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Best Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids for Adults

Best Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids for Adults

Best Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids for Adults

Working, parenting, chores, stress — these can all lead to poor sleep habits and insomnia. 

Many products on the market claim to alleviate sleep deprivation, but some use harmful chemicals that can be addictive, bringing unwanted side effects. Supplements like MDsleep use natural ingredients for restful sleep, minus the negative side effects.

Read on to discover the best over-the-counter sleep aids for adults to catch those zzz's! 

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Understanding why we require slumber every night is vital to choosing the best over-the-counter sleep aid for specific needs. Before exploring our natural ingredients list, let's discuss the benefits of quality sleep.

1. Stress Reduction

Have you ever noticed that you're more likely to be anxious or jumpy when you don't get a good night's rest? 

Not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night causes your body to send out stress hormones that can affect your cognitive functioning and mood. Without rest, your body can't recharge, making you feel on edge for the rest of the day. 

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Did you know that individuals who get a whole night of rest are more likely to maintain a healthy weight? 

When the body fails to get adequate rest, the appetite-controlling hormones ghrelin and leptin become unbalanced. The extra production of cortisol (stress hormone) will also cause you to crave food. All of this combined leads to weight gains. 

The solution? Find a way to start catching those zzz's at night! 

3. Improve Memory

When you're not getting enough shuteye, your brain won't be able to store and consolidate memories the way it should. During the deep stage of sleep, your brain sorts through sensations experienced throughout the day to store important information into memories that you'll be able to recall later. 

Without going through the cycles of rest, it'll be difficult for your mind to store important data, and you may have difficulty remembering information throughout the day. The best sleep aids for adults will undergo each stage of sleep, including REM stages.

4. Repair the Body

Quality sleep helps your body repair and heal itself. For example, your body might begin to repair torn muscle tissue. Cuts and bruises begin to heal, and your body can form new skin cells to cover wounds. 

For this reason, when you get quality rest, you'll feel better physically when you wake up. Without proper shuteye, your body might not be able to heal itself as it should, or it may take longer for you to heal. 

Additionally, the immune system may have a difficult time fighting off illnesses. If you're looking for the best OTC sleep aid for recovery, choose one with ingredients that naturally boost the immune system.

5. Enhance Decision-Making and Alertness

Have you ever struggled with staying alert or using your critical thinking skills at work? If so, it may be due to a lack of sleep. 

When your body cannot get the rest it needs, it can affect your brain's ability to function. You may find yourself in a brain fog or dozing off when you need to be alert. Getting the correct hours of sleep will alleviate brain fog and inattentiveness.

Quality sleep is vital for your brain and body to function correctly. If you're suffering from sleep deprivation, you may need to make diet choices to help you rest at night. The best sleep aids for adults use high-quality natural ingredients. 

MDsleep supplements are made with healthy herbs that will assist you in achieving that quality sleep your body so desperately needs. 

Natural Ingredients that Support a Good Night's Rest

With MDsleep supplements, you'll only get the finest ingredients for the best sleep aids for adults. We pride ourselves on using natural herbs and plants to help you wake up refreshed. Other companies claim to have the best over-the-counter sleep aids but use artificial chemicals and dyes. Our product doesn't contain these unhealthy additions. See for yourself by checking out some of our key ingredients below!

Hops Extract Flower 

Hop flowers grow in Eurasia, North America, and South America. The flowers have a cone shape and are harvested for several purposes, including brewing beer. Hop flowers have many great benefits, including:

  • Promoting restful sleep
  • Relieving tension and anxiety
  • Reducing symptoms associated with ADHD
  • Soothing irritability
  • Treating Symptoms of Menopause
  • Assuaging Headaches

We use hops extract in our unique blend to promote relaxation at night naturally. This herb should help you wind down without using synthetic drugs and chemicals. Because of this ingredient, our herbal blend is one of the best sleep aids for adults.


GABA (also known as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are essential in helping transfer important messages and signals to your brain, and we would not be able to function without them. GABA is especially important for slowing down the brain by blocking signals to the central nervous system, thus creating a calming effect on the body and mind. This way, it works as a depressant, slowing your system down. 

For this reason, GABA can reduce stress and improve slumber. When GABA levels are not regulated properly, it could lead to several neurological and mental health conditions, such as depression, excessive anxiety, and even schizophrenia. Studies show that increasing GABA levels can help relieve insomnia and other health-related issues with little to no side effects.

Because GABA works well to slow the brain and body down in preparation for sleep, it's included in our sleep blend. We use just the right amount in our supplements for optimal rest. Our blend is the best over-the-counter sleep aid on the market because our natural ingredients help promote shuteye naturally. Our gentle mixture shouldn't cause grogginess or nausea in most individuals because it's intended to work with the body's natural process.

Valerian Extract Root

The Valerian plant is grown in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Many believe this plant can help alleviate multiple health issues because it has been used for centuries to treat minor problems. People consider the root of the plant to be highly effective for treating:

  • Menopausal symptoms (like hot flashes)
  • Minor stomach problems
  • PMS
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia

Valerian root increases GABA, which helps the body prepare for rest. Multiple studies have been conducted to measure the effectiveness of this herb. Some results show that valerian root helps individuals fall and stay asleep longer than those given a placebo, while other results showed more minor changes amongst test subjects. 

