Sleep is very important for every single one of us. Those of us who suffer from insomnia, restlessness at night, or even have a hard time falling asleep, often lose huge amounts of energy needed for us to function normally throughout our day.
To try and remedy this cumbersome problem of falling asleep some people have turned towards sleep aids. Unfortunately, sleep issues have been around for a long time and many companies have picked up on this problem. The result is a consumer market which has a ton of different herbal and pharmaceutical products designed to help you with your sleep problem. Choosing one of these products can be somewhat of a hassle.
Each different product has its own pros and cons and the only way to figure out what they are by testing the product on your own. Luckily, we can help you with this task. Here we have listed some of the more known sleep aids on the market.
Each is different in its own way but hopefully, we can provide enough information for you to make the right decision. Keep in mind that these products are listed in a completely random order.
- 1 Top 10 Sleep Aids
- 2 Possible Side Effects and Benefits of Sleep Aids
- 3 Best Sleep Aids of 2018 Conclusion
Top 10 Sleep Aids
1. Zhou Driftoff
If you are having a hard time falling asleep, the time you spend sleeping is restless, or staying sleep seems impossible then Zhou Driftoff might be the sleep aid you are looking for. Its formula is filled with a blend of some of the most powerful sleep extracts. Furthermore, most of the extracts used in this product are 100% natural and herbal.
Ingredients such as valerian root and melatonin should be able to combat nearly any sleep related issue. The addition of chamomile helps promote a healthy sleep cycle and restores you back to excellent wellbeing. Zhou Driftoff also contains a variety of other natural herbal extracts which are designed to ensure you get the best possible sleep and wake up fully energized and rested.
This specific product comes in a form of gel capsules which are very easy to swallow without any strange odor. No need to follow odd directions in order to get a full night’s rest, just take the recommended dosage and sleep on.
2. Zenwise Sleep Support
Another powerful sleep aid which is designed to keep you asleep and well rested for the whole night is Zenwise Sleep Support. Just like many other sleep aids, this formula contains well-known ingredients such as melatonin, chamomile, and theanine.
However, Zenwise Sleep Support takes it a step further and introduces two other ingredients, GABA and 5-HTP. Both of these ingredients are neurotransmitters. GABA, also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, has the ability to dampen nerve activity.
Generally, people who suffer from insomnia have reduced levels of GABA, thus increasing GABA levels can help fall asleep and stay asleep. 5-HTP has a different effect on your body, it has the ability to raise serotonin levels and since serotonin is a mood and behavior stabilizer, increasing its levels can also help with the quality of your sleep.
Overall, Zenwise Sleep Support seems to have gotten the right idea by choosing the standard ingredients you would find amongst other sleep aids which are proven to work well but also adding neurotransmitters which also affect our sleep in a positive way.
3. Sheer Health Sheer Sleep
Looking for a high-quality sleep aid? Sheer Health Sheer Sleep is an option that you should definitely consider. This sleep aid has one of the highest levels of valerian root amongst many of the products we are discussing here today.
So if you have noticed in the past that valerian root extract seems to work particularly well with your body and improves your sleep cycles drastically, then Sheer Health Sheer Sleep is probably the best choice for you.
Besides valerian root, this product also contains melatonin which obviously helps with your sleep cycle and quality of sleep. However, unlike many other sleep aids, there is no chamomile or theanine present in this formula.
We are sure many of you are familiar with Vicks Zzzquil, the NyQuil brand dedicated to helping you sleep instead of helping with your cold or flu. Unlike many other sleep aids which contain herbal extracts, the key acting ingredient in Zzzquil is actually diphenhydramine HCl. This antihistamine has the ability to drastically improve your sleep through its powerful sedating qualities.
Because Zzzquil contains a decent amount of diphenhydramine HCl, it is strongly suggested that it’s used seldom. You should not use Zzzquil on a daily basis because it can cause adverse side effects. Keep in mind that another side effect of antihistamines is the likelihood of drowsiness the following day.
5. Nature Made Soft Gel Sleep
Although Nature Made Soft Gel Sleep is one of the most used products on the market, we had a hard time figuring out why so many people are interested in this product. It does contain melatonin, theanine, passionflower and even chamomile, however, we discovered that the dosage of these ingredients is somewhat low and we find it hard to believe that they will have any effect on the user.
Nonetheless, there are many consumers who swear by this product and say that it worked miracles for the quality of their sleep by helping them not only fall asleep quicker but also sleep longer and completely restful. We can’t ignore these statements, so at the very least you could give this sleep aid a shot and see if it works for you.
