OTC Sleeping Pills: Which One is the Best for Treating Insomnia?

Sleeping tablets are used by individuals to treat the symptoms of insomnia. The sleeping disorder is characterized by difficulty in getting to sleep at night. Individuals can find different types of sleeping medications to treat insomnia. All sleeping medications can be divided into two categories: over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Most people prefer over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping pills as they don’t require prescriptions. These medications are generally considered safe for consumption as well. Here we will take a look at different types of OTC medications to find out which ones are the best for treating insomnia.

1. Diphenhydramine

Diphenhydramine is an OTC medication that belongs to a group of drugs known as anti-histamines. The medication is usually used to treat symptoms of cold, hay fever, and allergies. It is also sometimes used for the treatment of sleeping disorders. The medication is classified as a sedative as it works on a physiological level to induce sleep.

Some of the side effects of taking Diphenhydramine medication include runny nose, headache, queasiness, dry mouth, and nausea.

2. Zopiclone

Zopiclone is another medication that is used for the treatment of insomnia. It belongs to a group of drugs known as nonbenzodiazepines, which work by affecting a neurotransmitter in the brain known as GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). Using the medication offers relief from the symptoms of insomnia, allowing individuals to fall asleep quickly at night.

3. Zolpidem

Zolpidem is another nonbenzodiazepine medication that works in a similar way to Zopiclone in inducing sleep. The medication is more commonly known by its brand name Ambien. The medication does not require a prescription from a qualified doctor. The medication takes effect quickly, allowing you to achieve 8 hours of undisturbed sleep and wake up feeling fully refreshed.

4. Hydroxyzine

Hydroxyzine is an anti-histamine medication similar to Diphenhydramine. The ingredient of the medication works at a physiological level in inducing sleep. Side effects of the medication are similar to that associated with Diphenhydramine sleeping tablets.

5. Diazepam

Diazepam is classified as a benzodiazepine, which can also be bought without a prescription. The medication is used to treat a variety of disorders including insomnia, panic and anxiety disorders, and muscle spasms. It is also known by its brand name Valium. The medication works in a similar way to non-benzodiazepines in treating sleeping disorders.


OTC medications allow individuals to save money on drugs. However, not all OTC sleeping tablets offer the same potency in treating sleeping disorders. The above five are the most common sleeping tablets on the market. All of them are effective in providing relief from the symptoms of sleeping disorders.

However, most experts agree that medications belonging to benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine groups are generally superior to antihistamine medications. These medications don’t cause the feeling of grogginess when you wake up the next day. A single tablet taken at night is enough to give you a full night of peaceful sleep without any disturbance.

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