10 best remedies for insomnia

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

According to RBC, in April 2019, published Rosstat observation, which was carried out in September last year in all regions of the Russian Federation through surveys of persons over 15 years old. As a result, it turned out that last year those people who needed medical help, turned to a medical institution only in 65% of cases, and 34% of respondents were self-medicating. On the the question why people are being treated themselves and do not go to doctors was various answers were received, but more than 30% of respondents (first place) said they were not satisfied with the work of medical organization.

Of course, this is sad statistics. And precisely because people try to self-medicate on a variety of problems of their various reviews are very popular over-the-counter medications. FROM on the one hand, from these reviews there is an unconditional positive effect, of course, if they are written by professionals. But why not to acquaint people not only with prescription drugs, but also with those prescription drugs are used recognition all over the world, and can be shown at various disorders? After all, if a person reads, will it not be an occasion to go to the doctor and tell him about his condition health?

Following this approach, in this ranking of sleeping pills will be present as prescription drugs that prescribes a doctor, as well as funds that can be freely bought at a pharmacy. All drug prices are for spring 2019.

A bit of history

The history of the development of sleeping pills has several millennia. Even in ancient Rome, soothing relaxing effect of dried rhizomes and medicinal roots valerian. Even senators and noble patricians did not disdain this as a sleeping pill stuffed with dried herbs.

In the East, initially used as sleeping pills juice of sleepy poppy, Papaver somniferum, and then hash and tincture opium. Talk about the dangers of such sleeping pills can be very a lot and opium addiction was the scourge of people who tried deal with insomnia.

Finally, from the mid-19th century barbiturates became known, derivatives of barbituric acid. Until the 70s of the twentieth century such preparations as luminal, veronal, barbamil were used. But u barbiturates had serious flaws. They really showed sleeping pills, and along the way helped to combat anxiety, but if treated for a long time – they caused serious drug addiction and addiction. After using barbiturates, people lost control over your emotions and behavior, and if you increase the dose, then barbiturates cause severe anesthesia.

By the means for anesthesia from the group of barbiturates, by the way, still used when you need to conduct a short operation. For example, such a preparation is thiopental sodium. At present time barbiturates are completely supplanted from the sleeping pills market, and very limitedly used in the treatment of certain forms of epilepsy, for example phenobarbital. Surprisingly, phenobarbital can be freely purchased at a pharmacy without a prescription, it is part of the well-known and the most inexpensive calming drops – Corvalola, Valocordin and them like that. But there will be talk about over-the-counter medicines below.

Then the barbiturates left the race, and they were replaced benzodiazepines. They are still in the arsenal. modern medicine, as well as some antipsychotics.

Caution, insomnia!

Getting down to the description of sleeping pills, it should be recalled that it is not always necessary to fight insomnia with using drugs. There are dangerous diseases whose symptom persistent sleep disturbance may appear. To such diseases relate:

thyrotoxicosis, or hyperthyroidism. This is excessive hyperfunction. thyroid gland. In addition to insomnia, weight loss is characteristic, constant low-grade fever, a tendency to diarrhea, constant feeling of heat, tearfulness, short temper and irritability;

chronic, persistent sleep disturbances may be on the background of depression, and in this case it is necessary to begin to fight with it. When a person will be withdrawn from a state of depression, then sleep will also normalize;

a serious problem is chronic sleep apnea, when against the background of a large body mass, low muscle tone of the soft palate there are periodic bouts of respiratory failure during sleep. After a while, a quick awakening follows, and that’s all starts again. Such patients often suffer from insomnia, but they it is strictly forbidden to take many sleeping pills, as they may just not wake up.

Some forms of the disease can occur with insomnia. Parkinson’s, some types of strokes, meningitis, acute and chronic encephalitis, dementia. Therefore, in any case, before than taking more or less serious sleeping pills, Mandatory medical advice is required. Self-medication with sleeping pills is dangerous, and can lead, including fatal the outcome.

