The Best Sleep Aids
(Reviews And Buyer's Guide 2018)

Best Sleep Aid Reviews

If you're like most people, you've experienced the frustration that comes with not sleeping well. Perhaps you have trouble falling asleep or maybe you only wake up after a few hours to find you can't get back to sleep. Either way, counting sheep isn't cutting it and you need to find some other solution...and fast! That's where sleep aids can help. In this post, you'll learn about some of the different types of sleep aids available and the best sleep aid to consider for each type.

Snapshot of Our Top Sleep Aids

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

Sleeping Pills:

Sleep MD-NightTime Sleep Aid

2

Natural Sleep Aid:

Natrol Melatonin

3

Snoring Aid:

SleepWell Pro Chin Strap

4

Blue Light Blocking Glasses:

Spectra 479

5

Sleep Mask:

NapForm Eye Mask

6

Pillow Speakers:

Sangean PS-300

7

Sleep Headphones:

CozyPhones

8

Sleep Earplugs:

Mighty Plugs

9

Sleep Tracker:

Withings Aura Smart Sleep System

10

Sleep Music:

Hennie Bekker

11

White Noise Machine:

Adaptive Sound Technologies

Top Products


Sleeping Pills

Natural Sleep Aid

Snoring Aid

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Sleep Mask

Pillow Speakers

Sleep Headphones

Sleep Earplugs

Sleep Tracker

Sleep Music

White Noise Machine

Product Type

Product

Our Rating

Sleeping Pills

Natural Sleep Aid

Snoring Aid

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Sleep Mask

Pillow Speakers

Sleep Headphones

Sleep Earplugs

Sleep Tracker

Sleep Music

White Noise Machine

What Are Sleep Aids?

A sleep aid is simply a product that helps you achieve restful sleep, of which there are many types, including:

  • Sleeping Pills
  • Natural Sleep Aids
  • Snoring Aids
  • Blue Light Blocking Glasses
  • Sleep Masks
  • Pillow Speakers
  • Sleep Headphones
  • Sleep Earplugs
  • Sleep Trackers
  • Sleep Music
  • White Noise Machines

Let's take a closer look at each example...

Sleeping Pills

Probably the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about sleep aids are sleeping pills, which, as you might guess, are specific drugs or supplements designed to help curb insomnia. Sleeping pills come in several forms, which can be roughly divided into two main groups: prescription sleeping pills and over-the-counter sleeping pills.

Depending on your needs and preference, one or both types of these sleeping pills can have a dramatic, positive impact on your sleep. But you must always proceed with caution, especially when taking prescription sleeping pills.

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Designed and tested by a team of medical doctors, Sleep MD is an over-the-counter sleep aid shown to be effective in helping people fall asleep usually within 30-45 minutes. It consists of natural ingredients, including melatonin, hops flower, and valerian root, none of which are habit forming. For occasional help with insomnia, this quality sleep aid may just do the trick.

PROS

  • Safe and effective OTC sleep aid
  • No antihistamines and thus no groggy side-effects
  • Non-habit forming

CONS

  • May not benefit some people

Natural Sleep Aids

Apart from prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills, there are also many natural sleep substances that work fast and effectively, including essential oils, teas, homeopathic remedies, melatonin, and natural sleeping pills.

Most natural sleep aids can be found online or in your local supermarket or drugstore where vitamins and supplements are sold. These come in many different forms, including pills, tablets, liquid gels, capsules, and powders. In most cases, they're non-habit forming and safe to use (so long as you follow the package directions).

Keep in mind that finding a natural sleep aid that works best for you may require some trial and error.

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

These time-released melatonin tablets help you fall asleep fast and keep you from waking up during the night by releasing small doses of melatonin over the course of several hours. Thus, this supplement offers a better quality of sleep than many of its competitors. Moreover, the addition of Vitamin B6 also helps enhance the effectiveness of the melatonin.

Note: While Natrol Melatonin is 100% vegetarian and safe for adult use, it's not recommended for children without a doctor's approval.

