The 10 Best Natural Sleep Aids, According to Customer Reviews
It's no secret that sleep is an essential part of life. But with hectic schedules and increased exposure to electronics and entertainment, getting a solid snooze can be quite the challenge. That's where natural sleep aids can come in handy.
According to Yale Medicine integrative medicine physician, Gary Soffer, M.D., natural sleep aids include non-prescription supplements and herbs that may help with sleep. People can choose sleep aids to help improve their sleep cycles or aid with lack of sleep or reduce insomnia. Although those with more serious sleep disorders should consult their physician on the best treatment, which could possibly include incorporating a prescription medicine into their regimen. (Related: How and Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Messing with Your Sleep)
While there are tons of sleep aids available at your local drugstore (and Amazon, of course), there's still more research to be done to prove if these supplements and herbs actually work for everyone. "For some people, these remedies may help them feel more relaxed and fall asleep easier, and for others they may have no effect," says Christine Won, M.D., Director of Women's Sleep Health Program and Yale Medicine. "The science behind natural sleep aids is not as robust as for prescription medications. But there's certainly no harm in trying one, even though it's always recommended to consult with your doctor before using one."
Since these formulas are drug-free, you won't have to worry about any habit-forming substances that will create a dependency on any supplement. Instead, these products use natural hormones, herbs, and vitamins to help the body and mind enter a more relaxing state and get better rest. Look for ingredients such as melatonin, chamomile, and magnesium, which isn't a sleep aid, but rather has been shown to promote calmness and help regulate melatonin. (Related: Is It Bad to Take Melatonin Every Night?)
You may already be familiar with melatonin, due to its reputation for being a natural sleep aid that can aid help you fall asleep faster, aid with insomnia, and even allow you to conquer jet lag. But here's a quick refresh: Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces to help with sleep and the timing of your circadian rhythm (your body's internal clock). While it is safe to consume, the Sleep Foundation recommends starting with the lowest recommended dosage — 0.5 milligrams to 5 milligrams for adults, and gradually increasing this dosage until you find a sweet spot that helps you fall asleep without causing side effects.
Need a little extra help in falling (and staying asleep)? Ahead, the best natural sleep aids — from supplements and drinks to sprays and gummies — to help you get a better snooze.