Rating of the best insomnia remedies

Nomination a place Name of product price
Best Benzodiazepines and Antipsychotics 1 Nitrazepam (Radedorm) 64 rub
2 Fenazepam 116 rub
3 Theraligen (alimemazine tartrate) 267 rub
Z – hypnotics 1 Somnol (zopiclone) 199 rub
2 Sanval (zolpidem) 1 900 rub.
3 Andante (zaleplon) 250 rub
4 Attention: Belsomra! 732 rub.
best over-the-counter drugs 1 Melaxen (Melarena, Melarithm, Sonnovan) 499 rub
2 Donormil (doxylamine) 117 rub
3 Corvalol 12 rub

The best benzodiazepines and antipsychotics

Drugs from this group are distinguished by low price, long experience medical applications (several decades), accurate knowledge of all contraindications and side effects. So many of these drugs are procured by health facilities, but many of they require the shortest possible course of action, which is generally characteristic of sleeping pills. The shorter the course, the more effect, and the less chance of side effects.

Nitrazepam (Radedorm)

Rating: 4.9


Of the many benzodiazepines, it is nitrazepam that is positioned as sleeping pill, and it is prescribed for violations of falling asleep. is he binds to specific benzodiazepine receptors, and acts on GABAergic synapses, and this causes significant inhibition of the function of the cerebral cortex. Along the way, nitrazepam has an anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant effect, or muscle relaxant. Nitrazepam is indicated for various sleep disorders, with some forms of seizures, including in infants. Apply nitrazepam as a sleeping pill half an hour before bedtime. Adults are prescribed from halves of the tablet to 1 tablet, and give as much as possible a day no more than 2 tablets, or 10 mg. Each tablet contains 5 mg Launches nitrazepam domestic Moscow endocrine factory, and a package of 20 tablets costs 69 rubles.

Advantages and disadvantages

Nitrazepam acts fast and strong enough the duration of sleep increases, as does the depth. Sleep out superficial becomes calm and deep. But alas, nitrazepam present daytime drowsiness, which is serious a flaw, and an even more serious flaw is the syndrome cancellation. If you take the drug, and abruptly stop taking, then insomnia occurs. In addition, the drug is contraindicated in persons with chronic alcoholism, drug addiction, pregnant and lactating women. As mentioned above, children prescribe it it is possible, and even infants in case of seizures. More to the side effects include stunning, slowing down reactions, and most the main thing is a decrease in concentration, Therefore, in the case if you take a nitrazepam tablet in the evening to improve your sleep, then in the morning it is advisable not to drive.


Rating: 4.8


Phenazepam is used more often than nitrazepam. It also applies to class of benzodiazepines, and is used in modern medicine very wide. Like nitrazepam, it acts on the GABAergic transmission, while further reducing anxiety, reduces emotional stress and anxiety. Therefore shown Phenazepam not only for sleep disorders, but also for treatment panic attacks, anxiety attacks. Finds phenazepam use in complex therapy of neurosis, with reactive psychoses, with various psychopathies, and even for the prevention of fear. IN neurology Phenazepam is used to treat patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, to relieve high muscle tone, for example, after central strokes.

Phenazepam must be taken regardless of food intake, and It is available in several forms. These are regular tablets, but also and lozenges, i.e. dispersible tablets. In the last case, the tablet must be kept on the tongue until it is completely dissolve and then swallow. Drink a liquid with such a pill not necessary. If the patient has a sleep disturbance, then it is enough to take one or two tablets half an hour before bedtime. Maximum daily dose is 10 mg. Use more than 4 tablets per day with phenazepam strictly forbidden. Produces his domestic company Valens, and a pack of 50 tablets of 20 mg each costs 196 rubles.

