and is a perfect alternative for you if you prefer not to take pills or any medication form.

2.      Alteril

Alteril is an all-natural dietary supplement containing melatonin, Valerian root, and other calming and relaxing ingredients. Like Wild Thera, the fact that it is a natural sleep aid makes it one of the preferred options.



Valerian is a herb marketed and sold as a dietary supplement under the name “valerian root” and is often found in mild sedatives to treat insomnia and anxiety. While valerian functionality isn’t fully understood, researchers believe it interacts with GABA, serotonin, and adenosine receptors. Thus far, evidence that valerian is an efficient treatment for insomnia has been inconclusive.


Diphenhydramine is an FDA-approved antihistamine usually marketed under the name Benadryl. You can find in a wide variety of brand-name OTC pain-relieving or fever-reducing medications, including Advil PM, Excedrin PM, Nytol, Tylenol PM, ZzzQuil.

Doctors can also recommend or prescribe Medications with Diphenhydramine for infrequent bouts of sleepiness. Some research has administered the recommended dose of 50mg to participants, and results suggest sleep improvements are limited at best.

Some researchers have found that older adults may chronically use medications with Diphenhydramine for insomnia treatment or self-care. Older people are at higher risk of insufficient sleep due to bad health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Chronically taking these medications can be an issue for elderly adults because metabolism slows down as we age, extending the half-life of drugs and prolonging their effects. It can lead to a “residual sedative effect” if you take these sleep aids in the evening. Let’s see the activities of the marketed aids of Diphenhydramine

1.      Unisom

Unisom may be a 50 mg Diphenhydramine HCl gel tablet that claims to place you to sleep after ingestion and keep you from awakening during the night.

2.      ZzzQuil

ZzzQuil Liquid sleep-aid is an excellent alternative if taking tablets or pills is difficult for you. It contains Diphenhydramine HCI to induce sleepiness. Consistent with NyQuil, Diphenhydramine HCI is non-habit forming and prevents grogginess in the morning. It assures that you had a full 7-8 hours sleep.

3.      Tylenol PM

From the famous brand, Tylenol comes a familiar sleeping aid. It bears Diphenhydramine HCI to help get you to sleep. It also contains Acetaminophen for minor aches and pains.

4.      Advil PM

If minor pains are why you can’t sleep, Advil PM could be your best choice as it contains Diphenhydramine and Ibuprofen. These two ingredients work together to alleviate minor pain that may keep you up and help your body get the restorative sleep it requires.

5.      Simply Sleep

From the same Extra Strength Tylenol PM makers, each caplet of Simply sleep contains 25 mg diphenhydramine HCl to get a good night’s sleep. It is an alternate for Tylenol PM and doesn’t include the pain relief agent.

6.      Sominex

Like other sleep aids, Sominex has diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg in each caplet. The brand claims to supply a restful sleep with less “brain fog” or grogginess that can occur with sleep aids.



Do you know? Doxylamine or doxylamine succinate is a first-generation antihistamine that produces sedative effects. Doxylamine can function as a short-term treatment for sleeplessness or be used with decongestants to alleviate cold symptoms like sneezing or nasal congestion. It’s marketed under brand names like Unisom SleepTabs, Medi-Sleep, and Good Sense Sleep Aid and may also be a lively ingredient in pain-relieving and fever-reducing medications.

If you’re taking doxylamine for insomnia and symptoms persist longer than a fortnight, you should contact your doctor about other options. Likewise, somebody should not take doxylamine for cold and cough suppression for longer than one week if symptoms continue.

The following one is one the best sleep aids of Doxylamine Succinate –

Kirkland Sleep Aid


This sleep aid is one of the foremost popular OTC sleep aids in the market today. It promises to be effective for many users with limited morning grogginess compared to other popular sleeping pills. It has 25 mg of Doxylamine Succinate to induce drowsiness before bedtime.


Important precautions:

Before using over-the-counter sleep aids, you need to follow the below steps:

  • Start with your doctor.Consult with a doctor if the sleep aid might interact with any other medications or underlying conditions and what dosage to take.
  • Keep precautions in mind.Doctors do not recommend Diphenhydramine and doxylamine for closed-angle glaucoma, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, severe liver disease, digestive system obstruction, or urinary retention. Besides, sleep aids hold risks for pregnant or breastfeeding women and may pose risks to people over age 75, with an increased risk of strokes and dementia.
  • Take it one day at a time.Over-the-counter sleep aids are a short-time solution for insomnia. Generally, doctors advise not to use these medications for longer than two weeks.
  • Avoid alcohol.Do not mix alcohol and sleep aids. Alcohol may increase the sedative effects of the medication.
  • Start at a low dose. You should start the OTC aids at a low dose, especially if you are an older adult, to avoid excessive drowsiness.
  • Do not give sleep aids to children. Without consulting with a doctor, do not give sleep aids to children unless cleared by a pediatrician.
  • Beware of side effects.Don’t do or attempt other activities that need alertness while taking sleep aids.


Everyone gets benefits from a good night’s sleep. If you continue to have trouble sleeping, you should consult with doctors. In addition to lifestyle changes, they might recommend behavior therapy to help you learn new sleep habits and ways to make your sleeping environment more conducive to sleep. In some cases, doctors may recommend the temporary use of prescription sleep aids as well.

Always consult a doctor first if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have liver problems, but everyone should follow these precautions with OTC sleep aids.

Are over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids safe?

Yes. Using an OTC sleep aid is safe mainly. Any time you take anything sedating, there is the possibility you’re going to feel groggy the following day. Thus, this hangover effect may up your risk for accidents. A doctor always advises against using anything that affects your alertness in the morning.

OTC sleep aids aren’t habit-forming within the sense that your body won’t become physically hooked into them, but they’re also not designed for regular, long-term use. If you do so, it can cause side effects like persistent drowsiness, confusion, memory problems, urinary issues, and dry mouth.

 Ending Speech:

Thanks for being with me from the beginning to the end of the article. I So hope you are now clear about the Best OTC Sleep Aid. Though these sleep aids are not so harmful, you will be well aware of taking care of your health. It would be best to discuss with a doctor before taking these kinds of medications.

By NMK Pro