Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big sleeping pill test 2021. Here we present all the sleeping pills we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best sleeping pill for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a sleeping pill.




The most important

  • Sleeping pills come in herbal form and in the form of synthetic medications. Not all sleeping pills require a prescription.
  • Before taking sleeping pills, it is advisable to check what is triggering the problems. Reasons can be mental and physical.
  • Some active substances, such as antihistamines, can cause severe side effects. A possible dependency can also develop.

The Best Sleeping pills: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying sleeping pills

Are you thinking about buying a sleeping pill, but are overwhelmed by the choice and the different offers?

Then you've come to the right place, because we explain what you should look out for when buying sleeping pills.

How often do you have problems falling asleep and staying asleep?

A period of a few days when you can't get a good night's sleep can be quite normal. Maybe you have an exam coming up or something else is making you nervous.

Almost everyone has trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night. Only if you have trouble sleeping for a long period of time should you think about taking sleeping pills. (Image source: pexels.com / Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush)

In this case, mild herbal sedatives are often sufficient. However, if you suffer from sleep disorders permanently, it is advisable to get to the bottom of the cause.

What do I expect from sleeping pills?

It is also interesting to ask what exactly you expect from sleeping pills. Do you want them to directly help you sleep through the night?

Or are you mainly looking for remedies to combat your inner restlessness? These factors determine which sleeping pills are the right choice for you.

Jörg BodanowitzMüdes Deutschland: Schlafstörungen steigen deutlich an
Taking sleeping pills for far too long
Almost one in four people take sleeping pills for longer than 3 years. Many of these patients do not get enough information about the risks and side effects. According to this study, one in 10 people said they felt inadequately informed about taking sleeping pills for a long time.

(Source: dak.de)

How often should sleeping pills be used at most?

An important point is also the frequency with which you want to take sleeping pills.

Do you only feel too nervous to sleep before exams? Or do you have problems getting any rest at all every night?

Depending on how often you need to take the sleeping pills, you may want to check with your doctor first.

Many sleeping pills without a prescription should not be taken regularly over a long period of time.

Can I take sleeping pills if I have allergies?

Some sleeping pills can cause or trigger allergies. You may already be aware that you suffer from allergies.

In this case, you should make sure that the ingredients of the sleeping pills do not contain any possible triggers for an attack.

This is especially likely in the case of herbal remedies, but synthetic medicines also sometimes contain substances that can cause allergy attacks in sensitive people.

Are sleeping pills allowed during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

This is a particularly important question. During pregnancy and also during the breastfeeding period, every intake of medication should be carefully considered.

It is better to avoid sleeping pills during pregnancy.

The probability that you will have to struggle with insomnia during pregnancy is relatively high.

However, you should consult your doctor or midwife. It is generally not advisable to take sleeping pills during pregnancy - regardless of whether they are synthetic or herbal.

What is the best way to take them?

Sleeping pills are often mentioned. However, you can also choose to take them in other forms.

Whether or not alternatives are available depends on what you want to take.

In principle, some of the active ingredients are also available in the form of capsules or as powders or drops.

Many people have difficulty taking a tablet. Even with a lot of water, it is difficult to get the tablet down.

Drops are a very good alternative. If the active ingredient you want is not available in the form of drops, you can see if you can crush the tablet.

Form Properties
Tablets Sleeping pills are the most common form of sleeping pills. However, not everyone can cope with swallowing one or more tablets. Some tablets can be crushed to make it easier to take.
drops Sleeping drops are typically either dropped into a teaspoon and then swallowed, or dissolved in a liquid and drunk. However, if a higher dosage is needed, drops can become cumbersome.
Capsules Capsules are swallowed much like tablets. Their shape and smooth surface make them easier for many to swallow. Capsules can also be broken open and the active ingredients can be taken directly. However, this should always be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist. Vegetarians and vegans should be careful with capsules as the shell may contain animal ingredients.
Powder This type is less common but does occur. Powder can be dissolved in water and is therefore easy to drink. If the desired sleep aid is not in powder form, drops or crushed tablets are possible alternatives.

A good tip is to look for capsules. Due to their smooth outer skin, they go down the throat much more easily.