Advantages and disadvantages

A plus of phenazepam is the ability, in addition to improving sleep provide great assistance to patients with a variety of neuroses, panic attacks, psychopathies. But phenazepam is dangerous because its small therapeutic breadth. When an overdose appears drowsiness, confusion, slowdown of the heart, lowering blood pressure and even coma. Are possible numerous side effects: this is a decrease in white blood cell count in the blood, decreased concentration and drowsiness, especially in case of prolonged use, dry mouth salivation, drop body weight. It is strictly forbidden to use phenazepam with pregnancy, and especially in the first trimester, as possible congenital malformations and defects of the fetus. Do not use phenazepam in children in adolescents under 18 years of age, with breastfeeding, and due to severe depression. There is a proven fact that the reception phenazepam against a background of severe depressive disorder significantly increases the risk of suicide. That is why you must visit specialist, and not self-medicate.

Theraligen (alimemazine tartrate)

Rating: 4.7


Teraligen is a representative of a completely different group of drugs, antipsychotics. All these are very serious means: tizercin, chlorpromazine, haloperidol. They are used in “big” psychiatry. But here is Teraligen – it is so super-light and very delicate antipsychotic, and his period of action is very short. Teraligen produced in tablets of 5 mg, and in addition to sleeping pills, as and all antipsychotics, it produces an antihistamine effect, antiemetic and antitussive. But it is not used as a means for coughing, and treat them with minor mental disorders. It is prescribed for borderline diseases, with conversion disorders and also for the treatment of various sleep disorders origin.

The tool is used internally, and the peculiarity of taking Teraligen is that it is not used immediately before bedtime, but three once a day, in a dosage of 5 to 10 mg per day. The dose is divided into three tricks. Teraligen also produces a domestic company Valens, and a pack of 25 tablets of 5 mg each costs an average of 590 rub., which is quite a lot.

Advantages and disadvantages

The great advantage of Theraligen is the fact that he shows in addition to sleeping pills and others. All of them are light enough, but together act well and gently. That same heavy antipsychotic effect, which is manifested in others antipsychotics, he is extremely weak, and therefore side effects in it is a little, especially if the dose is not exceeded. But if the drug is taken in a higher dose, there may be drowsiness, lethargy, and especially in the early days of admission. Then the body copes with these side effects. Sometimes may be during sleep nightmares, but this also does not happen often.

Best Z – Hypnotics

Z-hypnotics first appeared on the market in 1993. Specially there was a long search for drugs that would bind to benzodiazepine receptors, would manifest hypnotic effect of benzodiazepines, and they would not have other effects It was. Finally, such drugs have been found. As it turned out, they have a hypnotic effect, but effects such as muscle relaxation, or muscle relaxation, sedative or sedative action, anti-anxiety effect is absent. It’s important that they all have a very short half-life of blood, they do not accumulate in the body and do not have an accumulating effect. Almost all of them work mainly not on the dream itself, but on falling asleep. Therefore, first of all, they are shown to those patients who cannot fall asleep. After they entered the market, sales of other benzodiazepines fell sharply as large the amount of drugs sold as sleeping pills.

Somnol (zopiclone)

Rating: 4.9


In fact, the original drug from this group is Imovan. But it is currently difficult to find, and therefore it an analogue can be called Somnol. It is produced by a Latvian company Grindeks, and a pack of 20 tablets costs 190 rubles. As it was already It is said above – this is a pure sleeping pill. Doesn’t make sense of it take to “calm down”: will not help. The elimination half-life is no more than 6 hours. Imovan has a high degree of binding to receptors, and sleep is caused quickly.

It is indicated for insomnia and difficulty falling asleep. Despite, that they act on the initiating phase of sleep, Imovan also copes with early awakening, and frequent night awakenings. Before bedtime it should be taken one tablet daily. When course treatment of insomnia of various origins it is used during months, no longer. As an exception, you can give two tablets before bedtime for those patients who have persistent and severe forms insomnia. In older people, the dose should be halved, and give at half a tablet.

Advantages and disadvantages

A huge plus of Zopiclone is the fact that in the morning lack of fatigue and drowsiness, no daytime drowsiness the drug does not cause. The second huge plus is that you can to be treated, and then abruptly stop. No withdrawal syndrome will be. The third huge plus – in the morning you can drive a car and work with machines and mechanisms. The only negative is it is undesirable to combine treatment with zopiclone with alcohol. On the background drinking alcohol may cause amnesia attacks, i.e. memory loss on previous events, or a phenomenon will occur overdose.

