Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep is one of the worst feelings.
Whether you had too much caffeine that day or a stressful upcoming task had you tossing in bed, we can all think of a recent time when we had trouble falling asleep.
If you have difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep, you should consider a sleeping aid supplement.
Many times they are taken to treat sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea, a common condition that affects how much and how well you sleep.
Most sleeping aid supplements are considered sedative hypnotics (1). These kind of supplements contain ingredients that are used to chemically induce and maintain healthy sleep sessions.
Below is a list of the best sleeping aid supplements on the market according to price, customer reviews, and product quality. Then, we broke down what exactly sleeping aid supplements are and how they work.
So what’s the best sleeping aid on the market?
Nature Sleep is our #1 recommended sleeping aid on the market, because of it’s premium blend of natural ingredients and exceptional product quality.
It’s also one of the more affordable sleeping aids on the market, so you get a nice supply of a potent supplement for a nice price.
Outstanding reviews. Here’s one left by James from San Francisco, CA:
“I suffered from severe sleep loss and restlessness all of my life. I’ve been taking Nature Sleep for 2 months now and I have never felt more light and refreshed waking up in the morning”
Not only does Nature Sleep help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, it also helps you wake up feeling well rested allowing you to happily start your day.
Magnesium – activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body
Melatonin – hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain, responsible for making you feel sleepy
Goji Berry – a red Chinese berry known for feeling of well being and calmness, better athletic performance and quality of sleep, and weight loss (similar to camu camu berries)
Lemon Balm – has calming effects on the brain and as such are used to aid anxiety, sleep problems, and restlessness
Chamomile – a compound in chamomile called apiden is linked to feelings of relaxation and anti-anxiety effects (see the top rated chamomile supplements)
Valerian – feelings of drowsiness, and in a tapered dose can help with insomnia, muscle and joint pain, and several psychological stresses including anxiety and hysteria
DRIFTOFF takes you from wired to sleepy in just a few minutes.
One of the best selling sleeping aids on Amazon, DRIFTOFF is the #2 recommended sleeping aid with a unique formula that helps you get a great night of rest AND helps you feel energized the next morning.
Ingredients in this blend include melatonin, valerian root, chamomile, GABA, l-tryptophan, lemon balm, and hops.
The combination of these additives and natural herbs helps you fall asleep quickly, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling energized rather than waking up drowsy and lethargic.
The supplement is made with only natural, non-habit forming ingredients, separating it from dangerous prescription sleeping medicines.
They offer a 60-day 100% money-back guarantee that you will be satisfied with their product, even if you empty the bottle.
LUNA’s natural sleeping aid is one of the most popular sleep aid supplements on the market, but they certainly aren’t the cheapest. Some consider the supplement to be a bit overpriced.
However, their products are third-party tested for quality and purity and are made with natural, drug-free ingredients that are non-habit forming.
They offer a 100% guarantee that you will feel more relaxed before bed, stay asleep all night, and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
Each capsule contains: 5mg Magnesium (as bisglycinate chelate), 100mg L-Theanine, 75mg Valerian extract (root), 75mg Chamomile extract (whole plant), 50mg Passion flower extract (whole plant), 50mg Lemon balm extract (whole plant), 50mg Hops extract (flower), 50mg GABA, 3mg Melatonin, Vegetable Cellulose, and Vegetable Magnesium Stearate.
60 capsules in a bottle, take 1-2 capsules 30-60 minutes before going to bed with 8 oz of water.
This particular brand of sleeping aid supplements takes a more simple approach to improving sleep than other leading brands in the industry.
The unique natural blend of SOMNIS includes just melatonin, GABA, l-tryptophan and vitamin B6. While vitamin B6 is common in energy drinks for alertness, it can also improve your quality of sleep as well by helping to regulate your metabolism (2).
A healthy dose of melatonin makes SOMNIS sleeping aid supplements one of the most effective brands on the market. SOMNIS Natural Sleep Aids are manufactured in the USA under the careful supervision of an FDA registered facility located in California.
One capsule per serving, each bottle contains 60 servings.
Known as a “calming supplement” ZENWISE created a well-liked sleep formula that includes non-habit forming ingredients.
Some of the ingredients include magnesium, melatonin, l-taurine, l-theanine, chamomile and 5-HTP to help ease your body into more consistent nightly rest and help with overall sleep cycle benefits such as improved rapid eye movement (REM).
