10 Best Over The Counter Sleep Aid of 2021 – Reviews By An Expert!

Do you find yourself waking up often during the night? Or maybe you have a problem falling asleep. You need not worry; you are not alone. Others experience a jet-lag, while others suffer from diseases like insomnia. All these are excellent in preventing one from enjoying a peaceful and restful night..

Top 5 Best Over The Counter Sleep Aid: Editor’s Pick

But thanks to the over the counter (OTC) sleep aids, you can enjoy a wonderful sleep. OTC sleep aids are helpful but shouldn’t be taken for a long period. When used for a long time, they become ineffective. In this article, you shall get insight into the best over the counter sleep aid. But before then, let us define the sleep aids OTC.

What is OTC Sleep Aid?

OTC sleep aid is a sedative containing diphenhydramine or antihistamines to create drowsiness for users finding it difficult to sleep. Sleep aids usually have no side effects and can make someone sleep for a long time. If used regularly, your body develops tolerance against it, making it ineffective.

You will also find Valerian and melatonin in non-prescription sleep aids. Melatonin gets produced in our bodies naturally. It is a hormone responsible for our sleeping and waking schedule. The body secrets it in the evening, getting it ready for sleep. If your body has less of this hormone, you can take melatonin supplements.

The Valerian comes with relaxing and calming properties, making it ideal for any sleep aid. Kindly note that sleep aids are not for everyone. You also should not take them every time you lack sleep. Here is an insight into when you can use an OTC sleep aid.

When to Take Over the Counter Sleep Aid

First, investigate why you have difficulties falling asleep. Sometimes a change in your diet, work or daily routine, or other medications can do. It could be due to a sickness that can get cured using other medication than sleep aids.

Other reasons like stress, jet-lag, or anxiety could be the cause of your sleeplessness. If this is the case, OTC sleeping aids will work out best for you. The maximum time to use a sleep aid is two weeks. If the situation does not change then, consult a doctor.

It would be better if you could resolve your sleep problem through natural means. Though medicine and supplements work out best, they may have some slight effects. Try natural methods like meditation or eating healthy. A sleep schedule can also help with quality sleep.

Thanks to technology innovation, the market today gets saturated with various over the counter sleep aids. But not all works out great. Some work excellently. If wondering what sleep aid to go for, check out our beat over the counter sleep aid review herein below;

The 10 Best Over The Counter Sleep Aid Reviews:

1. ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs Natural Sleep Aid Over The Counter

ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs Melatonin Sleep Aid Gummies, 72 ct, with Chamomile

If you love natural flavors, the ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs Melatonin is the best OTC sleep aid to consider. The ZzzQuil Pure Zzzs comes as gummies with tasty wildberry vanilla flavor.

The formulation results from blending natural lavender, lemon balm, valerian root, and chamomile. Most sleep aids make one fall asleep for a long time, making you get late for work or daily tasks. But it’s not the case with these sleep aid gummies. You never get grogginess the following morning after taking them because they come with a high melatonin level.

As a result, your sleep cycle gets regulated, ensuring you wake up fresh and at the right time. The packaging is attractive and secure. It comes with 72 gummies to ensure you get your sleep at any time.

You can also carry them with you wherever you want as the packaging is small and lightweight. It is not the kind of sleeping aid to take precautions because it comes free of artificial drugs, flavors, gelatin, and lactose.


  • Made from a blend of different natural botanical
  • Comes as gummies with wildberry vanilla flavor
  • You can’t form a habit while using them since they contain no drugs, artificial flavors and are free from gelatin, lactose, and gluten
  • The sleep aid does not affect your usual waking up hours
  • You get to fall asleep naturally


  • Not all users love the vanilla taste
  • Works differently for everyone, some taking longer to feel the effects

2. Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets, Helps You Fall Asleep Faster

Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets, Helps You Fall Asleep Faster
  • Get Enough Sleep: Sleep enhances...
  • Sleep Strengthens Your Immune...
  • Drug Free: Natrol Melatonin is a...

Do you have a problem falling asleep for longer? Then this OTC sleep aid may interest you. The Natrol Melatonin comes as natural melatonin in the form of tablets that are easy to dissolve. They also come with a tasty strawberry flavor.

When you take them, you fall asleep faster and longer, making you wake up while relaxed and refreshed. It is the best over the counter sleep medicine to use if you are a vegan. The Natrol Melatonin fast dissolve tablets contains no drug, meaning you don’t suffer from morning grogginess.

You never get addicted to using it, making it ideal to use it any time you have a problem falling asleep. With this sleep aid, you can make your sleep schedule, where you get to take it at a specific time at night. Since it gets made using natural melatonin, you wake up the usual morning time.

Therefore, this sleep aid is convenient to use. Because the Natrol melatonin fast dissolve tablets help you establish a normal sleep pattern, it promotes your overall health. Studies indicate that better sleep leads to improved focus and performance.


