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8 Natural Sleep Aids to Help You Fall Asleep (and Stay Asleep)

Sweet dreams are made of these natural sleep aids and insomnia remedies
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Sleep and hydration are the two basic tenets of beauty. It's annoying, but true: Press almost any beauty guru for the secret behind her glowing skin and bright eyes, and drinking water and getting enough sleep will inevitably make the cut.

The good news is that adding more hydration to your day is easy enough -- after all, water is readily available. The bad news is that almost all of us struggle with insomnia at some point in our life -- and sometimes, prescription sleep medications feel a bit OTT. Really, what we want is a magic elixir for sleep -- preferably one we can find in our drugstore aisle or kitchen cupboard. Enter: Non-habit-forming natural sleep aids that don't require a trip to the doctor.

The best sleep aids and natural sleep remedies set out to cure insomnia, the natural way. But in this case, natural definitely doesn't mean ineffective. Ahead, the best natural sleep aids for the beauty sleep you've been craving.

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Olly Restful Sleep, $13.99 for 25 servings
If candy is your go-to midnight snack, you'll actually look forward to these gummies, which taste like blackberry-flavored Haribo bears. But these aren't just sugar pills. Pop two for a 3 milligram dose of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that induces sleepiness. Studies on melatonin suggest that this natural sleep aid can help you fall and stay asleep, and most people report no residual grogginess to fight through come morning.

Because melatonin is found in food like olives and cherries, it's considered a dietary supplement and not regulated by the FDA. It's reported to be safe for short-term use, and especially effective for jet lag.

Besides dream-inducing melatonin, the gummies also contain L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea. Even though it's derived from a caffeinated beverage, L-theanine is used to treat anxiety, meaning it'll keep that replay of your social faux pas du jour to a minimum. Add chamomile, passionflower and lemon extract to that, and you've got yourself a cocktail of snooze-inducing ingredients. Our editor-in-chief swears by them.

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Hum Nutrition Beauty zzZz, $10 for 30 servings
Like the Olly gummies, Hum's beauty sleep pills contain 3 milligrams of melatonin -- but in a single, swallowable pill. Paired with vitamin B6, which helps produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, a sleep regulator, Beauty zzZz is great for those who have trouble staying asleep. Bonus: the ingredients include a small amount of calcium, which helps with the body's natural production of melotonin, and also supports bone health.

If you're in the can't-swallow-pills camp, this tablet can be chewed or dissolved -- it just tastes bland.

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Dream Water Sleep Powder, $34.99 for 30 servings
These single-serving packets include three active ingredients: GABA, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and, you guessed it, melatonin. 5-HTP is an amino acid that aids in serotonin production, and it's usually prescribed to help young children with night terrors. When used with GABA, a neurotransmitter that keeps your nervous system from getting too excited, researchers have found that it helps improve the quality and length of sleep, while also helping people fall asleep faster.

The powder can be added to hot or cold drinks 30 minutes before sleep, or you can just down it straight, like a sleepytime Pixy Stix powder. In fact, the powder (aptly named 'snoozeberry') tastes like the sugary confection, too. The powder form is especially convenient for redeye flights -- no extra liquids in your suitcase, or your bladder.

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Moon Juice Dream Dust, $30 for 14 servings
If you'd rather stay away from melatonin (some report having trippy dreams after taking it), try the fancifully named Dream Dust. Mixed with water, nut milk or herbal tea, it makes for a soothing, gentle nightcap. While it won't instantly knock you out, stress-relieving ingredients like jujuba, a natural sedative used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM); schisandra, an herb that promotes sleep and liver health; chamomile, which is thought to treat anxiety and lower stress; and polygala, an herb used in TCM to protect brain function, lull your body into a relaxed state.

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