Best Sleep Aids Reviewed & Rated for Quality
In a world that is so fast paced with so much to do and what seems like such little time, it can be difficult to get the right amount of sleep. Sleep aids are basically pills, liquids or other forms of medicine whose sole purpose is to knock you out like a light for several hours. However, not everyone can sleep soundly every night. There are a variety of different things that can get in the way of restful sleep, whether it be stress, insomnia, fear, etc. So, every now and then, a little help along the way is needed, which is where sleep aids come in. If you need really good sleep aids, we can say with all certainty that the ten on this list are the very best on the market right now.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
No chalky aftertaste
10 Best Sleep Aids
1. Unisom Tabs
No chalky aftertaste
Kicking off our list, we have Unisom Sleep Tabs. Unisom have been a trusted name in sleep aid supplements for many years, thanks to their sleep tabs being one of the most efficient in the entire business, giving you a full night’s sleep, often in just one tablet. So what else got it this high on the list? Let’s find out.
There are a variety of things that can keep you awake at night: anxiety, stress, fear, existential crises about the transitory nature of human existence in the face of an unfeeling, uncaring universe, you know, the usual stuff. When this is happening, you definitely don’t want your sleep aids to take their sweet time about working, which is why Unisom Sleep Tabs are one of the fastest acting sleep aids on the market right now. Putting you to sleep within minutes of taking them.
There’s a difference between a medicine being addictive and it being habit forming. If it’s addictive, then it’s legitimately unhealthy, and you have a constant need for more. But habit forming is simply your brain has trained itself to take a certain number of pills at certain times of the day, even if it isn’t the correct amount of those pills you should be taking. Habit forming is still dangerous, which is why it’s so good that this sleep aid does not contain the ingredients that cause such things to usually happen.
Like a lot of over the counter (OTC pills) of its kind, you can get this sleep aid in a variety of different sizes. The price range for this sleep aid is, thankfully, very reasonable and fair.
Sleep faster, sleep better
Non habit forming
Doesn’t work for everyone
Coming in second place, we have Genius Sleep Aid. Genius is a less popular brand, but it has its followers and has been definitively proven to put out effective products, whether they be over the counter pills or supplements. This sleep aid is one such product and is in fact, one of the best products they’ve ever released.
It’s one thing to fall asleep fast, but the real name of the game is to sleep well. We’ve all had those nights where we fell asleep fast, but when we woke up, we felt like something had chewed us up and spat us back out. This sleep aid not only ensures a quick sleep but one that will have you waking up refreshed and well rested.
One of the biggest perpetrators of a lack of sleep every night is an overabundance of caffeine in the body. Caffeine, whether it be from coffee or soda, is one of the most common chemicals we take into our bodies since it’s really good at waking us up and keeping us up. However, when taken at night, it wreaks havoc on our ability to sleep. Which is where this sleep aid comes in, as it reduces the amount of caffeine bouncing around in your body upon consumption. Which is one of the many secrets behind its effectiveness!
Genius is a brand that primarily sells their stock online through internet shops, and as such, their cost is a good bit higher than your average sleep aid. However, you shouldn’t find their prices too unreasonable, and they are more than worth the money.
3. Stress-Relax Tranquil Sleep
Relaxes you before sleep
Affordable in small sizes
Very pricey in larger sizes
Finishing up our top three segment, we have Stress-Relax Tranquil Sleep. This sleep aid is, again, less well known than the leading brands, but as you can see from the placement on this list, it more than deserves recognition for its abilities. So, what got this sleep aid on the #3 spot? Let’s find out.
If you want to get to sleep, the first step is to make sure you’re as relaxed as possible. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how many sleep aids you take, you’re going to be bouncing off the walls. Which is why this sleep aid contains Suntheanine L-Theanine, as well as 5-HTP, both of which when combined with normal melatonin, lead to better relaxation, followed by restful sleep.
The reason you don’t wake up as refreshed as you feel you should be because your body still feels like you need more sleep. This could be because you didn’t get enough sleep, or because you took too much of a different sleep aid and you’re still drowsy. This sleep aid, on the other hand, contains natural ingredients that work with the body instead of against it. Allowing you to wake up feeling completely refreshed and ready for the day.
Once again, we have a sleep aid that is sold online rather than in stores, so the price is a bit higher than normal. But again, it’s nothing too bad, unless you go for the 120 count bottles, which are quite expensive.
4. Kirkland Signature
Works in just one dose
Fall asleep fast and safe
Doesn’t reduce caffeine, so the amount you took before bed will affect things
Coming in 4th place, it’s Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid. Kirkland Signature is a bit more famous for a brand than the previous two, you may have even seen a few of their medicine in your local pharmacy. However, does their sleep aid deserve such a high spot on this list? Let’s take a look and find out.