Highly praised by a huge following of dedicated customers, this is probably one of the most used sleep aids on the market and for a very good reason. While Luna contains the same already known to work natural ingredients in it like chamomile and valerian root, it’s the whopping amount of 6 mg of melatonin that separates this product from the rest.
Melatonin plays a huge role in your sleep cycles and your quality of sleep. It not only helps you fall asleep quickly but it also ensures that your quality of sleep is deep and reenergizing. Having such a high dosage of melatonin in their formula ensures that their product stays one of the best ones on the market.
7. Sleep Sense
We have mentioned some neurotransmitters earlier which are being utilized by some products but Sleep Sense focuses completely on their high dosage of neurotransmitters and moderate dosage of melatonin.
The secret behind Sleep Sense is their high amount of 5-HTP, the amino acid theanine and our favorite neurotransmitter known as GABA. Individually these neurotransmitters have the ability to drastically improve your sleep quality and duration. When combined together they can be thought of as a sort of remedy juice for your brain and offer excellent recovery.
GABA dampens your nerves while 5-HTP increases serotonin production, add in some L-theanine which can reduce chemicals that are associated with anxiety and stress and you get one of the calmest and restful sleep possible.
8. Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid
Just like Zzzquil, Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid uses the power of antihistamines to keep you completely knocked out at night. And for those same reasons it shouldn’t be used every day, instead try to only use it during special circumstances like after a long trip or to recover from jet lag.
The key ingredient in this sleep aid is doxylamine succinate. This ingredient has some potential side-effects if used in large quantities such as drowsiness, inability to concentrate, hallucinations, memory problems, and even psychosis. It’s easy to see why this sleep aid should be used in moderation.
9. Member’s Mark Sleep Aid
Yet another antihistamine-based sleep aid with a unique chemical composition. The main ingredient in this sleep aid is diphenhydramine HCL, also known as Benadryl. This interesting antihistamine is generally used for various purposes such as relieving the symptoms of allergies, hay fever, and the common cold.
It has also been frequently used to help with nausea, dizziness, and vomiting which are often caused by motion sickness. We are sure you have heard of people taking diphenhydramine to help them on long flights or car rides if they have issues with motion sickness. Diphenhydramine also happens to be capable of relaxing you and helping with sleep.
However, once again, because diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, using it in large quantities is a really bad idea. Like many other antihistamines, Benadryl is only suggested for short period of use. Prolonged use of this type of antihistamine can lead to short-term memory problems, issues with reasoning, and severe confusion.
10. Team 6 Star6urn PM
Looking for something truly unique that can help you with both sleep and weight loss? Team 6 Star6urn PM happens to be a perfect combo supplement that can help with both of those issues. The ingredients used in this supplement that are designed to help with weight loss are garcinia combogia, green coffee bean extract, and a few other herbal extracts. The sleep-related help comes from the use melatonin.
While the idea of combining two supplements in one might be a good one, specifically trying to accomplish this for both weight loss and sleep might not be a good idea. Inducing fat burning effects might counteract the effects of melatonin or vice versa.
But we also have to consider that each body is different, while something might not make sense on paper, there is a possibility that it will work for a select few people. If this is what you are looking for then go ahead and give it a shot.
Possible Side Effects and Benefits of Sleep Aids
Every person is different and the sleep issues that might be haunting you can be completely different from someone else’s sleep-related problems. Regardless, finding the right type of a sleep aid can solve any particular sleep complication, the trick is choosing the right one.
Obviously using melatonin is the number one way to try and correct your sleep cycle and ensure you get a good night’s rest. If you are still experiencing issues then seeking a sleep aid which contains natural herbal extracts might be the next best thing, you can even try a combination of both. Finally if you are suffering from occasional troubles with sleep that last a short duration then antihistamine-based sleep aids are most likely the best choice, as long as you use them infrequently.
All of these ingredients have their own pros and cons. Some work better for some people while not at all for others. Your best bet is to give one of them a try and if proven in-effective move on to the next one.
The reason why melatonin is such a common go-to solution for any sleep-related problem is that it is a naturally produced hormone which regulates our body’s internal clock. Naturally your sleep cycles are reflected via this clock. People who do not suffer from any sleep-related problems have high melatonin levels during the night and low melatonin levels during the day.
Blue light, which is generated by the sun and many electronic devices help your body inhibit the production of melatonin and thus keep you more awake throughout the day. Increasing the amount of melatonin in your body via supplements should help you balance out your sleep cycle and ensure your quality of sleep is increased.