The capsules themselves are just the shell for the active ingredient. It is sometimes possible to open the capsules and dissolve the contents in liquid. However, ask your pharmacist about this.

Decision: What types of sleeping pills are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, we distinguish between these types of sleeping pills:

  • Sleeping pills made from amino acids
  • Sleeping pills made from herbal ingredients
  • Sleeping pills made from antihistamines

To make your search for the perfect sleeping pill easier, we will go into more detail about the different types in the next section.

We will also explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of sleeping pills so that you get a good overview of their properties.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping pills made from amino acids?

Basically, it is recommended that you first research the causes before deciding on a sleeping pill.

There are several reasons why you may have problems falling asleep and staying asleep.

The possibility of using amino acids to combat sleep problems is becoming more and more interesting.

They are an alternative to synthetic drugs. These pose the risk of addiction.

Advantages
  • Very well tolerated
  • no danger of developing dependence
  • no danger of overdose
Disadvantages
  • No rapid effect
  • there may be no improvement at all

Amino acids are substances that the body needs. Food supplements containing a very high concentration of amino acids are intended to combat the problems.

Amino acids have the advantage that an overdose is not possible here. There is also no dependence on the food supplements. The amino acid tryptophan is used particularly frequently.

It cannot be produced by the body itself. It is a protein building block that is active in the brain.

The amino acid is responsible for the formation of serotonin. This is the well-known happiness hormone.

Serotonin produces melatonin, which is known as the sleep hormone. Tryptophan is normally absorbed through food. If the body does not receive enough, this can lead to insomnia and restlessness.

Sleep quality, morning alertness and quality of life improved significantly with melatonin. (1, 2)

What distinguishes sleeping pills with herbal ingredients and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Nature has a few things to offer when it comes to supporting human sleep.

Already centuries ago, people resorted to the herbs that were available to them.

Even today, you can still buy sleeping pills that contain herbal ingredients.

With herbal ingredients, you benefit from the fact that they come directly from nature and therefore contain no chemical additives.

Advantages
  • Very good tolerance
  • No use of synthetic substances
  • No dependence
  • Available in different variants
Disadvantages
  • Interactions with other medicines possible
  • Can trigger allergies
  • Some side effects, such as problems with the stomach and intestines
  • Only mild effectiveness

Also, a dependency cannot normally develop here. Herbal sleeping pills contain ingredients such as hops and lemon balm or valerian. (3, 4)

In addition, passion flower and lavender are increasingly finding their way into the field of sleeping pills and sedatives. In some cases, the individual active ingredients are also combined with each other.

Extracts or extract combinations of valerian roots, hop cones, lemon balm leaves and passion flower herb had a sedative or anxiolytic effect in clinical studies, shortened the time it took to fall asleep and improved the quality of sleep and life. (5)

Herbal ingredients have the advantage that they do not change your general night sleep, but only support your body in getting back to rest.

They are also available in different forms. Besides the classic tablets, you can also find them in the form of tea or drops, as well as capsules or dragées.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping pills with antihistamines?

Actually, antihistamines are mainly known as active substances in relation to allergies. Over time, however, it became apparent that the active ingredients have a soporific effect.

This is primarily considered a side effect, as driving a vehicle on this basis is not recommended.

However, if you suffer from insomnia, the antihistamines can help you overcome it.

Doxylamine and also diphenhydramine are the names that are mainly in focus here. They can also be bought without a prescription at the pharmacy.

Advantages
  • Can be bought without a prescription
  • Very good effectiveness
Disadvantages
  • Side effects possible
  • Possible increased sleep disturbances when stopping the sleeping pills

However, it is important for you to know that they can also have some side effects.

They should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and are not suitable for people who suffer from epilepsy or asthma. Side effects also include dry mouth and malaise.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate sleeping pills

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate sleeping pills. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective device.

In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Ingredients
  • Dosage
  • Price
  • Quantity contained

You can read about how the individual purchase criteria should be interpreted and evaluated in the following sections.

Ingredients

The ingredients are a particularly important aspect when it comes to deciding which sleeping pills are the right solution for you.

Take your time and compare the ingredients. It is important to remember that amino acids in particular usually also contain other carriers.