Unless you have mainlines caffeine straight into your body, you’ll find that this sleep aid will help you get to a calm, peaceful sleep in as little as a single dose. And with 192 tablets per box, that means that you are guaranteed to have this sleep aid for a very long time.
But ambition can cloud the judgment of the manufacturer very easily, which is why it’s imperative that you always make sure that what you take into your body is safe as well as effective. And with an ingredients list of mostly natural ingredients that work with your body instead of against it, this sleep aid will help you not only get to sleep fast but get to sleep safely.
Thankfully, we’re back to sleep aids that are sold in stores instead of online, so the price is back to a very manageable state. If you want a really good sleep aid on a tight budget, then this is precisely what you’re looking for.
5. Dreamrite Natural
Relaxed, natural sleep
You need to get in bed after taking it, or else the effects will wear off
For the #5 spot, we chose Dreamrite Natural Sleep Aid. the term vegan sleeping pills (or really vegan anything pills) Probably sounds like a lot of hogwash and snake oil to some readers. However, looking closer, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to this sleeping pill than meets the eye.
Some sleeping pills are content to just knock you out like a light and leave it at that, but this sleeping pill actually wants to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. So, it instead uses natural herbal ingredients to carefully wind down your body until you’re more susceptible to sleep, helping you get to sleep more efficiently, and thus have a better night’s sleep overall.
This pill doesn’t just give you a natural sleep, but a deep sleep that leaves you waking up refreshed and ready to face the day. This pill slows down the mind when it’s usually at its fastest, as laying there in bed for hours, unable to sleep, causes the brain to race with thoughts to pass the time. Which of course, only compounds the issue. This pill fixes that, helping you calm those thoughts and drift off to sleep faster.
We’re back to sleep aids not sold in physical stores, but thankfully, the price of this sleep aid isn’t quite as pricey as the last two like it.
6. Driftoff Premium
Great for the stressed
No morning grogginess
Non habit forming
Ineffective on those with insomnia
Coming in at #6, we have Driftoff Premium Sleep Aid. Driftoff’s main selling point is its ingredients list, which is a murderer’s row of Eastern herbal traditions, and modern medical techniques. So, what exactly does all of that mumbo-jumbo culminate in? Let’s take a look and find out.
Sadly, this sleep aid is not designed to cure or even combat insomnia. It is, in fact, pretty ineffective against the body’s need to ignore its need for sleep. However, for everyone else, it’s practically knockout gas in a can. Which is great if you need to rest up for a big test tomorrow morning.
Melatonin is great, but the drawback is often that taking even just a little too much, can leave you waking up feeling groggy and begging to go back to sleep. Fortunately, this sleep aid has much less melatonin than the leading brand, meaning that it relies on the natural ingredients to induce the sleep. The main benefit being a lack of grogginess the next morning.
A very average cost for a pill sold in online stores. It isn’t as cheap as the previous entry, but it’s not as pricey as the two that came before that one. So, if you want to get a good, natural sleep that won’t leave you feeling like trash in the morning, you can do a lot worse than this.
7. OLLY Gummies
Easier to swallow
Sometimes doesn’t last as long as other entries
Coming in at #7, we have OLLY Restful Sleep Gummy Supplement. The main difference between this and the other entries on this list so far, as you can no doubt tell, is the fact that it’s a gummy supplement instead of a chewable or pill. What does this mean for its effectiveness? Let’s take a look and see.
The key to a good night’s sleep is going to bed calmly, releasing all the stresses of the day and leaving them out of the bedroom. These gummies, through completely natural ingredients, send a calming effect throughout the body, leaving you able to get to sleep faster and deeper than you would otherwise.
Not a lot of people like chewable medication for their supplements or medicine. They often leave a chalky feeling in your mouth, don’t taste very good, and if you chew them too much, it can feel like swallowing cinnamon (which is not a fun experience). Which is what makes this sleep aid’s decision to go for a gummy form all the better. It’s easier to chew and a lot easier to swallow.
While not quite as cheap as the less expensive entries on this list have been so far, it’s still very affordable, and more than worth the money it does charge you.
8. LUNA Natural
Effective herbal sleep
Promotes healthy sleep habits
Made from scientifically backed herbal ingredients
Kicking off our final three entries, we have the LUNA Natural Sleep Aid. This thoroughly tested independent sleep aid is one of the best on the online market in general, and more than worth your time and money. So, what makes it that way? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Effective herbal sleep
Most herbal supplements don’t work because they’re made by people who don’t actually know anything about herbal medicine, and instead just throw a bunch of plants into a pot and call it medicine. This sleep aid, on the other hand, is made from a mix of scientifically backed herbal remedies that induce sleep and in the user.
