If you’re having nights full of tossing and turning, that’s definitely not cool like the other side of the pillow. Sleep aids can help ease racing minds and anxiety-filled wakeups. But there are tons of over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids available at the pharmacy or on the local supermarket shelves. We’re here to help you find the best OTC sleep aid most recommended by exerts because, well, sleep is pretty important.
Whether it’s from stress, job responsibilities or childcare, a massive new study by the University of College London found out who sleeps the least. The answer? People ages 33 to 53. And that’s a trend on every part of the planet. The researchers came to that conclusion after analyzing sleep pattern data from 730,187 participants in 63 countries.
Sleeplessness is such a chronic problem, two in three Americans just wanted Santa to bring them a silent night! That figure was from a poll of 2,000 U.S. adults, and 66 percent said, if they could, they’d beg jolly old St. Nick for any product that could give them better sleep. And New Year’s Eve is also a major culprit in lost sleep. After all, you have to stay up ‘til midnight to see the ball drop, and then you’ve dropped the ball on getting a good nights’ sleep. Nearly a third of people — 32 percent — get so tired, they don’t even make it to midnight.
OK, OK, we hear you saying, “Just tell me which ones will give me some sleep!” The five best OTC sleep aids recommended by experts are below, so check them out if you’re looking to sleep in heavenly peace. Our list is comprised of the five products seen most across 10 expert reviews. Hopefully, you get a solid snooze soon if you’re one of the people having trouble falling and staying asleep. After all, 68 percent — or an estimated 164 million Americans — struggle with sleep at least once a week.
The List: Top 5 OTC Sleep Aids, Most-Recommended By Experts
No Sleepless Nights recommends this melatonin-based sleep aid: “Natrol contains melatonin as the active ingredient. I feel like I always sleep well when I take it, and my sleep tracker data seems to back that up. It comes in tiny tablets that dissolve under your tongue, which is preferable to swallowing large capsules or pills. I also like the simplicity of the ingredients. Natrol has been the most reliable over-the-counter sleep aid for me for some time now, and is the one I’m most likely to use when I have a bad patch of insomnia.”
“Natrol Melatonin Sleep Tablets are melatonin supplements with only 1 active ingredient – the melatonin. This melatonin supplement is very easy to take – the tablets are designed to dissolve easily on your tongue for faster absorption, meaning you don’t even need to drink water to take them. Furthermore, you shouldn’t experience any groggy or hangover type feelings in the morning,” Terry Cralle writes.
2. HUM Beauty zzZz Melatonin and B6 Tablets
Verywell Health says if you’re in need of beauty sleep, try HUM: “I love this supplement from HUM because it not only features melatonin to help you sleep, but it also features vitamin B6 (which aids in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter to help regulate sleep patterns) and calcium (which contains an amino acid that the body uses to product melatonin). Plus, I love that these are sugar-free and gummy-free.”
Shape also recommends “HUMming” before bed, writing, “A powerful combination of melatonin and vitamin B6 is this supplement’s secret weapon to beating the bedtime blues. Melatonin helps to regulate the body’s sleep cycle, while B6 contributes to the body’s production of serotonin — and both ingredients work to enhance calmness and relaxation, too. It’s gluten-free, sustainably-sourced, and vegan to suit different needs.”
3. Nature Made Magnesium
Hone Health suggests Nature Made Magnesium as a top sleep aid, and here’s why: “Magnesium is a mineral that supports many of your body’s functions, including nerve and muscle function. It helps to relax muscles, and helps regulate levels of GABA (or gamma-aminobutyric acid), a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for turning off wakefulness. Some research suggests that magnesium may help reduce mild to moderate anxiety, which is notorious for keeping you up.”
“Magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve quantity and quality of sleep. We like the Nature Made’s Magnesium Citrate because it contains a form of magnesium that may be well absorbed by our bodies (potentially more than other forms), is USP verified, and is relatively budget-friendly. It offers 250 milligrams of magnesium citrate, which is about 60 percent of most people’s daily needs and is well below the tolerable upper limit of 350 milligrams from supplements,” according to Verywell Mind.
The best sleep you’ve ever had with a … sleep aid.
“You know how NyQuil works like a charm for you and makes you nod off immediately when you have a cold? If you do, ZzzQuil can be a good option when you’re dealing with a few days of insomnia or lacking quality sleep that aren’t related to an illness,” Women’s Health writes.
Mattress Advisor says, “If you occasionally have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, and you want to be able to fall asleep faster, ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid could be worth a try. It’s a quick and effective remedy for sleeplessness. ZzzQuil is backed up by clinical studies that show that diphenhydramine can provide a solution for occasional sleeplessness, reducing the time it takes to feel sleepy.”
5. Beam Dream Powder
This drink mix powder helps you send a beaming signal to your dreams.
According to Sleep Foundation, “While melatonin edibles and drinks can be highly effective for people with sleep-related issues, some find their flavors unpleasant. These individuals should check out the Dream Powder from Beam. This cocoa-flavored drink mix has notes of cinnamon, coconut, and vanilla to mask the taste of melatonin. Simply stir a scoop or two of the powder into 6 to 8 ounces of hot water or warm milk for a pre-bedtime beverage designed to induce feelings of sleepiness. In addition to 3 mg of melatonin per serving, the Dream Powder contains … magnesium to help your muscles relax and L-Theanine for deeper, more restful sleep.”
Summing up the list, Healthline writes, “If cozying up at night with hot chocolate sounds up your alley, then Beam’s Dream Powder may appeal to you. Instead of lots of sugar, it contains healthy ingredients intended to help you sleep better. In addition to 3 mg of melatonin, each scoop contains 20 mg of nano hemp particles, 350 mg of reishi powder, 300 mg of L-theanine, and 31 mg of magnesium. Beam’s website states that all of its products are third-party tested.”
Struggling with sleep? What helps you? Let us know in the comments below!
- No Sleepless Nights
- Terry Cralle
- Verywell Health
- Hone Health
- Verywell Mind
- Women’s Health
- Mattress Advisor
- Sleep Foundation
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. Study Finds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.