  • Helps in creating a normal sleep pattern
  • You don’t get addicted nor cause habits
  • You fall asleep faster and longer
  • Ideal for vegetarians
  • Has no drugs
  • Dissolves easily when taken
  • Comes with a tasty strawberry flavor


  • Not ideal for users who don’t like strawberry flavor
  • Some users prefer 5mg instead of the 3mg tablets

3. Advil PM Over The Counter Nighttime Sleep Aid

Advil PM (120 Count) Pain Reliever/Nighttime Sleep Aid Coated Caplet
  • One bottle of 120 coated caplets of...
  • Ibuprofen PM sleep aid and...
  • Nighttime sleep aid and pain...
Does pain hamper your peaceful sleep? Advil PM (120) could be your solution. The Advil PM contains NSAID, a pain reliever for removing minor aches.
You also get to fall asleep faster and longer, thanks to the Diphenhydramine citrate used in its making. The sleep aid comes as a two-layer coated tablet, making it the only patented double-layer caplet.
Every tablet gets made with a formulation of Ibuprofen and Diphenhydramine to ensure you enjoy a peaceful night. Unlike many other sleep aids, the Advil PM is safe to use. The ingredients used are renowned for their safety when used as required.
The Advil PM doesn’t make you form any habit, meaning you can use it any time. Besides, the manufacturer has been in operation beyond 35 years! Their experience and quality are unmatched. Anybody beyond 12 years is free to use this sleep aid. You only need to use two pills in one day. It is one of the best sleeping pills over the counter you can buy with its amazing abilities.
  • Relieves you from minor pains and aches as it makes you fall asleep fast
  • You stay asleep longer when you take it
  • The sleep aid is the only one with a dual-layer patent
  • You don’t form a habit, meaning you can take it any time you have issues falling asleep
  • Ideal to use for persons of 12 years and above


  • Not ideal for kids
  • You cannot take it if your sleeplessness is without pain

4. ZzzQuil Over The Counter Sleep Aid That Are Not Habit Forming

ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid LiquiCaps, 48 ct, Non-Habit Forming
  • FALL ASLEEP FAST. ZzzQuil liquid...
  • SLEEP SOUNDLY. Get the sound sleep...
  • WAKE REFRESHED. Wake refreshed....

Your search may end here if you are searching for the best over the counter sleep aid review. ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid is the strongest OTC sleep aid you can get on the market today. After taking it, you get to fall asleep within 20 minutes! The sleep aid consists of liquid capsules which are easy to take and digest but without any taste.

Despite going to sleep right away after taking them, you also sleep longer, ensuring you wake up relaxed to handle the new day. It ensures you sleep for approximately 7 – 8 hours, leaving you refreshed! No wonder it is renowned worldwide as the best OTC sleep aid for fast sleep and refreshed morning.

A dose contains two capsules that form 50mg. It does not make you addicted or form a habit, making it safe and convenient to use. ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid is easily accessible since you can order it online or from stores next to you. Anyone can afford itsince it is pocket-friendly. With this sleep aid you enjoy a real deal for your money.


  • Makes you fall asleep within 20 minutes
  • Enables you to sleep longer
  • Contains no harmful ingredients
  • Comes as easy to take liquid capsules
  • Ensures you wake up refreshed and relaxed
  • The user does not form a habit
  • Comes with a pocket-friendly price


  • Recommended for taking at night only, an
  • Doesn’t come with a taste

5. Unisom Sleep Gels, Nighttime Sleep-aid, Diphenhydramine HCI

Unisom Sleep Gels, Nighttime Sleep-aid, Diphenhydramine HCI
  • INCLUDES: One (1) bottle with 100...
  • NON-HABIT FORMING: Liquid-filled...

What are your days like? Stressful? Then you require a restful night, and this sleep aid works like magic! It comes in the form of soft gels, where one constitutes a full dose for the night. The package is attractive and includes a bottle with 100 SoftGels.

The Unisom SleepGels is the best OTC sleep aid to take if you want to fall asleep fast and sleep longer. You are also able to restore and recharge after a stressful day. No drugs, chemicals, or artificial flavors get used in their making. Therefore, you don’t suffer from any addictions or form a habit, making it safe and convenient to use.

According to a survey conducted in 2020 for pharmacists, the Unisom SleepGels emerged as the most trusted and recommended sleep aid. The quality is top-notch, and safety is guaranteed! Tablets usually leave a chalky taste behind, but it’s not the case with the SleepGels.

The people recommended to use it are persons over 12 years only and should be taken at night unless directed otherwise by a professional. If you don’t like the gels, the manufacturer offers more options in Unisom SleepMelts, SleepMinis, or Sleep Tabs.