PROS

  • Safe method to induce sleepiness
  • Time-release formula helps you stay asleep
  • Addition of Vitamin B6 boosts effectiveness

CONS

  • May cause headaches and/or dull "foggy" feeling the next morning in some people

Snoring Aids

Poor quality of sleep has several underlying causes including stress, allergies, depression, chronic pain, unhealthy diet, and...snoring — a common health condition that plagues almost half of the American population today, at least on an occasional basis (source).

Luckily, devices like snoring mouthpieces, snoring chin straps, nasal dilators and nasal strips often help diminish snoring as long as your condition isn't the result of something more serious like sleep apnea.

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

While there are several ways to combat snoring, few are as simple and effective as snoring chin straps — a device worn comfortably around the entire head while keeping the mouth closed, thus restricting the flow of air that leads to snoring.

Of these devices, the Sleepwell Pro Chin Strap comes out on top of our list for its strong, yet flexible soft fabric made for comfort and durability. That said, those with larger-sized heads may find the device somewhat constricting despite being adjustable. Otherwise, this chin strap is a solid pick.

PROS

  • Helps keep snoring under control for more restful sleep
  • Designed for comfort and ease of use
  • Durable, flexible fabric

CONS

  • May not fit well for people with larger-sized heads

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

As it pertains to our discussion, "blue light" refers to the light emitted from devices using LED screens such as televisions, computers, cell phones, and tablets. Tests have now shown that this type of light interrupts the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing sleep (source).

But while limiting the use of these devices as bedtime approaches may be the smart thing to do, it's not always possible, nor desirable. Blue light blocking glasses are a practical solution to help get around this problem.

As its name implies, these types of glasses allow you to work on your computer or enjoy a late night movie on television while effectively preventing blue light from keeping you awake when it's time to go to sleep.

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Spectra 479 Glasses is our top choice for blue light blocking glasses because its performance and comfort is unmatched. Offering 100% UV protection from sunlight, this model also covers peripheral side vision, which affords a greater span of protection than glasses with only a frontal view.

Keep in mind, these Spectra lenses aren't vision-correcting, nor is its frame big enough to lay on top of prescription glasses. But if your main priority is to block out light emitted from electronic devices, this model will serve you well.

PROS

  • Blocks out blue light effectively
  • Wrap around style protects from the sides as well as front
  • Stylish design can be worn comfortably in public, not just indoors

CONS

  • Can't place on top of prescription glasses
  • Not available with prescription lenses

Sleep Masks

Just as blocking out blue light before going to bed helps relax you for a good night's sleep, blocking out all light after going to bed makes the task of falling asleep even easier.

All you need is a well-made sleep mask to create the total darkness necessary to kick-start the release of melatonin to get the sleep process going. And unlike other products that produce a similar effect like blackout curtains, sleep masks are portable and thus great for travel.

These soft fabric masks come in many styles, the best of which include hollowed-out spaces for the eyes to prevent them from coming into contact with the fabric.

Our #1 Pick:

NapForm Eye Mask Review

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Not only does the NapForm Eye Mask effectively shut out light to induce sleepiness, it's also more comfortable than most other sleep masks due to its proprietary "BioSense" memory foam — a material made from natural ingredients, including green tea, seed oil, and charcoal.

NapForm's cover is a machine-washable plush material, similar to a soft, mushy blanket. It also includes hollowed-out cavities to prevent the eyes from rubbing against the fabric, which can be irritating especially over the course of a night. Lastly, the NapForm comes with an adjustable strap for extra comfort.

PROS

  • Keeps light out well
  • Material is comfortable and soothing
  • Hand-washable

CONS

  • Mask is somewhat bulky
  • Plush material may make you feel hot during sleep

Pillow Speakers

Do you find it easier to fall asleep with some type of sound playing in the background, be it white noise, nature sounds or ambient music? Do you prefer listening in private to avoid disturbing your sleeping partner?

Well, one idea is to wear a pair of earbuds or headphones but perhaps you dislike the idea of having something on or in your ears while trying to sleep. The other possibility is pillow speakers — a device that projects background sounds straight through your pillow and into your ears.

