Over the Counter Sleeping Aids

Below you’ll find the top 3 recommended Over the Counter (OTC) Sleeping aids.

Benadryl is likely my favorite over-the-counter medication to help me get to sleep. You don’t have to use Benadryl specifically. In fact, an off-brand medication containing Benadryl’s active ingredient Diphenhydramine will work just the same for only a fraction of the price. Benadryl is an antihistamine used to treat allergic reactions and motion sickness, but has a sedating effect which can help you get to sleep. Many other sleep aids contain this same active ingredient, such as Sominex and Tylenol PM. Tylenol PM might work well, but it’s best avoided for solely sleep related purposes because excessive consumption of Tylenol’s pain relieving ingredient acetaminophen has been known to cause damage to the liver.

Unisom is one of the more popular brands of over-the-counter sleep aids and like Benadryl, is intended to treat allergies. Unisom’s active ingredient is doxylamine, an antihistamine. Unisom works well and can help you fall asleep faster, but in my experience, I tend to wake up feeling more groggy after taking Unisom.

The human body naturally produces a hormone called melatonin, responsible for regulating and controlling the natural sleeping and waking patterns. Some people find melatonin supplements to be beneficial for developing a healthy sleep routine. Melatonin is much more mild and may not have the same sedative effects of antihistamine based medications, so it may not be a good choice on nights where you really need to get to sleep quickly. Melatonin is however, a more natural and gentle way to improve sleep patterns.