This is the medicine that keeps on giving. Not only does it help you get to sleep naturally and restfully, but if you make sure to take it for the first few nights right before bed, it will help train your brain to sleep better around that time, even after you’ve run out. Promoting a healthier sleep habit and getting your sleep schedule back on track.
The problem here is the price. Not that it’s all that pricey, because it’s really not. The problem is that the medicine doesn’t have the quantity or enough qualities to warrant a high price tag. Which cost it a higher spot on the list.
9. Somnapure Natural
Wake up refreshed
Affordable regardless of size
You have to take two per use, so make sure to get the larger size to get the most out of it
For the second to final entry on this list, we chose Somnapure Natural Sleep Aid. There have been a lot of natural, herbal sleeping pills on this list, but few do it as well as Somnapure, which uses natural ingredients to induce a relaxing calm to help you sleep better. What else does it have to its name? Let’s see.
It’s one thing to get to sleep, it’s another thing entirely to stay asleep for longer periods of time. Even if a sleep aid knocks you out like a light and puts you in a coma if you wake up 3 hours later, it hardly matters at all, doesn’t it? This is why Somnapure, through the use of valerian root extract and 3mg of melatonin, regulates your brain waves and restores natural circadian rhythm to your body. Keeping you from waking yourself up too soon and helping you get a full 8 hours of restful sleep.
The first benefit plays into this one because you know what the main cause of waking up feeling groggy is? Constantly zoning in and out of sleep throughout the night. This cuts down how much actual sleep you get, and thus how rested you feel when you wake up for real. But since this pill makes sure you get the whole 8 hours, you’re guaranteed to wake up feeling like you can take on the world.
Depending on the size of the bottle you get, and thus the number of pills, you can either get this for the lowest price on the entire list, or you can get it for a moderately priced sum that isn’t too expensive. A pretty good deal, all around.
As effective as NyQuil
For the final entry for this list, we chose ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid. Before your eyebrows raise too high, don’t worry, this is not a ripoff of NyQuil. Quite the opposite, actually, as it’s actually made by the same people who made NyQuil. Only instead of suppressing cold symptoms while helping you sleep, ZzzQuil just helps you sleep. So how does it measure up to the other entries on this list? Let’s find out.
What made NyQuil so popular was that it was both cold medicine, as well as one of the best sleep aids that you could find. Only it was kind of off-limits to those who weren’t actually sick, which is where Zzzquil comes in. This sleep aid has all the knockout power of NyQuil, without the caveat of the user needing to be sick for it to work.
Unlike most of the other entries on this list, this sleep aid goes for gel capsules instead of pills, gummies, or chewables. Which a lot of people tend to prefer, due to its lack of bad flavors, ability to be swallowed easily, and quick effectiveness.
While not quite as cheap as the other entries on this list, it’s also nowhere near the priciest on the list either. It stands at a nice middle ground between the two.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Of course, one of the most important criteria for this list were the ingredients used to actually make the sleep aids. The ingredients to any kind of pill are important, not just because it affects how effective the pill actually is, though that is definitely a big part. But also, because many ingredients can cause allergic reactions in the user, especially the kind that use natural ingredients. And the worst part is that the user may not even know that they’re allergic to certain ingredients because a said ingredient is not found naturally in their diet or general lifestyle. So, if they’re incredibly allergic to it, they have no countermeasure. Not to say that this is guaranteed to happen, but if you’re looking for any natural medication or supplement for anything, always be sure to read the ingredients panel.
An entry wouldn’t even be considered for this list if it didn’t actually work. For this, we checked the customer reviews of each entry, to see how many said it worked versus how many say it didn’t. This wasn’t perfect, mind you, since not everyone actually leaves customer reviews for products they buy. But it was a good enough test for the general effectiveness of each product.
But it’s one thing to be generally effective, it’s another to be fast and thorough. What this means is that after we determined each entry for this list actually worked, we then judged them by how fast they worked, and how long they actually kept you asleep. Because even if you do get to sleep, if you take too long to sleep you don’t sleep nearly enough, and if you wake up too early you just have that same problem under a different name. A good sleep aid should not only put you to sleep fast but should make sure you stay asleep for the full 8 hours.
An advanced feature we took into consideration was- the amount of caffeine in each product. There isn’t a person alive in the US right now who doesn’t have at least one cup of coffee or can of soda per day to help get them through the work cycle. However, the more you drink, the longer the effects last, which can lead to poor sleep patterns, especially when you drink coffee well into the night because you need to hit that deadline. Any sleep aid that you buy knows that it has one heck of an uphill battle to fight when it comes to putting your caffeine powered butt in bed. So, the more advanced entries on this list have ingredients specially made to counteract the effects of caffeine in the body. Actually, reducing the amount of caffeine, you have in you after you take it. Though be careful, as coming down off of caffeine, as anyone who’s actually done it can tell you, is going to put you on your butt and fast, so be sure to take these sleep aids right before bed.