In most cases, pillow speakers are small and compact enough that you won't even notice they're there!

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Sangean PS-300 Pillow Speaker is uniquely designed to combine high-quality sound through a small, flat speaker that slides easily under your pillow. The in-line volume control makes it easy to turn the volume up or down while lying down, and the on/off built-in amplifier allows you to pump up the sound even more.

This pillow speaker will work with most audio devices including iPhones, iPads, iPods, and most smartphones and MP3 players. Moreover, its connecting cord is long enough to avoid tangling (6.5 feet).

That said, the PS-300 is made from the same cheap materials that make up other pillow speakers. But while it may not last forever, it's fine for short-term use.

PROS

  • Good sound quality
  • Handy amplifier feature
  • Wires don't easily fray or disconnect

CONS

  • Cheap construction
  • Not durable

Sleep Headphones

Sleep headphones provide a comfortable way to listen to music and background sounds to help you drift off to sleep without irritating your ears like some headphones can. These specially designed headphones are available in several types and styles, the most popular model being a cloth, sports-like headband embedded with flat, non-intrusive speakers.

When paired with a white noise machine or sleep music, sleep headphones can help ease you into a relaxed state and even mask tinnitus!

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Sleepers who appreciate the sound quality of headphones or earbuds but have a hard time sleeping with them in bed may benefit from the CozyPhones Headphone. Designed with comfort in mind, Cozyphones features a super-soft, sports-like headband with removable ultra-thin speakers embedded into fleece fabric.

You can also use this machine washable headband for recreational sports, yoga, and meditation without irritating your ears like earbuds often can.

PROS

  • Above-average sound quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Doubles-up as a sleep mask

CONS

  • Headband may be too tight or loose for some people
  • Fleece fabric may make you feel hot during sleep

Sleep Earplugs

Annoying sounds can be downright maddening when they prevent you from falling asleep. A snoring spouse, dogs barking in the neighborhood, or even noisy apartment neighbors can make restful sleep seem like an impossible dream.

Wearing earplugs is the obvious solution but many aren't intended for sleep because they're too hard and uncomfortable and may fall out in the middle of the night. Sleep-friendly earplugs, on the other hand, are either made from wax or a soft foam substance designed for comfort and security (i.e., staying put in your ears).

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

While conventional foam earplugs are popular, they're not the best type to use for sleep because they can fall out and get lost in the process. Moreover, they don't always fit ears well enough to reduce background noise to a satisfactory level.

Mighty Plugs, on the other hand, is made from a waxy material that naturally "molds" itself to the opening of your ear canal — a perfect, comfortable fit that helps seal out exterior noise to great effect. So well, in fact, that they can be a bit tricky to remove afterward.

PROS

  • Excellent noise reduction
  • Comfortable fit
  • Won't fall out

CONS

  • May be difficult to remove
  • Sealed plugs may prevent sweat drainage and thus increase risk of ear infection

Sleep Trackers

Many electronic devices owned by consumers are already equipped with apps for tracking sleep. Smartphones, smartwatches, iPads, Fitbit devices and tablet computers can all be used for this purpose. So, why use a sleep tracker?...

Well, unlike basic apps, a sleep tracker can provide in-depth information on the quality and amount of sleep you're getting. By recording respirations, eye movements, and other body functions, the data gathered by sleep trackers can help guide you on steps to take to improve your sleep.

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

If you want a sleep aid that does more than help put you to sleep, a sophisticated sleep tracker like the Withings Aura may be just what you're looking for. By monitoring your sleep patterns, this device can help improve your quality of sleep by pinpointing problems that may prevent you from obtaining the best sleep possible.

For example, this system uses light waves to help stimulate melatonin production in the brain to prepare you for sleep. Then the following morning a multi-color LED dimming light application helps maximize the best time for you to wake up.

This sleep tracker easily communicates with your smartphone or tablet via WiFi or Bluetooth and even features a bedside clock.

