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The 10 Best Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids

If you are unable to sleep properly at night, it can leave you feeling really dazed the next day. But when this becomes a frequent occurrence, it takes a major toll on your physical and emotional health,  affecting everything from your concentration, mood, and memory to more serious concerns of increasing the risks of depression, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

There are many lifestyle changes you can make to improve your bedtime routines and sleep patterns. But before turning to prescription drugs for strong sedatives, try these over-the-counter sleep aids which combine natural ingredients such as melatonin, valerian roots, chamomile, lemon balm, along with minerals such as iron and magnesium as well as vitamins B6, B12, etc. The deficiency of such nutrients is known to aggravate insomnia.

The natural sleep aid supplements may help you fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up less frequently. They help deepen your sleep and as your quality of sleep increases, you’ll find that this, in turn, boosts your mood and productivity.

Top 10 OTC Sleep Aids

Sleep Support Plus

Sleep Support Plus

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Sleep Support Plus, previously named Nature Sleep, is a trusted name among sleep aids. The product is particularly renowned for its focus on safety and efficacy. Sleep Support Plus is an all-natural mix of some of the most potent ingredients for sleep. Melatonin, Magnesium, Goji Berry, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, and Valerian are the major ingredients that have been diligently combined in the right proportions to offer you a good night’s sleep.

Sleep Support Plus contributes to melatonin production in the body which is essential to regulate the sleep cycle in the human body. Magnesium is another vital mineral that supports nerve function and relaxes the mind and body. The supplement’s natural ingredients like goji berry and lemon balm have proven antioxidant benefits needed to enhance the feeling of calmness. Chamomile and valerian are age-old herbal formulas for relieving stress and inducing sound sleep. All these ingredients enhance the feeling of relaxation, completely calming your mind and aiding during bouts of insomnia and stress.

Every bottle of Sleep Support Plus contains 60 tablets which are equivalent to one month’s supply. The recommended dosage is 2 tablets daily with a glass of water to be consumed around 20-30 minutes before bedtime. The company delivers the supplement across 23 nations of the world. 

Pros:

  • Formulated to contain all-natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • Manufactured in an FDA registered facility
  • Easily available, over the counter

Nuzena Circadian Sleep Support +

Nuzena Circadian Sleep Support

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Nuzena Circadian Sleep Support + is a scientifically proven natural formula to induce quality sleep. The product has been carefully designed to include some of the most effective ingredients to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. With its 100% natural ingredients, this dietary supplement not only regulates the sleep cycle but also improves the quality of sleep. Moreover, the product is gluten-free and is safe for those who are sensitive to wheat.

Nuzena Circadian Sleep Support Plus contains melatonin which plays a pivotal role in regulating sleep patterns. To support melatonin production in the body, the supplement also contains 5-Hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP. This is an amino acid naturally produced by the human body to counteract the feelings of depression and anxiety. The product is loaded with magnesium and valerian which reduce stress levels and provide relaxation to the mind. Another vital ingredient in this formula is L-Tryptophan, an amino acid that is important to regulate the circadian rhythm relating to sleep. The aromatic herb Lemon balm, in this formula, has antioxidant benefits that offer relief from anxiety and restlessness, thus optimizing sleep quality.

Nuzena Circadian Sleep Support Plus is available in a convenient bottle of 60 tablets, which equals one month’s supply. You can have two tablets of this sleep aid formula daily, one in the morning and another in the evening. Although the positive effects can be observed immediately, it is advisable to consume it for at least 90 days to ensure lasting benefits.

Pros:

  • 100% natural ingredients
  •  GMP Certified
  • Manufactured in an FDA registered facility
  • GMO-free, gluten-free

Performance Lab® Sleep

Performance Lab® Sleep

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If you are searching for an ultramodern sleep aid to boost your night’s sleep and encourage daytime productivity, look no further than Performance Lab® Sleep. Beyond safety and potent efficacy, Sleep is delivered in a vegan-friendly, 100 percent plant-based NutriCaps®. What sets it apart from similar products is the use of natural melatonin obtained from CherryPURE® Montmorency Tart Cherry. This is believed to be the richest plant-based source of melatonin. Most other sleep supplements available in the market rely on large doses of synthetic melatonin which often result in morning sickness.

