Common Sleep Aid Ingredients No ratings yet.

Instead of getting a prescription sleep aid from a doctor, many people opt for natural sleep aids. There are many common, even natural ingredients in these popular sleep aids, but it is important to go through some of the ingredients to know how they work and what side effects they might produce. For instance, some sleep aid ingredients, even the natural kind, make people drowsy and groggy in the morning. While often innocuous, these side effects can be dangerous (or at least uncomfortable) so it’s at least worthwhile to learn more about what you are using. In this article I will focus on natural sleep aids rather than prescription aids.

What Are Some Common Sleep Aid Ingredients?

OTC Sleep Aid Ingredients are fairly limited in scope.  But that doesn’t mean they’re ineffective.  In fact, many people with insomnia have experienced a lot of success with these ingredients.  We’ll cover some of the most common ones below.


Melatonin and 5HTP are probably the most popular natural sleep aid ingredients. These have been around awhile and have proven to be the most effective, consistent, and reliable ingredients on the market. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by the body, and synthetically in many natural sleep aids. It regulates the body’s sleep cycles, and without it, it would be impossible to get to sleep and stay asleep. For those with mild or occasional insomnia, melatonin sleep aids are a great alternative to prescription drugs. It is gentle, safe, but still effective in improving sleep patterns.


5HTP is another popular natural sleep aid ingredient. It is also produced naturally in the body and increases serotonin levels, which regulate mood and improve sleep cycles. This one is generally used to treat symptoms of depression. There is less evidence to support the case that it aids sleep or treats insomnia.

Valerian Root

Valerian is an effective natural sleep aid found in many products. People tend to like this ingredient. It has proven very effective in helping people get to sleep and stay asleep. It is a gentler, milder alternative to prescription medication. There is still some mystery surrounding the mechanism that makes Valerian work. It has also proved effective for things like anxiety and other psychological issues.


Zinc is probably well-known to most people, though its use for aiding sleep is relatively still unknown. Zinc is a natural mineral and it helps less with getting to sleep than it does in improving one’s quality of sleep. It repairs tissue during sleep and relaxes muscles so your sleep will be restful and restorative. You can take zinc as a supplement, but it is also found in many foods such as cereal, poultry, beans, nuts, and dairy.

Which Sleep Aid Ingredient Is Right For Me?

There are many more sleep aid ingredients than the ones I listed here. Go to any pharmacy section of a retail store, and you’ll see the multitude of sleep aids on the market. It’s hard to recommend any particular sleep aid, because some people respond better or worse to different ingredients. For example, some people may find that Valerian does nothing while Melatonin works wonders. The great thing about natural sleep aids is that they are generally very safe. So if you are in the market for one, you might as well try a few and see which one works the best for you and your needs.

Todd Ruggets
Todd Ruggets

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