While we wanted to find the most potent products, we also wanted to ensure they wouldn't become a habit for most people. Habit forming a pill is not the same as those that cause addictions. Addictions require months, maybe even years of therapy and physical/mental/emotional discipline to kick. A habit-forming drug just needs about a month or so where you just don’t use the drug, after which you’re fine. But even so, habit-forming drugs can definitely inconvenience you, especially if you get into the habit of taking a pill you’re meant to take once a day, twice a day. This causes you to not only run out of that medicine faster but also to develop potentially serious health problems later down the line. Not something you want in a sleeping aid pill, we imagine, so we made sure that every entry on this list was non-habit forming.
When it came to the last criteria for this list; value, we had it narrowed down to two different categories: those sold OTC (over the counter) and those sold online through internet shops like Amazon. The ones sold online tended to be more expensive of the two, because there’s the added cost of shipping and handling to worry about. However, this did not deter the way we do this criterion. We judged each entry by what they had to offer in exchange for the prices they were asking for. $20, for instance, is not that much in the grand scheme, but considering the prices of other entries on this list (half that, if not less) the sleep aid needed to do more to justify the price by comparison.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
We can not stress enough how important it is to always speak to your doctor before trying any new medication. It's not only beneficial as he or she will be able to guide you in the right direction, but they will be able to make sure your sleeping aids aren't going to get in the way with any other medications you're taking.
Magnesium is a natural relaxer as it helps balances out your blood sugar and hormones helping create a more balanced environment for your body to rest and function properly. Therefore, trying magnesium is an excellent, natural form of relaxing the body naturally.
Other Factors to Consider
When purchasing a product, such as a sleeping aid you want to take a look at the brand and the history it has. Knowing the history of the brand allows you to get an estimate on how well the product will do. Taking this into consideration will help you not only narrow down which brands work best for you, but it will give you a chance to truly work with brands that you know and love.
Another factor to consider is knowing the side effects that each product can cause you. While we have done the research, and have found the best products on the market you still want to make sure you speak to your doctor and share what new medication, you’re interested in taking. This is quite important as everyone is different and every body will response to ingredients differently. Additionally, you do not want to mix medications that don’t entirely work well together as that in itself can cause you a serious reaction.
Bottom line when you’re seeking a sleeping aid make sure you read the ingredients and customer reviews. Having the extra knowledge will ensure you make the best choice for you and your needs. Furthermore, take a few seconds to research before any purchase for an added dose of security.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are natural sleep aids actually safe?
Completely, yes. Natural and artificial sleep aids may have their side effects (especially artificial ones), but neither of them poses any real danger to you unless you’re allergic to certain ingredients. As such, make sure you consult a doctor beforehand, to see if sleep aids are right for you.
q: What is in sleep aids and how do they make you sleep?
It depends based on the brand and types you’re talking about. A sleep aid gel capsule is made of very different materials from a sleep aid chewable, for instance. However, across the board, the most common ingredients are melatonin, a natural chemical formed in the brain that induces sleep, natural herbs are scientifically chosen to boost those effects, and an assortment of neurotransmitters, which induce a relaxed, restful feeling in your mind. And the way they make you sleep is right there, they literally convince you to sleep. This is done primarily by relaxing your muscles and calming your mind. The most common cause of lack of sleep is your brain’s inability to slow down and stop thinking out of boredom. The best sleep aids relax the mind and help it get to sleep faster and deeper.
q: I have serious insomnia, and so need something incredibly strong to help me sleep, how do I find a stronger sleep aid?
This varies depending on what kind of sleep aid you’re specifically looking for, but there are a few through lines. One of the most reliable is a high melatonin mg per serving or a more efficient combination of ingredients that better maximize results. But usually, a higher melatonin count will help you get to sleep faster and keep you asleep for longer periods of time.
q: My wife is having trouble sleeping, but the catch here is that she’s also pregnant. What sleep aids are safe for her while she goes through the pregnancy?
You should always consult your doctor before deciding on any kind of medication for your spouse to take while she’s pregnant. Melatonin is generally perfectly safe to use, but some herbal ingredients can have negative side effects on either your wife, the baby, or both. So always make sure to consult your doctor to make sure what’s safe and what isn’t.
q: Are there any sleep aids out there to help me sleep through my anxiety?
Yes indeed, in fact, pretty much all of the entries on this list are specially designed to be as helpful as possible, regardless of the emotional condition you’re in when you take it. Anxiety is particularly vulnerable to many of these entries, which induce a calming effect throughout your body that makes you forget about your troubles just long enough to fall asleep.