More research is being done on this plant's effectiveness in treating sleeplessness. Although studies are still being conducted on this plant, many individuals are turning to Valerian root to treat their insomnia over traditional prescription drugs. More than likely, it's because it's reported to have fewer side effects than certain prescription medications. MDsleep supplements include valerian root with other herbs to create the best OTC sleep aid.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil (CBD)

Full-spectrum hemp oil has a more substantial effect on the body than pure CBD since it contains all cannabis plant compounds. There are small amounts of THC in it but not enough to adversely affect the average person's senses. 

It has anti-inflammatory properties and can alleviate minor muscle aches and pains while relieving anxiety and stress. Although studies are still being conducted on the benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil, some suggest that this product could potentially help individuals suffering from certain sleep disorders. You can find full-spectrum hemp oil in our best over-the-counter sleep aid supplement, MDsleep.


L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea and certain mushrooms. L-Theanine encourages relaxation and fosters slumber by creating changes in the brain. 

For example, this amino acid can help boost the brain's GABA, dopamine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters help regulate mood, appetite, and focus. When these chemicals are increased in the brain, it can lead to feelings of calmness and better sleep. Need help staying asleep? L-Theanine helps your brain release more alpha brain waves, which help improve REM sleep.

Additionally, more L-Theanine can lead to less anxiety and stress. As one of the best sleep aids for adults, MDsleep uses L-Theanine to help you stay asleep throughout the night with little to no interruptions. With our sleep supplements, you may not have to worry about constantly waking up at night, allowing you to receive the best sleep possible.

Cannabinol (CBN)

Although there are not as many studies done on CBN as on CBD, a few studies suggest that CBN could help with sleeplessness. Our best over-the-counter sleep aid blend utilizes CBN to help encourage the body to relax, making it easier to transition into sleep. As mentioned above, CBN and CBD are not likely to cause the "high" associated with cannabis-related products.


Most of us have heard of melatonin since its popularity has grown in the last decade. It's not hard to find melatonin supplements in the supermarket or neighborhood drug store. However, many people don't fully understand what melatonin is and why it can help with slumber. Many people don't even know that our bodies produce melatonin naturally.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles. Our bodies produce more melatonin in dark settings and less when exposed to light. One reason that specialists recommend limiting screen time before bed is because our bodies tend to react to the light and send signals to remain awake. 

Melatonin could help you wind down for bed when you feel wound up. Although, melatonin may not always be the best OTC sleep aid because it doesn't always consistently work to help individuals go to sleep. Sometimes it may not work at all, depending on the body type and circumstances. 


Magnesium is an essential nutrient that helps with many body processes, including sleep. You can get this nutrient by consuming certain fruits and vegetables. 

Many magnesium supplements are on the market. Magnesium helps your body to remain asleep longer without interruptions. However, magnesium alone is not always the best over-the-counter sleep aid because it won't always yield consistent results. This is why most people will take magnesium with other supplements.


This plant is well known for its beautiful purple hue and distinct fragrance, but did you know that lavender could also help get you to sleep faster? 

Research has shown that lavender's aroma can help individuals relax and prepare for slumber. In one study, a group of students could fall asleep easier after exposure to the smell of lavender than those who were not. You can use lavender as an essential oil or consume it by drinking tea or eating lavender-infused foods. Some of the best OTC sleep aids include lavender because of its relaxing qualities. Lavender is great on its own but even better mixed with other supplements.


Passionflower, like lavender, is known for its purple color and can be consumed in beverages and foods. Many people use passionflower to calm anxiety and treat insomnia because it's reported to have a clamming effect on the mind and body. Some of the best sleep aids will use passionflower as one of its key ingredients to aid in soothing the mind. Although, passionflower should be used in moderation to avoid an upset stomach.


Glycine, an amino acid produced in the body, has several benefits. One of which is to help promote relaxation. Glycine is also found in certain foods, including:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Red meats
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Gelatin
  • Dairy products
  • Vegetables (asparagus, cabbage, and watercress)

Glycine can also help the body break down and transport nutrients for fuel. It helps with building muscle mass and cartilage. Some people take glycine right before bedtime to aid in falling asleep faster because it can promote a deeper, more restful sleep. However, glycine, acting on its own, may not be the best OTC sleep aid and may need to have other nutrients added to help induce sleep.

Potential Side Effects

As a rule of thumb, it's always safe to consult your physician before taking any new supplements. Remember, everyone's body is unique and has special needs and conditions. 

You must be especially careful if you have allergies to certain foods or herbs or a preexisting condition. Even the best sleep aids for adults could be misused or abused. If you're unsure whether to take a particular supplement, seek professional help. 