The carriers in particular can possibly be a trigger for side effects or allergies. It is good to know your own body.

It is difficult, however, if you do not know exactly whether you are allergic or perhaps even react strongly to the ingredients.

You should also check the possible side effects and whether a dependency can develop when you take sleeping pills. Here you should concentrate on the package leaflet.

If you do not know one or more of the ingredients, you can find out what they are beforehand.

This will help you to assess whether the remedy you have chosen is really the best one for you.

Dosage

The dosage itself is important if you are one of those people who do not like to take tablets.

You may have to take several sleeping pills at once to reach the desired dosage. This may become a real problem for you.

When it comes to dosage, follow the recommendations on the packaging of the sleeping pill. (Image source: 123rf.com / 48126872)

But dosage can also play an important role with drops. Drops are usually offered in rather small quantities.

However, if the dosage is high, you will not be able to benefit from the sleeping pill for long. The dosage is usually stated in the package leaflet.

Make sure that you find the right dosage for you. Are there any differences in the age or weight of the person taking the sleeping pill?

This information should actually be provided by the manufacturer.

Price

If you want to buy over-the-counter sleeping pills, the price naturally plays a big role. Normally, there are already variants available today for quite a low price.

But antihistamines and sleeping pills with herbal ingredients can be quite expensive.

Think carefully beforehand about how much of the sleeping pills you want or need to take and how often. It can often be worthwhile to see if there are packets in different sizes.

You can usually save on the price here. The larger the package, the lower the price overall.

Also consider that you may not want to constantly change the ingredients in your body.

While you take one variant now and consider the price to be quite good, it may be too high for you the next time.

So before you buy, consider whether the cost is acceptable to you and whether you would pay it more than once.

Quantity included

Start with a small amount to test the effect.

The amount of the product also plays an important role in the price. If you are buying a brand of sleeping pills for the first time, you should start with a small amount.

This has the advantage that you won't be too upset if you don't tolerate the product or it doesn't work.

You can then switch to another product more quickly. However, if you are satisfied with a product, it is worth comparing the content and price.

Make sure that you buy a larger quantity. This has the advantage that you can benefit from a lower price.

Did you know that sleeping pills can worsen your sleep?

Yes, you will fall back asleep and probably sleep through the night, but the ingredients in most sleeping pills do not allow your brain to work properly during sleep. This means you have less deep sleep, which is very important for your health and recovery.

The amount contained is also interesting in terms of dosage. There are products where you increase the dosage over time.

If the pack contains only a small amount of sleeping pills, you may quickly run out.

Facts worth knowing about sleeping pills

In the last section of this article, we will answer a few important questions about sleeping pills and their use.

You will learn what sleeping disorders are, how hemp can help, what you can do against them without medication and much more.

What exactly are sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders are just a broad term for various problems that can arise in relation to sleep.

Sleep disorders are also called insomnia. It can be a problem falling asleep or sleeping through the night.

The result is that you are very tired and exhausted during the day, you cannot concentrate and you may get headaches. Short-term sleep disorders are not yet considered a problem.

They can occur in many people. Often the trigger is physical or mental stress.

The situation is different when sleep disorders occur regularly and have a negative impact on daily life.

It is interesting to know that around 10% of the German population is affected by sleep disorders. This makes it a very common health problem.

Did you know that in Germany the number of workers suffering from sleep disorders has increased by 66% since 2010?

According to a study, 80% of workers between the ages of 35 and 65 currently suffer from sleep disorders. In terms of Germany's population, that's around 34 million people.

How can hemp help with sleep disorders?

In addition to the already mentioned herbal ingredients that are often used in sleeping pills, hemp is now also showing itself to be a very good helper.

CBD is extracted from the hemp plant. CBD oil can be used for various health problems.

Cannabidiol, for example, is often used as a natural sleep aid. The cannabinoids act together with the endocannabinoid system that our body has.

Thus, they have an influence on human sleep. They can improve it and increase the quality.

In addition, CBD can have a positive effect on pain. It can significantly alleviate pain.

Especially if you suffer from chronic pain, for example, this can be one of the reasons why you wake up especially often at night. By taking CBD, the pain can be relieved.