Active ingredients of Sleep also include an advanced 3x matrix of magnesium, such as- Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, NutriGenesis® Magnesium, which relaxes muscles and reduces stress and anxiety. Further, the right proportion of amino acids and TryptoPure®L-Tryptophan optimizes the natural production of melatonin in the body by the pineal gland. This natural extract contains joint and muscle-soothing antioxidants that relax the entire nervous system and induce faster sleep.

Being non-GMO, allergen-friendly, soy-free and gluten-free, the product can be consumed safely by people suffering from specific medical conditions. Moreover, the supplement is tested against the use of any banned substance. This non-habit forming dietary supplement comes in a bottle of 60 capsules. To ensure the best results, it is recommended to consume 2 to 4 capsules 45 to 60 minutes before sleep. This daily supplement is completely safe for long-term use.

Pros:

  • Based on an all-natural source of melatonin
  • GMP-certified and tested against banned substances
  • Gluten and soy-free
  • Vegan-friendly 

Carlyle Melatonin

Carlyle Melatonin

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Carlyle Melatonin is a delicious, berry-flavored sleeping aid to treat insomnia. As the name suggests, melatonin is the main ingredient in this supplement. Every tablet of the supplement is equivalent to a potent dose of 12 mg melatonin. Apart from the ingredients used commonly in all the sleeping aids, this sleep supplement contains beetroot powder. Beetroot is loaded with calcium and magnesium which is important in the human body to regulate sleep patterns.

The product’s fast-dissolve formula allows you to consume it even without water. Thus, it is easy to administer this sleep supplement when you are on the go. Carlyle Melatonin 12mg is non-addictive thus you will not get into the habit of taking sleeping pills. The best part of the product is that it has been designed considering the specific needs of people with gluten-allergy, soy allergy, and lactose intolerance. Moreover, it is 100% vegetarian and there are no artificial flavors and preservatives.

To ensure that the product meets the quality standards, it is packaged and lab-tested in a GMP certified facility in the USA. It is recommended to consume one tablet of the supplement half an hour before going to bed. However, you should start with an even smaller dose to cross-check the effects of the product on your body. Do not exceed the recommended dosage. Every bottle of the supplement contains 180 tablets.

Pros:

  • Fast dissolve formula
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO
  • 100% vegetarian
  • Money-back guarantee for 90 days

Luna

Luna

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Luna, the gentle sleep aid is a herbal formula that has been meticulously designed to offer you premium quality sleep. Along with a viable dose of melatonin and L-theanine, the product is packed with the goodness of passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile, hops, and valerian root. Melatonin is an essential hormone released by the pineal gland to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in the human body. L-theanine is the amino acid that is also found in green tea and has calming effects on the brain. However, what sets this product apart from its competitors is the thoughtful blend of natural ingredients.

Passionflower and lemon balm are said to improve gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain which pacify your brain and induce you to sleep faster. Chamomile extract has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe anxiety and promote healthy sleep patterns. Valerian root, sometimes referred to as the ‘nature’s valium’ is an age-old herbal formula to calm the mind and provoke sleep. Similarly, Hops is an ancient herb that is known for its sedative properties which aid in deepening your sleep.

This cruelty-free product has been designed with love to help you restore healthy sleep patterns. Luna’s formula is non-habit-forming in nature, making it safe for daily consumption. Additionally, each batch of Luna is tested by third-party which ensures a high-quality product. A bottle of the supplement consists of 60 capsules and the recommended dosage is 1-2 capsules with water, at least 30-60 minutes before sleep time.

Pros:

  • 100% natural ingredients 
  • Non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free
  • Manufactured in a GMP certified set-up
  • Third-party tested to ensure quality

5-HTP Plus

5-HTP Plus

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5-HTP Plus is a modern, science-based sleep supplement offered by Dr.Emil, a well-known name in the field of nutrition. As the name suggests, the product contains 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) as the main component. 5-HTP is an essential amino acid responsible for serotonin production in the human body. Serotonin is important to ensure sound sleep, relief from anxiety and stimulate positive temperament.