There have been countless amounts of research done to validate the positive effects that melatonin has on everyone who needs to improve the quality of sleep. One of the studies even proved that most elderly people who are healthy still experience low quality sleep and melatonin is very capable of helping them rectify this problem.
Additionally, this study showed that the amount of sleep in healthy people who take melatonin doesn’t change; the only change that occurs is in the quality of sleep. This means that you can become well rested and fully energized without having to dedicate extra hours to your sleep cycle.
Valerian root also plays a large role in improving your quality of sleep. This herbal extract has been used for many years to improve sleep but research about it wasn’t published until the 1980s.
The study which was mentioned involved randomized subjects who acted as their own control group. And even though the survey used was subjective, the participants did not know which night they were given valerian root extract and which night they were given placeboes. The end result was clearly visible in the survey results to note that valerian root extract greatly improves the quality of sleep.
The Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany did a very large and well-controlled study in the 2000s. The effects of valerian root on the quality of sleep was recorded both through subjectively from each participant and objectively with the help of a sleep lab. Results concluded that valerian root has a profound effect on our quality of sleep and is capable of reducing disturbances throughout our sleep duration without any major side-effects.
Not enough research has been done to determine the mechanisms of how valerian root extract works on our body but there have been links made between it and a well-known neurotransmitter called GABA which can affect various functions in our brain, one of which is our sleep.
The big difference between melatonin and valerian root is that melatonin is capable of inducing sleepiness through the means of changing your internal clock settings which might or might not help you, while valerian root works directly with your neurotransmitters and can be a more of a robust solution for your sleep problems.
Lastly, we have chamomile, a remedy for sleep problems that has been used for many years. Even in today’s pharmaceutical world, this plant is used in many sleep aid products because of its excellent ability to induce sleepiness.
Researchers from Okayama University in Japan were the first to publish research which was done on rats that reported chamomile extract has sleep effecting capabilities. Although when it comes to human studies, there was a lot more information regarding the effects that chamomile extract has on our body in a review which was published in 2010 by the journal Molecular Medicine Reports.
Numerous studies were cited related to the basic biological structure of chamomile which revealed that it is capable of helping with inducing restful and deep sleep.
Possible Side Effects
Every single sleep aid product will have a list of their own possible side-effects which are determined by the ingredients which are used in the formula of the sleep aid. For this reason you should pay close attention to possible side-effects listed on the product which you purchase.
Majority of the side-effects related with melatonin are actually pretty harmless, although, people who have neurological issues or medical conditions might experience more serious side-effects then healthier people.
There has been a study which concluded that elderly patients who use melatonin do have an increased risk of delirium, but we should note that these patients were already admitted to hospitals for serious conditions. Some other researchers suggest that it might be a good idea to refrain from using melatonin with children who suffer from neurological disorders. These side-effects were not recorded in healthy people, so it has been deemed as safe for use amongst healthy people.
Valerian root is a bit more serious. Because it has the ability to affect our brain on a chemical level, its side effects can be more detrimental. There are a few reports of serious side-effects, amongst them is a case wherein a patient who had stopped using valerian root supplement had serious heart problems and developed delirium.
Additionally, other studies have pointed to possible complications that might arise if valerian root is used alongside other medications. Always check to ensure that you can continue taking your valerian root supplements if you are prescribed new medications by your doctor.
On the safe side, we can also find chamomile, which was documented by many research to be pretty safe to use. The only recorded complication surfaced when a patient had developed an allergic reaction to the plant material which is very uncommon amongst most people.
Lastly, we have talked previously about antihistamines. The drugs which contain antihistamines were originally used to control allergies and led to drowsiness. Pharmaceutical companies were forced to research allergy treating drugs which did not cause drowsiness and at the same time because of its capabilities antihistamines were reevaluated as an option to help those who have sleep problems.
As we mentioned countless times before, antihistamines type sleep aid drugs are designed to be used for a short period of time. These sleep aids can cause severe side-effects if used incorrectly or for a long period of time.
Best Sleep Aids of 2018 Conclusion
All sleep aids contain different ingredients and each of them works in a different way. The first thing you should always look for is melatonin to help you with your sleep issues, if there is no success then move on to other sleep aids that contain natural herb extracts like those of valerian root.
If you are still experiencing difficulties falling asleep or restlessness, then try an antihistamine-based product but remember to only use these sleep aids for a short amount of time.
As always, we strongly suggest that any sleep medication or sleep aid that you decided to use is discussed with your doctor first. They have the knowledge necessary to determine what might work best for you and if there are possible complications that might arise when using these sleep aids alongside medications you are already using.