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Sleep Aids: Understanding Over-the-Counter Options

Sick woman drinking pill in bed in the morning

Are you having trouble sleeping lately and are looking for a sleep aid that will help you catch those necessary Zzz’s?

This can be extremely frustrating, especially when it starts to affect your everyday social life and work schedule.

With all of the options out there for sleeping aids, it can be quite confusing about what you should be looking for. We want to help with that!

Keep reading to learn about some of the best sleep aids out there so you know which is right for you.


You may not have heard of diphenhydramine before, but this is the class of sleep aids that consists of Benadryl, Aleve PM, and other antihistamines similar to these.

Although these will help you sleep, they may not be the best to use all of the time to help you sleep. It is possible to become addicted to Benadryl when you use it for sleeping.

Diphenhydramines may cause side effects like dry mouth, blurred vision, and constipation. If you experience these side effects, you should discontinue use.

Another over-the-counter sleep aid is Jet-Asleep, which is also a diphenhydramine.


Melatonin is a different class of a night-time sleep aid. It is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle.

It’s best to use melatonin when you are falling asleep at an earlier hour so you do not experience any daytime sleepiness the next day. You should also be sure not to look at your phone or any other blue lights that will counteract the effects of melatonin on your body.


Doxylamine is similar to diphenhydramines where you should only use it as a short-term fix for your insomnia or sleep issues.

Many drugs under this class also treat cold symptoms like fever and running noses. You may recognize the name of Good Sense Sleep Aid or Medi-Sleep.

If you try these out and your insomnia and sleep issues continue after a couple of weeks, you should ask your doctor about an alternative sleeping pill that is a healthier option for the long term.


Valerian is a plant-based supplement that some people use to get more sleep. It is also found in more mild sedatives to treat anxiety.

Taking a mild dose of Valerian should do the trick without causing morning sleepiness or other unwanted side effects. Be sure to check with your doctor first since it is a dietary supplement and different brands may have different ingredients.

Need a Sleep Aid?

It’s completely normal to need a sleep aid! Society’s expectations and your quick-paced life may have you feeling anxious or wired when you lay down to go to sleep. If that’s the case, a sleep aid can help you get the sleep you need.

If you have any questions about taking a sleeping pill, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’ll answer all of your questions as best as we can.