Every tablet of the supplement contains a potent dosage of 200 mg pure 5-HTP along with SAMe and L Tryptophan. These are serotonin synthesizers that play a vital role in boosting the serotonin levels in the body. Further, this supplement is packed with Vitamin B6 which is a crucial co-factor in the conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin. Clinical researches have proved that in the absence of vitamin B6, 5-HTP is usually ineffective in serotonin production.

Being 100% natural, hormone and allergen-free, 5-HTP Plus offers multiple advantages to people struggling with depression, insomnia, and mood fluctuations. In addition, 5-HTP Plus has been designed with a non-additive formula which ensures that you do not get into the habit of relying on sleep supplements for your good night’s sleep. Moreover, the product is third-party tested hence can be trusted for its claims. 5-HTP Plus is readily available in a handy bottle of 60 capsules. It is recommended to consume two capsules of the supplement daily. This means that you have one month’s supply in one purchase.

Pros:

  • 100% natural
  • Non-GMO
  • Allergen-free and Hormone-free
  • Manufactured in an FDA-registered and GMP-certified laboratory

Basic Care Sleep Aid

Basic Care Sleep Aid

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Basic Care Sleep Aid is an amazing sleep supplement that contains doxylamine succinate as the active ingredient. Doxylamine succinate is an over-the-counter drug that has proven benefits in reducing sleep-related troubles. Every tablet of the supplement offers you a potent 25 mg of doxylamine succinate which is clinically proven to make you fast asleep. Moreover, this formula is non-habit forming thus you would not get into the habit of relying upon sleep supplements to enjoy a restful night.

One of the best features of Basic Care Sleep Aid is that it does not contain any added pain relievers. This means that you would not suffer from the feeling of drowsiness the next morning. The supplement lets you wake up completely fresh and rejuvenated so that your daytime performance is not affected negatively.

The product is completely gluten-free hence those who have a wheat allergy can also consume it unworried. However, people with specific medical conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, glaucoma, or prostate issues are advised to consult their healthcare provider before consuming this sleep aid. The supplement is easily available over-the-counter in a handy bottle of 96 tablets. The recommended dosage of the supplement is one tablet daily, preferably half an hour before bedtime to ensure the best results.

Pros:

  • Every tablet contains potent 25 mg doxylamine succinate
  • Gluten-free product
  • No added pain relievers
  • Non-habit forming

ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs

ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs Melatonin Sleep Aid Gummies

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If you are looking for a solution to insomnia but refrain from sleep supplements due to difficulty swallowing tablets, ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs can be a perfect product for you. ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs is a dietary sleep supplement that comes in the form of chewable gummies. As such, unlike other sleep aids, you don’t even need water to consume these gummies. Moreover, the wildberry vanilla-flavor of gummies is so tempting that you would not ask for anything further.

The supplement contains an optimum dosage of melatonin to ensure a restful sleep at night and an energized daytime performance. The product is also loaded with the goodness of ancient medicinal plants such as valerian root, chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm. All these herbs are age-old remedies for insomnia due to their proven sedative properties. These herbs improve the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in your brain and provide relief from anxiety and stress.

 ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs does not contain any artificial colors and is completely drug-free hence the product can be trusted for its safety. These convenient gummies are gelatin-free, gluten-free, and lactose-free hence are best suited for vegans, and people with allergies of wheat and dairy products. ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs, the non-habit forming sleep aid is offered in a convenient bottle of 72 gummies. One is advised to take 2 gummies a day at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

Pros:

  • Convenient and tastes great
  • Gelatin-free, drug-free, non-habit forming
  • Gluten-free, lactose-free
  • Contains pure herbs

Olly Sleep

OLLY Sleep Melatonin Gummy

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Sleep is a crucial part of our daily lives and it can be best understood by people with insomnia and other sleep-related problems. But, Olly Sleep has discovered an exciting solution to such problems. Available as chewable gummies, this sleep supplement is packed with an ideal combination of melatonin, L-theanine, and natural herbs to help you to fall fast asleep. The supplement does not rely upon chemicals to offer relief, it rather provides an all-natural sleep remedy.