The melts come with a cherry flavor and dissolve within 30 minutes of placing them on your tongue. The minis are tiny tablets ideal for people with problems swallowing large tablets, while the tabs are normal-sized tablets suitable for people who like taking their sleep aids as tabs.


  • Offers immediate results and makes you sleep for a long time
  • Has no harmful ingredient
  • Most users trust it more than other sleep aids on the market today
  • The sleep aid comes in various forms
  • You only need to take one SoftGel for the night
  • Suitable to use by persons of 12 years and beyond
  • The user does not form any habit


  • You cannot use it for persons below 12 years
  • Works slower to some users

6. Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid Doxylamine Succinate 25 Mg

Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid Doxylamine Succinate 25 Mg
  • Kirkland Signature Sleep aid...
  • The package dimension of the...

Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid is one of the top sleep aids on the market today, thanks to its amazing capabilities. The package consists of a small attractive white bottle with 96 tablets of 25mg each. You only need to take one tablet per dose and will make you fall asleep fast.

You need not worry about the quality of this sleep aid as it has been proven effective. The sleep aid is also safe to use since it contains no harmful ingredients. The antihistamine used in its making will make you fall asleep almost immediately.

These tablets are ideal to use if you are 12 years old and above. The tablets’ design allows you to swallow them with ease. Your body produces substances like acetylcholine and histamine, and this sleep aid acts by blocking them. Thanks to the doxylamine succinate ingredient used in its making.

With the reduction of histamine, you can become drowsy within 45 – 60 minutes. Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid does not make you form any habit, making it ideal to use whenever you cannot fall asleep. Besides, it is affordable.


  • Works very fast and ensures you enjoy sleep for a long period
  • Comes as tablets designed easy to swallow
  • Its effectiveness has been proven
  • You do not form a habit of taking them for long, making them safe and convenient to use
  • You can use them if 12 years old and above
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a secure, attractive bottle


  • Made for persons of 12 years old and beyond
  • Some people may suffer from slight grogginess the following morning

7. Unisom Sleep Tabs, Nighttime Sleep-aid, Doxylamine Succinate

Unisom Sleep Tabs, Nighttime Sleep-aid, Doxylamine Succinate
  • INCLUDES: One (1) bottle with 48...
  • FALL ASLEEP 33% FASTER*: Effective...
  • NON-HABIT FORMING: SleepTabs are...

The Unisom Sleep Tabs works like the Unisom Sleep Gels discussed earlier. The only difference is that it comes in the form of gels while this one consists of tablets. The packaging comes with 48 tablets of 25mg each. One tablet is enough for the night.

The results are amazing. You fall asleep 33% faster than you could naturally. If you keep on waking up after sleeping, consider it a thing of the past with these tablets. You will stay asleep for a long time but wake up on time in the morning feeling refreshed.

Despite ensuring you enjoy a restful and uninterrupted sleep, you also feel recharged and do not suffer from any grogginess or side effects. You don’t get to form any habit like an addiction. Safety is not compromised; no wonder it emerged the winner as the most recommended sleep aid in the 2019 Pharmacy Times Survey of OTC Recommendations.

But you can only take this sleep aid if 12 years old and above. Otherwise, it is worth spending your hard-earned money on.


  • Works very fast and keep you enjoying sleep for an extended time
  • It comes in the form of tablets designed for easier swallowing
  • The 48 tablets will ensure you enjoy restful sleep for many days
  • You don’t form a habit
  • Has optimal safety and quality
  • Has been clinically tested and proven effective


  • Ideal for children below 12 years
  • Not ideal to use if you have health conditions like asthma or chronic bronchitis

8. Simply Sleep Nighttime Sleep Aid Caplets with 25 mg

Simply Sleep Nighttime Sleep Aid Caplets with 25 mg
  • 100-count bottle of Simply Sleep...
  • Each caplet of this adult sleep aid...
  • From the makers of Extra Strength...

Is your occasional lack of sleep getting into your nerves? No need to worry; the Simply Sleep Nighttime Sleep Aid got designed for people like you. The Simply Sleep Nighttime Sleep Aid comes as 100 tablets stored in a secure bottle. Lack of enough sleep may have you wake up feeling unrelaxed and tired. But a dose of this sleep aid will ensure you wake up refreshed and relaxed, ready to kick off the day.

The active ingredient used in the Simply Sleep Nighttime Sleep Aid is diphenhydramine hydrochloride, which consists of 25mg in each capsule. It is not ideal for taking for persons below 12 years old. It is also not ideal for taking if experiencing any aches or pains as it does not contain a pain reliever.

Despite having you enjoy uninterrupted sleep, it comes with no side effects like forming habits. You can use it anytime without worry. The recommended dose is two capsules unless a physician advises otherwise. The price is affordable for everyone, leaving you with no reason to allow your sleeplessness to bother you.