Sanval (zolpidem)

Rating: 4.8


This drug is a little apart. He has some differences in the mechanism of action, it is associated with special omega receptors. The effect comes as fast as the zopiclone, it makes falling asleep shorter, sleep quality improves, the total duration becomes longer and nightly awakenings are reduced and their frequency too. Take sanval necessary immediately before bedtime, washed down with liquid. Before when taking the drug, the patient must be sure that he will be able to afford to sleep at least 7-8 hours. The maximum dose is 10 mg, in old age the dose is necessary halve, and the course of treatment should not be longer than a month.

Advantages and disadvantages

By and large, there are no particular differences compared to zopiclone has no zolpidem. But still better to recommend zopiclone. Firstly, zolpidem has a higher price, and secondly, it may contribute to the development of nightmares in the patient, and, most the main thing is that it is necessary to cancel it gradually during treatment, since the effect of cancellation in the form of the so-called “rebound insomnia. “That is, if the patient takes it for more than 2 weeks, then at 3-4 weeks it is advisable to take it in half and in a quarter dose before completely canceling it. In addition, on the background of taking zolpidem, if the patient is together taking drugs for depression from the SSRIs group, then a side the effect of such a joint action may be different paradoxical mental reactions. In addition, there are separate cases that addiction is formed to the drug, and they patients begin to abuse. But, as a rule, this is due to high doses.

Andante (zaleplon)

Rating: 4.7


There are two of the most famous drugs: these are Sonata and Andante. Truly beautiful, musical names. Zaleplon applied also with various sleep disorders, and you need to take the drug just before the person went to sleep. Moreover, after meal should take 2 hours. Another pill can be taken in if the patient feels that he cannot fall asleep, that is, not in planned, and in an emergency. Recommended Dose for Disorders sleep 10 mg, or one tablet. The same dose is the maximum repeat taking the drug is not recommended. Launches Andante Hungarian company Gideon Richter, and one pack of 7 tablets costs, on average, 530 rubles. This is quite expensive, given the small number of pills.

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of Andante is the power of influence. Can consider him the most powerful of all Z-hypnotics. But power is not yet means security. As in the previous case, Andante can withdrawal symptoms occur, side effects are diverse, I am among they are most often noted amnesia, that is, loss of memories, the development of paresthesias, that is, various disorders of sensitivity: numbness, tingling in the fingers. Also arises quite often drowsiness, and if the drug is taken by women of childbearing age, then they often have a violation ovarian-menstrual cycle.

You can not assign Andante to pregnant and lactating women, persons with renal and hepatic insufficiency, as well as up to 18 years. IN official instructions say waiter should be warned patient before treatment that there may be a syndrome cancellation. It is required that the course of treatment be as short as possible, and not in in no case longer than 2 weeks, as you can see, restrictions on admission this drug and the possible risks are much greater than that of zopiclone.

Attention: Belsomra!

Rating: 4.6


Indeed, currently Z – hypnotics are the most the best sleeping pills. But the market in the USA has already entered a completely new a drug that has nothing to do with benzodiazepine receptors. This is the drug Belsomra, or suvorexant (according to INN).

This is a new drug, and the FDA approved this drug in 2014. The mechanism of action of Belsomra is unique: it is an antagonist of orexin receptors. Orexin is a specific neuropeptide that responsible for our active state of wakefulness. Medicine blocks specific receptors, and the body stops receiving wakefulness signals. The result is a dream. therefore Belsomra approaches the problem of sleep from a completely different perspective: He does does not stimulate falling asleep and does not cause sleep, but “turns off” wakefulness, no matter how unusual it sounds.

It is necessary to take this tool in a dose of 10 mg at night, for half an hour before bedtime, and you need to plan a dream lasting no less than 7 hours. You can take at a time no more than 20 mg, that is no more than 2 tablets. In order to more conveniently determine dosage, Belsomra is available in various versions: it can be 20 mg, 15, 10 and 5. At the moment, Belsomra is a leader in initiating falling asleep. Usually other sleeping pills speed up falling asleep by 15-30%, and Belsomra by 40% and above. Releases the drug Belsomra company Merck Sharp and Dome.

