Failing to get the right amount of sleep can lead to all kinds of both temporary and permanent problems. Your work could suffer, as you have a hard time getting through the day. You could even fall asleep while driving. Health problems could begin to be seen quickly, including headaches and weight gain. More serious health problems include heart attack, diabetes and stroke. Sleep aids may help, so those suffering from lack of sleep should speak with their doctors about whether sleep aids could help them.

Top Insomnia Sleep Aids

  • Melatonin
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Antidepressants
  • Zolpidem


Melatonin is a hormone which helps to regulate and control the natural sleep / wake cycle. It is very inexpensive and can be purchased almost anywhere. Melatonin may even be able to help with jetlag, and with falling asleep more quickly. There are several other health benefits attributed to melatonin, such as that it is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Side effects include headaches and feeling sleepy in the daytime, which is similar to the symptoms of lack of sleep. Melatonin has been a popular sleep aid for a long time because it is natural and not addicting.


  • Inexpensive
  • Other health benefits, like Antioxidant
  • Uses the body’s own sleep cycle


More commonly known as an antihistamine, Diphenhydramine is also used to treat other health conditions, particularly allergies and cold symptoms. When it is injected, it can treat severe allergic reactions and even symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Diphenhydramine works by blocking histamines, which are naturally produced by the body. Antihistamines may make people feel more relaxed, and they may be able to fall asleep faster. They are safe enough to take when pregnant but could leave the user feeling groggy the next day. Typically, antihistamines should only be used on occasion and you should consult a doctor before taking them regularly.


  • Inexpensive
  • Very safe
  • Also treat other common ailments


Some of the qualities that make antidepressants so good at treating depression may also help some individuals who need help sleeping. When used as a sleep aid, the medications are used in much lower doses. They also help with pain and anxiety and are non-addictive. They don’t produce dependence or tolerance, and generally have only a few side effects including sexual side effects. Antidepressants most commonly recommended as sleep aids include Trazodone, Amitriptyline and Doxepin. Of course, antidepressants are only available by prescription.


  • Also help with anxiety
  • Few side effects
  • Not addictive


Zolpidem (other names: Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo) is a commonly used sleep aid that helps many people. Recommended for short term use only, it helps people who have trouble falling asleep but doesn’t necessarily help people who wake up in the middle of the night. A newer form of Zolpidem is called Ambien CR, and it stays in the body longer to help people who also have trouble staying asleep. Zolpidem is unusual because it is part of a group of drugs called sedative hypnotics, and it not only helps with sleep but has a calming effect on the user. This is only available by prescription.


  • Comes in several forms
  • Helps different kinds of insomnia
  • Calming


Finally getting that much needed, uninterrupted sleep will feel great and protect you from health problems down the road. With the different kinds of sleeping aids available, there is probably something that would help you. It is important to note that sleep aids are meant to be used as needed, and anyone who continues to have trouble sleeping should consult a physician before using any medication long-term.