Common Sleep Aid Ingredients

Sleep is a fundamental process of life for us humans. It provides rejuvenation for both the body and the mind. During sleep our body will heal and our energy will be replenished. If we do not get adequate levels of rest our health will ultimately decline.

Common Sleep Aid IngredientsSetting aside enough sleep is important for promoting on-going health and vitality. However, there are some things that prevent this from being possible. For instance, insomnia – short-term/acute or long-term/chronic – is a temporary or regular problem falling asleep. Physiological and medical causes of insomnia include:

  • Anxiety, Stress and Depression
  • Medical Issues or Illness
  • Medications
  • Sleep Disorders

For those having troubles sleeping, there are sleep aids to help promote sleep. There are prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter options.

Over-the-Counter Sleep Aid

There are a number of over-the-counter sleep aid options. They do not require prescriptions and are widely available. They can be found in grocery stores, department stores and convenient stores.


Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, otherwise known as an anti-allergen. It reduces histamines in the body which cause sneezing, itching, water eyes and runny nose. Diphenhydramine helps reduce these symptoms as well as other cold and allergy symptoms.

Diphenhydramine is also used to treat motion sickness and even some symptoms of Parkinson’s diseases. There are various other purposes it is used for, but one other common benefit is inducing sleep.

Diphenhydramine Brands:

  • Benadryl
  • Unisom SleepGels
  • Sominex

Diphenhydramine Side Effects:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
  • Blurred vision
  • Urinary retention

Doxylamine Succinate

Doxylamine is another antihistamine. It is used for reducing the symptoms of allergy, hay fever and common cold. It blocks histamine and acetylcholine to help reduce water eyes, runny nose and sneezing.

Doxylamine Succinate Brands:

  • Unisom Sleep Tabs
  • ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid
  • NyQuil Cold & Flu

Doxylamine Succinate Side Effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Incomplete urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision


Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the body. It helps to control your sleep-wake cycle. It is often lab synthesized and capsulized. It is used as a sleep aid. Melatonin is often used to treat jet lag and help speed up the time it takes to fall asleep. It is notably a mild sleeping aid.

Other Names:

  • 5-Methoxy-N-Acetyltrptamine
  • MEL
  • Melatonina
  • Pineal Hormone

Melatonin Side Effects:

  • Headaches
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased blood sugar


Valerian is a flowering plant, the root of which is used medicinal. The most common use of Valerian is the treatment of sleep disorders. The Valerian root is used as a supplement to help promote sleep. The Valerian root supplement is one of the safest options of sleep aid. It has mild to no side effects.

Other Names:

  • All-Heal
  • Belgium Valerian
  • Common Valerian
  • Fragrant Valerian
  • Garden Heliotrope

Valerian Side Effects:

  • Headache
  • Excitability
  • Uneasiness

If you are seeking a sleep-aid, it is always recommended that you first speak with a doctor. Determining the cause of insomnia is important to understanding what treatment is best for you. Dosing can vary so finding out more about your symptoms and potential treatments is useful.