  • With only a dose of two capsules, you get to fall asleep almost immediately and enjoy sleep for a long period
  • Suitable for persons of age 12 and above
  • Ensures you wake up relaxed and refreshed
  • You never get to form a habit or suffer from any side effect
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Easily accessible from a pharmacy near you or online


  • It does not contain any pain killer, meaning you cannot take it if experiencing any aches or pains
  • Not ideal for anyone below 12 years old

9. Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid Doxylamine Succinate 25 Mg

Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid Doxylamine Succinate 25 Mg
  • Compare to Unisom Sleeptabs
  • Contains 25 mg. of Doxylamine...
  • Non-Habit Forming Sleep Aid

The Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid comes as tablets of 25mg, and each is enough for a dose. With this sleep aid, experiencing occasional sleeplessness becomes a thing of the past. On taking one tablet, you get to feel sleepy almost immediately. When fallen asleep, waking up is in the morning, meaning you stay asleep for a long time with no interruptions.

If you want to wake up refreshed and fully relaxed, the Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid may be your solution. It comes as two bottles with 96 tablets each, ensuring you fall asleep as you wish and enjoy uninterrupted sleep for a long time. Its pocket-friendly price makes it affordable for all.


  • Makes you fall asleep fast
  • Ensures you continue sleeping for an extended time
  • Comes in two bottles to ensure you fall asleep for many days as you wish
  • Affordable
  • Does not have any side effect


  • Not ideal for children
  • Does not contain a pain reliever

10. ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep-Aid – Berry Flavor – 12 fl. Oz – 3 pk.

Do you love berries? Then you will love the warming berry flavor that comes with this sleep aid. The ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep-Aid comes as a pack of three bottles, each containing 354ml of sleeping aid. A dose consists of each bottle, which makes you fall asleep very fast. You also retain your sleep uninterrupted until morning.

The packaging comes attractive and looks like cold syrup. You, therefore, should keep it out of reach of children. Also, only persons of 12 years old and above are supposed to take it. Though it contains 10% alcohol, it does not make you form habits.


  • Makes you fall asleep quickly and sleep for a longer time
  • You don’t suffer from any side effects
  • Anyone can afford it
  • Comes in liquid form, making it easy to take
  • Comes with a tasty berry flavor


  • Most users may confuse it for a cold syrup
  • Not ideal for children

After going through the above reviews of the best sleeping pills over the counter, you may feel the urge to buy some. Before purchasing, you need to consider some factors to help you get an OTC sleep aid to meet your needs and budget. The following are things to put in mind before buying an OTC sleep aid

Buying Guide: What to Consider When Choose over the Counter Sleep Aid

a) Efficiency

It wouldn’t make sense if you bought a sleep aid that does not make you fall asleep. Others may make you fall asleep but not fast. Choose your sleep aid based on how soon you want to fall asleep. Start by looking for recommendations and reviews from people already using them or have ever used them.


Counter Sleep AidAuthentic online platforms are also great for reviews.

b) Ingredients

Be cautious of the ingredients used in making a sleep aid you want to buy. Some ingredients, like drugs and artificial flavors, may harm your health. Also, they may come with side effects like habit formation or addiction. Consider a sleep aid made with non-harmful ingredients and free from chemicals and substances like gelatin and lactose.

Also, consider if it has reliable sedative ingredients like diphenhydramine or antihistamines to help you fall asleep fast.

c) The Cause of Your Sleeping Disorder

Some lack of sleep may be a result of illness. It is not ideal for taking a sleeping aid caused by a disease. Taking medication for the disease will solve the problem. If you suffer from minor aches and pains, choosing a sleep aid with a pain reliever will work out great.

Refrain from taking a sleep aid if suffering from some conditions like asthma. But if your cause of lack of sleep results from aspects like anxiety, go ahead and purchase a sleep aid.

d) Price

Though most OTC sleep aids are affordable, it is essential to consider your budget. Go for a sleep aid that you can afford. Others may be expensive due to added features like flavors and pain killers. If you have the money, they are worth buying.

e) Quantity

If your lack of sleep is consistent, consider buying a sleep aid that will last you for a long period. Others come in large quantities to serve you for many days. But if it is an occasional thing, an OTC for a short time will do.

f) Intake Form

Some sleep aids come as capsules, tablets, gummies, or syrup. Consider going for what you like. If you have a problem swallowing, the dissolvable tables may work out great. The syrup type will work out great if chewing is not your thing


As illustrated above, over the counter sleep aids are essential for people facing difficulties falling asleep. Besides being made with a sedative, they also come with other ingredients, making their results and price different.

If you still have no idea of what to pick, use the above-discussed list of the best over the counter sleep aid as your starting point. Remember to consider the factors illustrated above before buying.


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep-aids/art-20047860

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