What can you do about insomnia without medication?

Before you go straight to sleeping pills, there are a few ways you can take action yourself to combat insomnia.

Only go to bed when you are really tired.

Some people assume that they need a certain amount of sleep. They go to bed when there is time, but not when they are tired.

Don't go to bed until you are really tired. When you are in bed, don't look at your mobile phone or watch a film.

If you find that you can't sleep, get up and try again later.

Doing some relaxation exercises before bedtime can also be very helpful.

There are many different exercises that can help you. Maybe try yoga or ASMR.

Fatigue is mainly caused by a lot of exercise. Try to get enough exercise and fresh air every day.

This can often help you get back to sleep. You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon.

What are the causes of insomnia?

Besides possible health problems that can trigger insomnia, there are also other aspects that can have an influence on your sleeping behaviour. Ask yourself if something has changed in your life.

Are you going through a break-up with your partner? Are you worried about the children, your professional or financial future?

Stress and a lack of daily rhythm can lead to sleep problems.

Do you drink a lot of coffee? Do you have a lot of stress at work? Do you get enough exercise in the fresh air?

Many people are so caught up in their daily lives that it is a gradual process that throws their bodies out of balance.

However, stress and a lack of daily rhythm are among the most common triggers of sleep problems.

When should you go to the doctor for sleep problems?

Of course, you can first try to get sleep problems under control with sleeping pills.

However, if your problems persist for more than four weeks and you do not get a better night's sleep even if you make changes, you should see a doctor.

If you have persistent sleep problems, you should see a doctor. (Picture source: 123rf.com / 71353361)

The doctor can rule out physical causes. For example, 15 % of patients affected by insomnia are actually ill.

Possible diseases that can cause insomnia include liver or thyroid problems and depression.

(Picture source: 123rf.com / 107344323)

References (5)

1. Wade AG, Ford I, Crawford G, McMahon AD, Nir T, Laudon M, Zisapel N. Efficacy of prolonged release melatonin in insomnia patients aged 55-80 years: quality of sleep and next-day alertness outcomes. Curr Med Res Opin. 2007 Oct;23(10):2597-605.
Source

2. Dieter Steinhilber Prof. Dr. Melatonin, Melatonin‐Rezeptor‐Agonisten und Tryptophan als Schlafmittel. Natürlicher Schlaf? 25 April 2007; WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.
Source

3. Choi HS, Ko BS, Kim HD, Hong KB, Suh HJ. Effect of Valerian/Hop Mixture on Sleep-Related Behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster. Biol Pharm Bull. 2017;40(7):1101-1110.
Source

4. Füssel A, Wolf A, Brattström A. Effect of a fixed valerian-Hop extract combination (Ze 91019) on sleep polygraphy in patients with non-organic insomnia: a pilot study. Eur J Med Res. 2000 Sep 18;5(9):385-90.
Source

5. Matthias Unger Dr. Pflanzliche Sedativa: Neue Aspekte zu altbewährten Arzneipflanzen. 25 April 2007; WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Studie
Wade AG, Ford I, Crawford G, McMahon AD, Nir T, Laudon M, Zisapel N. Efficacy of prolonged release melatonin in insomnia patients aged 55-80 years: quality of sleep and next-day alertness outcomes. Curr Med Res Opin. 2007 Oct;23(10):2597-605.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Dieter Steinhilber Prof. Dr. Melatonin, Melatonin‐Rezeptor‐Agonisten und Tryptophan als Schlafmittel. Natürlicher Schlaf? 25 April 2007; WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Choi HS, Ko BS, Kim HD, Hong KB, Suh HJ. Effect of Valerian/Hop Mixture on Sleep-Related Behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster. Biol Pharm Bull. 2017;40(7):1101-1110.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Füssel A, Wolf A, Brattström A. Effect of a fixed valerian-Hop extract combination (Ze 91019) on sleep polygraphy in patients with non-organic insomnia: a pilot study. Eur J Med Res. 2000 Sep 18;5(9):385-90.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Matthias Unger Dr. Pflanzliche Sedativa: Neue Aspekte zu altbewährten Arzneipflanzen. 25 April 2007; WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.
Go to source
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