The supplement also helps you wake up feeling energized and refreshed, helping you take on your day in a good mood and feeling productive. It’s is made in the USA and manufactured in FDA registered facilities that are both NSF and GMP certified.
Take 2 capsules per serving, about an hour before going to bed.
Each bottle contains 60 vegetarian capsules (30 servings).
Honorable Mention – California Products SLEEP
This sleeping aid not only improves your sleep quality, but also helps the muscles in your body recuperate while you sleep.
Recommended for people with high levels of exercise and fitness.
The goal of the supplement isn’t just to induce a temporary tiredness, it works to help regulate your body into regular sleep patterns so that you no longer have to rely on sleep aid supplements.
While it only contains 1mg of melatonin (a mild dose compared to other leading sleeping aids), they have good reviews on Amazon and aren’t a bad option at all.
Each capsule contains magnesium, l-theanine, GABA, phellodendron root powder (similar to maca root powder), mucuna pruriens, 5-HTP, and melatonin. 60 capsules per bottle.
How do sleeping aids work?
All sleeping aids supplements work with your brain to induce drowsiness. Most over-the-counter sleeping aid supplements contain antihistamines (3) which are a type of pharmaceutical drug that stops the activity of histamine receptors in your body.
This results in the induction of drowsiness, coaxing your body into sleep mode and helping you feel tired.
There are two types of antihistamines that are most popular among leading sleeping aids supplements: diphenhydramine and doxylamine (4). Both of these are very common for effectively treating occasional sleeplessness and reducing the difficulty of falling asleep.
So why is adequate sleep such a big deal?
Well, lack of sleep can impose great risks in your life. Drowsiness from lack of sleep has been linked to car accidents, poor job performances, relationship troubles, memory problems, job-related injuries and even mood disorders.
Not getting enough sleep can also lead to a greater risk for heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
How are sleeping aids taken?
Before you take any sleeping aid supplement, make sure that you visit your physician if you are on any medications to discuss any possible complications.
Also, make sure you take time to read the medication guide so you understand exactly how and when to take your sleeping aids, as well as being familiar with all the possible side effects.
Do not take a sleeping aid until right before you are going to bed. Optimally, this would mean within about 15 minutes or less before you plan on sleeping.
Before taking a sleeping supplement for the first time, since you do not know the exact effect it will have on your body, make sure that you are not taking it the night before an important meeting or activity on the following day.
Generally, sleeping aid supplements should only be taken when you are sure that you can stay in bed for at least seven hours. Also, remember never to mix alcohol with sleeping aid supplements since alcohol increases the sedative effect of sleeping aids.
Taking prescription sleeping pills can lead to drug abuse or drug dependency so it is very important to follow the advice of your doctor, should you go the prescription route.
What are the side effects of sleeping aids?
While the most common possible side effect for over-the-counter sleeping aids is usually drowsiness, prescription sleeping aids may include more severe side effects.
These include dizziness or lightheadedness, gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and nausea, headaches, severe allergic reactions, prolonged drowsiness, daytime memory loss and performance problems, and even falling asleep while driving or eating.
Some sleeping aid users have also experienced feeling tired, fuzzy-headed and having trouble waking up the morning after.
Sleeping aid supplements are not safe for pregnant or breast-feeding mothers (you’re better off taking a prenatal supplement).
It may also increase the risk of nighttime falls and injury in elderly adults. If you have medical problems such as kidney disease, high blood pressure or seizures, consult with your doctor first before taking any sleeping aid supplements.
Some rare and serious side effects of sleeping aid supplements that can occur with prolonged use includes facial swelling, allergic reactions, hallucinations, memory lapses, suicidal thoughts or actions, and complex sleep-related behaviors such as sleep walking.
Also, one side effect of prolonged sleeping aid usage is rebound insomnia (6) which is a resurgence of sleeping troubles once you stop using the sleeping aid. In other words, your body learns to depend on the supplements.
Often, the withdrawals of stopping end up being worse than the original insomnia. This kind of insomnia may cause bizarre and disturbing dreams that can result in panic attacks and increased levels of anxiety when you wake up.
Bottom line is, only take a sleeping aid if you really need it and stick to the recommended dosage and you should be fine.
It’s safe to say that you should only result to sleeping aid supplements if you are absolutely sure they are needed.
Sometimes, simply including more daily exercise and improving your diet with adequate protein and vegetables is all it takes to get you back on track with healthy sleep habits. If you eat better, you sleep better.
If you are set on buying a sleeping aid supplement, take a look at our rankings at the top of the page for the best sleeping aid supplements on the market.