Advantages and disadvantages

Belsomra has a significant number of advantages. She does not oppress breathing in a dream, and therefore it can be prescribed to patients with snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea. The day after taking no drowsiness and lethargy, as in other drugs, for example in benzodiazepines. Even in elderly patients in high dosage 20 mg the next day no morning drowsiness effects. At Belsomra virtually undetected at the moment, for four years application, expressed side effects. Therapeutic latitude it is wide enough, which means that the risk of overdose minimum.

In healthy patients, it was found that even if taken immediately 100 milligrams, i.e. five times the dose, than the maximum recommended, no toxic effects were detected. Belsomra acts on specific receptors and therefore it does not It is neither addictive nor addictive. Also Belsomra fully preserves the structure of sleep, which means that both slow and REM sleep alternating as expected, so the next day the patient is doing well.

Belsomra can be taken for a long time. So it turns out is the drug perfect? Almost yes. The only negative: in patients with narcolepsy it is prohibited for use, because they have changed orexin metabolism and therefore one of the classic symptoms narcolepsy is considered daytime expressed drowsiness. But narcolepsy are very rare. And here is the main minus for the Russians: inability to get it. Many expected the appearance of this drug. in Russia at the beginning of 2017, but so far the appearance of Belsomra in Russian pharmacies did not take place. On sites that send “expensive” and sell drugs, the minimum is declared the cost of the drug: a package of 20 mg of 30 pieces – 7900 rubles.

The best OTC drugs

Finally, talking about the very best of sleeping pills funds not only in Russia but also in the world, back to “our sheep “, that is, to such funds that you can buy in pharmacies Russia without a prescription. Of course there are a lot of them. They are all sleeping pills for the essence of doing are not, but manifest to one degree or another hypnotic effect. We will not talk about tinctures of peony, about Persene Forte, about Novopassit – about all these medicinal drugs can be read on a large number of sites. therefore we restrict ourselves to only three drugs of different classes. First of them – antihistamine, the second – roughly speaking, hormonal, and finally you should definitely talk about the main, popular and beloved Russian sleeping pills and sedatives – Corvalole.

Melaxen (Melarena, Melarithm, Sonnovan)

Rating: 4.9


One of the best OTC sleeping pills in our country it is considered the drug Melaxen, or its analogues, although according to the official classification, it belongs to adaptogens. And this is understandable: if he would be considered sleeping pills in the pharmacopeia, then he would be sold at prescription. It contains melatonin, which is a sleep hormone. More precisely, its synthetic counterpart. In nature, melatonin is produced pineal gland, or pineal gland, and normalizes sleep rhythms and wakefulness. Its action is the acceleration of falling asleep, it reduces the number of awakenings at night, gives vivacity in the morning, and improves quality sleep itself. Melaxen is recommended for sudden and sharp change of time zones, for better adaptation. Related with this violation of health is called a jetlag.

Take the drug half an hour before bedtime, one tablet once a day. The maximum dose is two tablets. True, unlike Belsomra, Melaxen is not registered with the FDA, and despite the fact that it is produced by the American company Unifarm, it is clear that its market – these are other countries. A pack of 12 tablets costs an average of 638 rub. The cheapest domestic analogue is the Sonnovan preparation from Canonfarm Production (Russia, Schelkovo) will cost 300 rubles for 10 tablets.

Advantages and disadvantages

There is some evidence that Melaxen really helps to fall asleep only on the first or second day of admission, and then the body gets used to him. There is also evidence that it causes various stormy and color dreams. The drug produces a weak birth control effect, therefore, if a woman wants to become pregnant, then you need exclude taking Melaxen. During the treatment you need to abstain from driving vehicles, there may be side effects such as allergies, swelling, headache, and nausea. Full list contraindications except hypersensitivity, pregnancy and lactation includes more than 10 groups of serious diseases: such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes, allergic reactions and so Further. So the result is that over-the-counter Melaxen has much more contraindications than prescription Imovan.