Below are some side effects users may experience when consumed in large amounts: 

  • Hops Flower: May cause dizziness or sleepiness.
  • GABA: May cause an upset stomach, sleepiness, headaches, or muscle weakness.
  • Valerian: May cause dizziness, drowsiness, or vivid dreams.
  • CBD: May cause dry mouth, diarrhea, or a reduced appetite.
  • L-Theanine: May cause headaches, nausea, or irritability.
  • CBN: May cause an increased risk of liver damage when taken with certain drugs.
  • Melatonin: May cause dizziness, disorientation, irritability, low blood pressure, or nausea.
  • Magnesium: May cause nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea.
  • Lavendar: May cause an upset stomach, constipation, or headaches.
  • Passionflower: May cause nausea, rapid heartbeat, or dizziness.
  • Glycine: May cause nausea, vomiting, or drowsiness.

Please note that operating heavy machinery after taking these supplements should be avoided.

Natural Ways to Sleep Better

There are plenty of natural ways to achieve quality sleep. Here are some of the best ones: 

1. Have a Sleep Routine

A sleep routine is a great way to get your body in the habit of going to bed at a specific time. Even if you're taking the best over-the-counter sleep aid every night, it's still essential to have a set routine for slumber. Set an exact bedtime, make yourself a relaxing cup of tea, and take a soothing bath. Make your routine something to look forward to every evening so that you'll stick with it. 

2. Exercise

In addition to taking the best over-the-counter sleep aid, exercising is a great way to help yourself get better quality sleep at night. It could even improve insomnia because exercise encourages the release of endorphins. Endorphins help relieve pain, improve mood, and relieve stress. Some people enjoy exercising in the morning, while others prefer working out in the evening. Try it out and see which time of day helps improve your sleep cycles.

3. Turn Off Electronics

Although we live in a world full of electronics, it's recommended that you limit your screen time and turn off devices a few hours before bed. Our bodies are sensitive to light, so screens can make it difficult for the body to relax and unwind. 

4. Take Natural Sleep Aids

People are trying out natural sleep aids to help them get to sleep all over the globe. In our busy world, consuming the right amount of nutrients for our bodies can be challenging. By taking sleep aids, you can consume some of those missing nutrients your body needs. The best OTC sleep aid will yield the best result without causing unnecessary side effects, such as grogginess or brain fog.

Natural Sleep Aids FAQs

We only have one body in life, making it essential to understand what we're putting into it. We must ask the right questions before trying out anything new. Asking the right questions can lead to finding the best OTC sleep aids. 

Are OTC Sleep Aids Safe?

OTC sleep aids are typically safe. However, individuals with preexisting conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure should always consult their doctors before consuming any over-the-counter drugs. 

Additionally, if you have an allergy to any ingredients within an OTC sleep aid, you should bypass taking them to avoid anaphylactic shock. Another factor in determining whether a sleep aid is safe is purchasing it from a reputable source and reading the entire label before consuming it. 

Which is safer: Prescription Sleep Aids or Natural Sleep Aids?

Natural sleep aids tend to be safer than prescription sleep aids. However, you should always read the labels thoroughly and purchase supplements from reputable companies. 

How Effective Are Natural Sleep Aids?

The effectiveness of natural sleep aids depends on various factors, such as body type, age, weight, and food intake. You should always listen to your body and consult your doctor. 

If you experience anything unusual, you may need to lower your dosage or stop taking the aid completely. Another critical factor is the potency of the supplement. According to the FDA, a supplement can be labeled as "high potency" for each nutrient that is present at 100% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) per serving. Most of the best sleep aids for adults will have high potency, so you won't have to take many to reap the full benefits.

Are Sleep Aids Habit-forming?

Ideally, the best sleep aids for adults won't be habit-forming. However, this is not always the case for every individual. Although some sleep aids can be habit-forming, you can avoid this issue by taking the recommended dosage only when necessary.

Are Sleep Aids Okay for Children to Take?

It's not recommended that children take sleep aids, especially sleep aids created for adults. However, if the issue is severe and persistent, you can reach out to your child's pediatrician. They might recommend the best OTC sleep aid for children.

Experience a Better Night's Rest with MDsleep

MDsleep is a praiseworthy over-the-counter sleep aid because it combines all the above ingredients to create a super supplement. With all the ingredients being naturally derived, the average healthy adult should experience little to no adverse side effects. While other medications and supplements may cause grogginess, nausea, and other unpleasant consequences, our gentle blend typically won't cause these symptoms for a healthy adult.

When you choose MDsleep, you're choosing gentle relief from sleeplessness and insomnia. Other supplements, such as melatonin, won't always work effectively, making them undependable and habit-forming. Additionally, other supplements may be able to put you to sleep but won't help you stay asleep throughout the night, causing sleepiness and irritability during the day. 

Our MDsleep vitamins will smoothly transition you into sleep and help you stay asleep throughout the evening. Say goodbye to constant restlessness because MDsleep calms the mind naturally. The best OTC sleep aid works naturally with the body and instills a sense of relaxation. You can expect this with MDsleep.

With so many natural remedies for insomnia, you don't have to suffer from restless nights of tossing and turning. Find out more about the above ingredients and how they could improve your sleep, or try MDsleep for yourself to see why it's considered one of the best sleep aids for adults. You'll be glad that you did!