The scientifically formulated Olly Sleep gummies contain melatonin which is essential to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in the human body. L-theanine, another active ingredient in the supplement is an amino acid that you generally find in your daily sip of green tea. L-theanine is clinically proven to calm your mind and improve the quality of your sleep. The natural ingredients of Olly Sleep like chamomile, lemon balm, and passionflower extract are ancient herbs to provide relaxation and induce sleep.

The best part of this sleep aid is that it comes in a delightful blackberry flavor with a hint of mint. Moreover, you need not worry about its safety because the product does not use any artificial colors and flavors. Olly Sleep is a non-habit forming, drug-free formula to a good night’s sleep. Every bottle of the supplement contains 50 gummies. You are advised to take 2 gummies at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The product should be chewed thoroughly before you swallow it, to ensure the best results.

Pros:

  • Convenient and safe
  • Soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free
  • Natural blackberry and mint flavor
  • NSF certified

Genius Sleep Aid

Genius Sleep AID

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As the name suggests, Genius Sleep Aid is an advanced formula to resolve your sleep-related issues. Unlike most of the sleep supplements available in the market, this product does not overlook adrenal fatigue. The adrenal gland or the suprarenal gland in the human body is responsible for producing a wide range of hormones. Improper functioning of the adrenal gland leads to adrenal fatigue. This can further be associated with higher stress levels, weak immune system, and blood pressure issues. Genius Sleep Aid reduces adrenal fatigue and provides relaxation.

This dietary sleep supplement contains an optimum blend of melatonin, inositol, L-theanine, L-Glycine, and rutaecarpine. Melatonin is clinically proven to regulate the sleep-wake cycle, especially when taken in small doses. L-theanine, an amino acid combats stress and uplifts mood. L-glycine enhances serotonin levels in the body which improves sleep quality and prepares you for great daytime performance. Rutaecarpine is effective in reducing caffeine levels from the body thus helping you to get fast asleep. Inositol transmits the feeling of calmness in the brain thus providing you a restful night sleep.

Genius Sleep Aid is backed by science and completely drug-free hence can be trusted for its safety and efficacy. Every bottle of the supplement contains 40 tablets. The recommended dosage is 2 tablets daily, half an hour before bedtime. It is, however, advisable to consume this supplement only 5 days a week to ensure the best outcomes.

Pros:

  • Advanced formula
  • Reduces adrenal fatigue
  • Vegetarian product
  • Non-habit forming

The Link Between Sleep and Melatonin 

Melatonin is your sleep hormone which signals your body that it’s time to relax and fall asleep. Melatonin production occurs in our body after sunset and it peaks between 2 am and 4 am, after which it starts to decline. Light falling on the retina is what regulates melatonin levels. When we wake up in the morning, the daylight signals our body to lower the melatonin levels and we feel bright and awake.

You can try lifestyle changes like reducing the use of mobile phones and tv screens before bedtime. The blue light emitted by these screens can negatively affect the production of melatonin. Adding melatonin-rich foods may also assist with your sleep difficulties.

Among animal foods, eggs and fish rank highest among melatonin-containing food groups while in plant foods, the highest melatonin content is found in nuts. Germinated legumes or seeds also provide melatonin. Studies have noted that melatonin levels in the blood significantly increase after the consumption of foods containing melatonin.

The neurotransmitter serotonin is the precursor to melatonin. Serotonin is derived from tryptophan which is an amino acid. Most over the counter sleep aids contain melatonin, serotonin and/or tryptophan to boost the levels of melatonin in your body.

The Final Note 

Over-the-counter sleep aids can be quite helpful in solving short term insomnia such as those induced by anxiety, a temporary change in your work shifts or due to jet lag. But like any other drug, these over the counter sleep aids may also have side effects depending on their ingredients and formula.

It’s always safe to get your doctor’s opinion before using any sleep aids, especially if you are on any prescription drugs or even painkillers, as drug interactions may occur. Since such products are not regulated by the FDA, these may contain more or less of certain ingredients.

Even if all the ingredients are natural, overdosing may lead to unpleasant consequences such as nausea or digestive disturbances. So always test out such products at their lowest doses and see how they affect you. No worries, they are mostly considered safe and thousands of people use them on a regular basis without any adverse effects.