What is the Best over-the-Counter Sleep Aid?

Typically People take sleeping pills to attain more rest and go to sleep early. Few sleeping medications, just like benzodiazepines, orexin; people use them with doctor’s prescriptions. And some other types of sleeping pills are available on OTC (Over The Counter). These sleeping pills are used for the treatment of insomnia and many other sleep issues with no prescriptions. People usually use these pills to solve sleeping issues, and these can cause risk factors, side effects, and so many potential concerns.

Here are some standard tips for more rest and enough sleep:

  • First, you should exercise regularly.
  • Second, you should make a regular sleep schedule.
  • Thirdly, You should avoid daytime naps.
  • Next, you must change your light to low before going to sleep and avoid using a mobile in a bed.
  • Then You should manage your stress.

These are the common tips to get more sleep, and if you follow these tips, you can get more restful sleep. What is the best over-the-counter sleep aid? In this article, we will discuss sleep aids to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Which are the best over-the-counter sleep aids?

Many older adults are still suffering from sleepless nights and suffer/ face low energy due to their sleepless nights. Magnesium, Melatonin, Valerian Root, Chamomile, Diphenhydramine, Doxylamine are natural medicines available over the counter without any prescriptions. Many other brands, just like NyQuil, Unisom, and Tylenol PM, are known as non-prescription medication. You can also view product to have magical effects.


Magnesium plays a vital role in mental and physical health. The human body cannot produce magnesium; it’s crucial to take care of your diet and use other supplements to maintain your magnesium level. Magnesium is generally found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy products, and most vegetables, just like dark greens, squash, avocado, and broccoli.

If you have proper magnesium levels, you will enjoy restful sleep and more rest by increasing neurotransmitter levels in the brain Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. GABA is the signal to relax the body and cause a peace effect. But in the case of less magnesium level, you can induce restless sleep.

Typically sleep conditions are more common for different ages of people. Magnesium is generally recommended for adults to take this medicine in the quantity of 250mg to 500mg once a day, and you are not bound to take it just before going to sleep as you can take it anytime in a day.

Another important consideration when buying magnesium is to check the product, either MG chloride, MG Gluconate, or MG oxide. Magnesium Chloride and Magnesium Gluconate are easily absorbed in the human body, while on other hand, Magnesium Oxide does not readily absorb in the body.


Melatonin helps control our natural sleep and wake cycle, and its side effects include headaches and daytime sleep.

Melatonin plays an essential role in circadian rhythm, that is, the body’s natural sleep cycle. It is a prevalent and critical hormone produced by sleep for the body. The brain typically originates in response to darkness and when your body feels tired. It commonly starts its effects in 30 minutes when you take a supplement.

You can take this medicine before going to sleep for 30 minutes, and it starts showing its results within 30 minutes, but the question is, if you take this medicine before 2 hours, Does it affect you or cause any harm?

Dosage for Child, Young, and Adult; Medicine can be given 1mg to 10mg for every age group, and it doesn’t make the person addicted.

Valerian Root:

Valerian is commonly used in teas, and it has been used for ancient times. It is an effective treatment for insomnia, and it is sold in dietary supplements. It is commonly found in mild sedatives, which are common to use to treat anxiety and insomnia.

Valerian Root works the same as Magnesium does to get more restful sleep and make the sleep-wake cycle regular. But Valerian Root is well known for quick and short-period sleep experience because it immediately shows the effects of the dose. At the same time, Magnesium is suitable for long, restful, and uninterrupted sleep.

Valerian Root is generally used to getting more sleep, more rest, and releasing anxiety. Valerian Root’s dosage ranges from 300mg to 600mg before even 30 minutes of going to bed ( taking before 2 hours is not mandatory). It also causes various side effects such as daytime sleep, headache, dizziness, nausea, and laziness.


Chamomile is a herb that comes from the daisy-like flower plant family, and it is famous as an over-the-counter medication. It is generally adequate for restful, long-period sleep and decreases anxiety.

It has various properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and control sleep-wake cycle in a natural position.

Chamomile has many health benefits for the treatment of rashes, ulcers, muscle spasms, and digestive disorders, and because of these benefits, Chamomile has been used in ancient times. Having a cup of Chamomile tea before going to bed is safe.

Other side effects of Chamomile:

  • Anaphylaxis: It is an allergic reaction.
  • Skin Reaction.
  • Vomiting: It can be when taken in large amounts.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions.


Doxylamine is a first-generation antihistamine, and it can be used for short-term treatment of insomnia or used in cold samples such as nasal and sneezing. It is also available in the market by different brands like Medi Sleep, Unisom Sleep and active in reducing pain and fever medications.

You should consult your doctor before using doxylamine for insomnia, and the side effects don’t last more than two weeks. Same as it is in coughing and sneezing, you should not use doxylamine for more than seven days if the symptoms are the same.

Do these Sleep Aids Cause any Side Effects?

Over-the-counter sleep aids cause various adverse effects such as headaches, daytime sleep, forgetfulness, insomnia, laziness, and confusion. These sleep aids are dangerous for children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and older adults.

OTC sleeping aids have a risk for physical dependency because these aids have been taken without doctor prescriptions. Remember that these sleep medications are not an adequate solution for your restless sleep; it just provides you 7 to 8 hours of peaceful sleep.

These sleeping pills have no cure for your serious sleep problem, but it temporarily removes your sleep problems for a while.


Finally, we can say that OTC sleeping aids provide a peaceful sleep for 7 to 8 hours and more rest, but you can’t rely on them as a permanent solution. All you need to do is change your lifestyle, opt for a healthy routine and endure a good sleep-wake cycle.

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