Donormil (doxylamine)

Rating: 4.8


Donormil is a rather tricky drug. It refers to antihistamines, and those who took the “rude” antihistamines drugs such as diphenhydramine, suprastin, or pipolfen may remember their sedative effect. Then this action was considered a side effect, it was because of him that the search for modern antihistamines without sedation. But here the developers decided to turn the flaw into a virtue, and collateral effect in the form of relaxation and drowsiness studied in clinical conditions. Once studies have confirmed that application Doxylamine accelerates the time of falling asleep, and the structure of sleep does not changing, it was decided to start releasing an antihistamine the drug is like an OTC sleeping pill. This is pretty good marketing move, and you need to congratulate the company with it – manufacturer. Upps company sells Donormil in the form of effervescent tablets, and a package of 10 pieces costs 150 rubles. Assigned Donormil “from case to case”, that is, the course of treatment is not provided for. It is used half an hour before bedtime, one tablet or in her half.

Advantages and disadvantages

It is very important that Donormil does not cause daytime sleepiness, it can be canceled at any time, this is understandable. He’s not a sleeping pill substance, and antihistamine and devoid of side effects, say benzodiazepines. But, on the other hand, this absence is more than offset by the presence of its own side effects, common to all antihistamines. It’s dry mouth urinary retention, blurry vision, and other troubles. When an overdose, of course, will develop the phenomenon of daytime sleepiness, wide pupils appear, the skin of the neck and face turns red, perhaps there will be tachycardia, anxiety and a host of other “surprises.” therefore Donormil should not be abused, but should only be taken in the indicated dosages, and, of course, not every night.


Rating: 4.7


In our ranking of sleeping pills, there was a leader in cost, mysteries and difficulties of acquisition for Russians. This is the newest Belsomra drug. His complete antagonist is the cheapest, the most common, most popular, most popular domestic drug – Corvalol. He is Valocordin, he is Valoserdin and he has a lot of synonyms. Produces it all and sundry, because its composition is very simple. Hop oil, mint, a derivative of valerian ethyl bromisovalerianate, and, the main thing is the highlight: phenobarbital. It is he who provides light hypnotic effect. We will not list them, you can simply raise text and read about barbiturates. Corvalol’s cost is extremely low: on average, 1 ml costs 1 rub., since a bottle of 25 ml costs 25 rubles. It is known that one milliliter contains 10 drops. on average, and this means that one drop is worth 10 cents.

Corvalol is taken for any reason. But the official the manual states that it is useful in case of increased heartbeat with increased frequency (with tachycardia), with disorders falling asleep, with irritability, as well as with agitation with vegetative manifestations. This means that when amid anxiety and agitation there was a reddening of the face, sweating, suddenly hands went cold, in other words, Corvalol is a first aid with a panic attack. The maximum number of drops for an adult – no more than 30, up to 3 times a day. If there is a need, for example, there is severe tachycardia or a panic attack, then you can once increase the dose, for example up to 50 drops. For children a maximum of 15 drops is introduced.

Advantages and disadvantages

The disadvantage of Corvalol and its analogues is that it is not a sleeping pill (and what we want, all OTC drugs cannot belong sleeping pills), but, nevertheless, the phenobarbital in low concentration plus a good combination of vegetable extracts do their job. It is a soft, functional remedy with a small number of contraindications, including the period lactation, pregnancy, severe hepatic and renal failure. In addition, Corvalol contains ethyl alcohol. Therefore, it is contraindicated in alcoholism, with convulsions, with epilepsy, as well as in severe cardiovascular failure. Another minus may be the familiar smell, and if it is comes from the door of the apartment, when you go up the staircase, most likely the old people live there. After all, Corvalol, alas, is universal self-medication for the elderly.

And finally, some companies got the hang of releasing analogues Corvalol without phenobarbital. Released with a very similar name, it smells exactly the same, and the effect is practically absent. therefore Before you buy such an ersatz, carefully read the composition the drug!

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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