PROS

  • Great, practical features
  • Useful statistical analysis
  • Eye-pleasing design

CONS

  • Somewhat complicated setup
  • Size of clock may be too small for some people
  • Not portable for travel

Sleep Music

While you may love heavy metal music, it won’t exactly help lull you to sleep. 😉 Studies show that certain sound waves, specifically delta waves, may actually foster deeper, more restful sleep — the foundation of much of the sleep music created today (source). That said, even calming nature sounds, classical music, and white noise can also induce relaxation in some people.

Music for sleep is available in several formats, including CDs, MP3s, YouTube, and streaming services like Spotify.

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The team of Hennie Bekker and Dr. Lee R. Bartel created this album of ethereal, instrumental keyboard music mixed with sleep-inducing Delta waves and nature sounds to promote deep, restful sleep while also lowering anxiety and blood pressure levels.

But like all music, you may or may not enjoy this album even though its compositions are scientifically-based to work.

PROS

  • Effective music for sleep
  • Available in several formats, including CD, MP3, and streaming services like Amazon Prime

CONS

  • May not suit your musical tastes

White Noise Machines

Designed to block out external noise, mask tinnitus, and induce sleep, white noise machines are devices that emit a variety of looped, sleep-friendly sounds, such as the rumbling of distant thunder, running fans, night-time crickets and creaking boats on a dock. Many also come with extra features such as AM/FM radio, lighted display, and an alarm clock.

These electronic machines are typically compact and portable and make an attractive, handy addition to any bedroom.

Our #1 Pick:

Quality

Price

Our Rating

If you're looking for a white noise machine with a variety of sounds and features, this Adaptive Sound Technologies device fits the bill.

Some of its 30 realistic-sounding extended loops include meadow, bubbling brook, train, fireplace, and rainfall, all which feature automatic, gradual volume reduction allowing you to drift off to sleep naturally and easily. At the same time the sound starts to fade, the front panel light also dims gradually as you begin to sleep.

This device also comes with several useful features, including an optional light display, sleep timer, headphone jack and output port. For these reasons and more, the Adaptive Sound Technologies white noise machine beats out its competition.

PROS

  • Great variety of realistic sounds
  • Long-lasting loops (30 minutes per sound)
  • Useful automatic features

CONS

  • Buttons are noisy when pressed
  • No battery option

How to Choose the Right Sleep Aid for You

With so many types of sleep aids available, which one should you start with? Well, it depends on what you're trying to achieve. If your goal is to overcome insomnia, sleeping pills or natural sleep aids may suffice. But perhaps you have other or additional concerns that require a different type of sleep aid:

  • Combat tinnitus
  • Pillow Speakers
  • Sleep Headphones
  • Sleep Music
  • White Noise Machines
  • Block out environmental noise
  • Sleep Earplugs
  • White Noise Machines
  • Listen to soothing music or nature sounds
  • Sleep Music
  • White Noise Machines
  • Stop snoring
  • Snoring Aids
  • Block out light
  • Sleep Masks
  • Induce restfulness
  • Blue Light Blocking Glasses
  • Understand your sleep patterns better to make adjustments
  • Sleep Trackers

Whichever type of sleep aid interests you, make sure to research the corresponding products thoroughly by reading product descriptions and customer reviews before making a purchase. Also, make certain you're aware of any secondary health concerns or risks associated with the product.

Sleep Aid Reviews

Conclusion: What Is the Best Sleep Aid?

As you'd expect, there isn't one sleep aid that works for everyone. That said, combining an effective natural solution like Natrol Melatonin with the soothing sounds of a white noise machine like the Adaptive Sound Technologies​ device is a great starting point.

But if products like these don't improve your quality of sleep, you may benefit from a top-tier sleep tracker like the Withings Aura Smart Sleep System​ to get a better handle of your sleep patterns and make adjustments to your habits and/or sleep environment where you see fit.

We wish you success in your quest for better sleep!

Now Over to You!

What are your thoughts about our recommended sleep aids? Leave your comments below!

Leave a Comment: