Review Of Nytol Herbal Tablets

nytol herbal tablets with hops, passion flower and valerian

I decided to try Nytol Herbal for a week in a typical situation where my insomnia flares up – sleeping in an unfamiliar bed in a new house.

I know that it takes me a couple of nights to settle into a new bedroom, so it was a good time to try out a new sleep aid.

I have to admit, I was slightly skeptical that it would work, knowing that research into the sedative effect of valerian is still inconclusive.

But perhaps being skeptical is a good thing in this case; it might help reduce the potential for the placebo effect to influence my opinion.

Different types of Nytol

There are a few different versions of Nytol. So it might be useful to take a quick look at the difference between them:

Nytol Herbal Tablets – the one I tried first. It contains valerian, hops, and passion flower (photo above).

Nytol Herbal One-A-Night – only contains valerian (photo below).

Nytol Herbal Elixir – valerian in liquid form for those who struggle with tablets.

Nytol Original and Nytol One-A-Night – these aren’t herbal but contain an antihistamine. They come in blue packets instead of the green herbal ones.

Nytol Liquid Caramel Flavour – the latest in the Nytol range. It also contains an antihistamine, but as an oral solution for those who don’t like tablets.

Please note that this review is only for Nytol Herbal. To find out more about the stronger antihistamine version, you can read my review of Nytol One-A-Night.

My experience with Nytol Herbal Tablets

Despite writing a review, the problem is that realistically it’s hard to judge how effective a mild sleep aid is. There are just too many other factors that can contribute to how well you sleep or not.

With a strong pharmaceutical sleeping pill, it’s usually pretty clear if it worked or not. Herbal sleep aids can be more subtle, so it’s not always easy to determine their effectiveness.

I do believe, however, that I felt a mild sedative effect on the second and third night. The first night I had a bad night, but I can also attribute that to a fiercely noisy storm outside.

You could argue that the sedative effect was partly due to tiredness because I’d slept badly the first night. But I don’t think it was, as I definitely felt a mild calming feeling on top of the physical tiredness.

I wasn’t mentally tired when I went to sleep, so I think the calming effect could probably be put down to the Nytol. I felt no lingering feeling the next day, which is always a bonus.

The question is though – do they really work as a sleep aid? Well, all I can say is that from my experience they could have a slight sedative effect.

But it’s definitely not as strong as some other over the counter sleep aids, such as the anti-histamine Nytol. And it’s incomparable with most prescription sleeping pills.

This was only my experience of the sleep aid – remember that it could be very different for you.

My experience with Nytol Herbal One-A-Night

nytol herbal valerian

I first wrote about the version with valerian, hops, and passionflower in 2014. And in 2018, I decided to test the valerian only One-A-Night to find out if it was much different.

The first thing I noticed is the improvement to the smell and taste. The previous type had a very strong valerian smell and was kind of unpleasant to swallow.

This time, the tablets were coated so you don’t have that same smell. They are larger tablets, but you only take one rather than two or more.

It’s suggested that valerian needs a couple of weeks to build up in your system before it’s most effective. So I decided to take it every night for a month.

Again, I think it did help a little, providing a mild sedative effect. It never knocked me out as such, but I do think it helped me relax at night.

I’m not sure the effect was much better in the second half of the month though really. If it was, then it wasn’t something I could objectively measure, either with my sleep diary or sleep tracker.

But on the whole, I think I slept reasonably well most nights of the month.

Further information

The ingredients of Nytol Herbal

2 brown nytol herbal tablets on a table

According to the information sheet, the ingredients are:

  • 200 mg extract of hops
  • 160 mg extract of valerian
  • 130 mg extract of passion flower
  • Calcium hydrogen phosphate
  • Microcrystalline cellulose (E 460)
  • Stearic acid
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Hypromellose 4500
  • Polyethylene glycol 400
  • Iron oxides (E 171)
  • Titanium dioxide (E 171)

Out of these ingredients, it’s the hops, valerian and passion flower which are meant to have the sedative and calming effect.

Who shouldn’t take it

The sheet comes with these warnings of situations when you shouldn’t take them:

  • If you’ve ever had an allergy to hops, valerian or passion flower, or any of the other ingredients listed above.
  • If you suffer from depression.
  • If you’re under 12 years old.
  • You shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery.
  • You shouldn’t mix them with alcohol.
  • You should talk to your doctor if you’re taking any other medications, especially beta-blockers or any that can make you drowsy.
  • You should talk to your doctor before taking them if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Possible side effects of Herbal Nytol

The information sheet advises speaking to your doctor if you experience any of these side effects:

  • Stomach cramps.
  • Palpitations or feeling faint.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever and headaches.
  • Gastroenteritis or diarrhea.

As with any medication, if you notice any symptoms after taking them it’s wise to stop taking them and contact a medical professional.

Nytol Herbal One-A-Night information

nytol herbal pills closeup photo

This version only contains one active ingredient, valerian 385 mg, and comes with fewer warnings.

Similar precautions are advised in terms of when not to take it:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • If you’re allergic to the ingredients.
  • Don’t drive or operate machinery.
  • Don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Consult your doctor if you take any other medication or sleep aids.

The possible side effects listed are:

  • Nausea.
  • Abdominal cramps.

What others say about it

Nytol Herbal doesn’t exactly get gleaming reviews online. On the US Amazon site, it has a rating of 4 out of 5 at the time of writing. On the UK Amazon site, it currently has a score of 3.7 out of 5.

Many readers have left comments since I first wrote this review, which has been helpful to read. Interestingly, some people find Nytol doesn’t work at all, whereas others have had a very positive experience.

So really, my feeling is that there’s just no way to predict how well it will work for you until you try it – if you decide to of course.

Your views

Have you tried Nytol Herbal or One-A-Night? Did you find it helped you sleep better?

Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below.

134 thoughts on “Review Of Nytol Herbal Tablets”

  1. I have been taking Nytol Herbal One-A-Night for the past 10 nights and finally starting to get good sleep again. I have always suffered from insomnia on and off for the past 5/6 years and prefer not to take prescribed medication. It takes a few nights for it to truly work. How long can you take valerian root for sleep? Is it okay long term?

    1. Hi John

      I’m not a doctor, so generally avoid giving personalised advice about using sleep aids. What I would say is from my own research, it seems that many medical sites suggest not taking it for longer than a month without checking in with a doctor.

  2. I’ve been trying my 1st round of Nytol for just over a week, as I’m having trouble sleeping and thought that these might help. I must say that they do not work for me. I’m taking the prescribed amount to no joy. I tried taking 1, but still no joy. They just keep me awake. I’ve tried taking them with sleep herbal tea, but still nothing. Is there anything else that I can do, to try and get a decent nights sleep?

    1. Hi Robert
      Sorry to hear they didn’t work out for you. There is plenty you can try, from different sleep aids to natural techniques / sleep hygiene. I also recommend reading an article I wrote about how I cope with insomnia. You might find some useful tips there.

  3. Long term insomniac here. Over the years tried every ‘natural’ cure I can think of or have read about.
    I don’t like Nytol at all. Though they seem to provide a slight calming effect on general anxiety and sometimes get me off to sleep, I wake about 4/5 hours later extremely aware of my heartbeat which is pounding and continues like this off and on till I rise. Most unpleasant and worrying. I also waken with dry eyes and feeling unrested.

    1. Hi Grace
      Thanks for sharing your experience. If it were me, I would not take any more with those side effects – assuming it is the Nytol causing it. Have you had similar problems with any other sleep aid that has the same ingredients?

  4. I’ve had insomnia for some years and have just tried nytol herbal 2 a night. For the first 2 nights I took 2 tablets and had the best sleep ever, but was drowsy next day so tried one for the next 3 nights. Sleep is still great, its life changing. But I sleep for nine hours and still feel drowsy in the day. Can I use half a tablet? I cant find any information on cutting the tablet. I have the type of insomnia where I get to sleep fast but wake and stay awake after a couple of hours sleep.

    1. Hi Lola
      It’s not really for me to say whether it’s ok to do or not – sorry! Usually, I recommend sticking with the recommended doses or asking a doctor for their advice on cutting tablets.

    2. Hi i have been taking them only 2 nights and in the morning I’m having same side effects I’m so drowsy and tired all the next day feeling like I’ve not slept proply

    1. Hi Brian
      That would be the valerian, which is famous for smelling bad. Some tablets smell more than others because they don’t coat it so much. So if you can’t stand it, but think valerian is a good option for you, try a different brand perhaps. Or hold your nose and swallow it with a big glass of something!

  5. Have taken these tablets last 3 nights and I have slept all through the night, but the following mornings I have woken up with stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Shall not be taking these ever again and certainly not recommending to anyone in the future.

    1. Hi Kylie
      Thanks for sharing your experience, which doesn’t sound very nice at all. They definitely aren’t the ones for you it seems!

  6. Hi Ethan.

    Some good reading in this and the comparison to the non herbal version.

    I’m a very light sleeper and as long as the house is quiet when I go to bed I’ll generally drop off after 40/45 minutes.

    However, if a bird starts tweeting, or my neighbour’s dog half a mile away starts barking (I live in the deep countryside) that can wake me and I may not get back to sleep.

    My sister lives with me and decides to talk to people on the phone at 3 and 4am and won’t keep the voice down, no matter how often I ask her. I work long hours, she doesn’t work so doesn’t see the issue.

    I tried herbal Nytol as that’s all that Asda have, and as I’m desperate for a decent night’s sleep. I took the leaflet’s advice on taking one tablet earlier in the evening and then a second about half an hour before bed.

    This appeared to work as I woke up the next morning 5 minutes before my 4.30 alarm.

    I thought great, this is it.

    I was wrong. Next night and the following 4 nights, usual sleep disruptions, early wakens, and usual inability to get back to sleep.

    I’m going to try the blue box tonight and the next few. I don’t want to go down the route of asking my doctor for prescription sleeping aids, and think the herbal ones are a waste of time.

    Thanks for your informative reviews.


    1. Hi Sean
      Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad to hear the reviews have been helpful for you. Unfortunately, with these mild herbal sleep aids, there never seems to be any guarantee they will work night after night in equal measure. If only they did! Perhaps taking themm for a few more nights to let the valerian build up in your system might help (assuming that theory has some merit!). But at the end of the day, practical sleep hygiene techniques might end up being just as, if not more, effective – if you find the techniques that you were perhaps missing before.

  7. Hi. I have had trouble getting off to sleep for years. Ive been taking herbal nytol for years now but I feel I should stop. Im 53 and going through the menopause. My sweats and nightmares are really bad at the moment and my memory is getting worse. Probably a combination of factors. Should I stop taking the tablets immediately or should I wean off them?

    1. Hi Karen
      Are you able to have a meeting with your doctor, in person or video, to ask their opinion? For me, I don’t have a problem stopping taking herbal sleep aids. But if you’ve been taking them for years, perhaps it might help you feel more comfortable stopping slowly. You could perhaps try replacing them with tea instead for a while to get a lower dosage of the same ingredient too.

  8. Mr Wayne Freeman

    I tried two tablets last night, I had side effects, my heart was thumping, I couldn’t rest, I felt anxious, my stomach was upset, I had cold sweats and shivers, after a few hours I fell asleep, I slept well and woke up feeling fine.

    1. Hi Wayne
      That doesn’t sound good. I would steer clear of them if I had those symptoms.

  9. I have been taking magnesium at night for restless legs, which really works, but still suffered from sleeplessness. Have found that taking Nytol Herbal tablets as well has improved my sleep enormously over the last month. Is it safe to continue with this combination in the long term? Have found your review and the comments really helpful, thank you.

    1. Hi Gwneth
      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found the article helpful. Annoying as it might be, I try to avoid giving advice about dosages and appropriate times for taking medication on this website because I’m not a doctor. Sometimes if something sounds really off, I might suggest thinking about it more carefully or getting a medical opinion. With supplements that are easily bought over the counter, my advice is still often to stick to the general guidelines about the length of time they should be taken – e.g. a couple of weeks max for sleep aids. And if it’s still an issue after then, speak to a doctor to see if they can either help in a different way or advise you on the appropriateness of continuing.

  10. Hi
    My son is 14 and half suffers from anxiety and is waiting for anxiety medication hopefully. He hasn’t slept well for months averaging 4hrs each day, not falling asleep until about 9 am (awake all night)
    Can he take half a nytol tablet to help him?

    1. Hi Jo
      Sorry to hear he’s having a hard time with his anxiety and sleep. I wish I felt in a position to give you direct advice, but I don’t think I have the right qualifications to tell you whether you should or shouldn’t give him Nytol. I would discuss this with his doctor and/or check what the current advice is about giving them to people his age and if there are any potential issues when you consider his entire medical history and current usage of any other meds etc.
      What I would definitely advice though is also looking into non-drug methods for dealing with anxiety. When I have periods of anxiety personally, I find pretty much anything helps that it classic advice – meditation, yoga, doing exercise, spending time with loved ones, hanging out with my best friend doing something I love. Taking a mini break, going for a long walk in a beautiful spot. These things can all make a difference – which work for him will depend on his likes and dislikes.

  11. I’ve tried all varieties of Nytol and find that whilst the standard variety Diphenhydramine does nothing to aid my sleep, the valerian root variety does create a calming and drowsy effect. I suppose everyone is different but I was skeptical of these after disappointing results from the original variety. The only disconcerting issue I have with valerian is it seems to reduce my heart rate to quite a slow rhythm, so I’d say if you’re taking a beta-blocker such as metoprolol, you should avoid valerian due to the potential to induce bradycardia effects. In any case, speak to your GP or pharmacist before taking these to ensure you’ll not be exasperating an existing medical condition.

    1. Hi Adam
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. You’re right in that people respond differently to different sleep aids and dosages. And you’re also right in that it’s always a good idea to check first before taking a sleep aid if you have preexisting medical conditions.

  12. Nytol herbal one a night has random effects on me, sometimes I feel the slightest bit of sedation but then there’s the other 90% of the time where it does absolutely nothing at all.

    I get insomnia all the time days without hardly a wink of sleep, my doctor gave me zopiclone 7.50mg but after a few weeks it literally stopped working so now I only have amitriptyline to fall back to which honestly makes you feel tired into the next day.. and that’s also varied because sometimes it simply doesn’t work at all.

    I have klinefelters syndrome and have to use tostran daily, I believe that using a steroid that gives you a boost mentality wise but also which massively speeds you up is a terrible thing when you already have anxiety issues and yet I’m totally dependant on it, so when it comes to sleep for me in general.. nothing but nightmares.. slight case of sleep paralysis and sleep apnea too.

    Overall nytol herbal simply seems to be primarily focused on your bodies own defense mechanism in a sense.. by using testosterone daily my metabolism is extremely high, coupled with e-cigs nicotine my body is tired and yet my brain is extremely overactive, I wish I could sleep like a normal person but alas.. can’t be helped.

    I’ve tried every version of nytol, the antihistamine version I’d say is the better out of all of them.. based on my situation I’m complex, so nytol herbal may work for others so it’s worth a shot if your interested.

  13. Had a terrible night after taking 2 of these… could feel them pulsating through my body all night long, was twitching badly, tossing & turning, and hot & sweaty. Think I got a bit of sleep not long before my alarm at 6:30am, but had weird dream. Feel terrible today. The packet is now in the bin. Waste of £4.50.

    1. Same think happened to me also. I had exact same symptoms so they are in the bin! I had two nightmares when I finally got about 2 hours sleep. Will never use them again!

  14. Hello there…tried these for repeated insomnia..had the weirdest dreams that I didn’t like at all! I am on low amount beta blockers though and wondered if that was the cause…I kept waking up feeling like I didn’t know where I was..a bit of unreality..most odd…I took kalms before..perhaps I should go back to them?

    1. Hi Lillibet
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I would ask your doctor about this to see what they recommend. But if you had a better experience with Kalms in the past, maybe that would work better for you.

  15. I tried the herbal once a night tablet two nights ago. Had a slightly better sleep than usual but felt quite groggy the next day. Took one last night too but, although I did actually get about 4 hours sleep, I woke up feeling like I’d been poisoned – really bad nausea and stomach ache followed by a headache which has lasted all day. I won’t be taking these again! It’s put me off using any medication for a while whether herbal or not. Back to hot chocolate, a lavender pillow spray and avoiding alcohol and ‘blue’ screens before bed.

    1. Hi Pam
      Thanks for sharing your unpleasant-sounding experience. Sorry to hear you had that reaction to the Nytol. I’d probably avoid the ingredients in the future – which it sounds like you will anyway!

  16. I struggle with insomnia and have PTSD and I have been using Herbal Nytol for a couple of years and it’s an important sleep aid for me. I find it not only relaxes me but I get a great nights sleep, and my mind tends to be much calmer for a short while the next day.

    1. Hi Neil
      Thanks for your comment. It’s great you have something herbal that can help you sleep and relax better. Have you thought about trying it in tea form rather than a sleep aid?

  17. The herbal one a night are fantastic for me, I work irregular hours and also have OCD which one of the symptoms are fast thoughts which cause me to not sleep. I was getting sometimes 30 mins sleep a night, since taking these tablets I don’t wake up at all now and literally get a full nights sleep, they help me to stay in a deep deep sleep. Honestly, these tablets are awesome I never ever thought over counter herbal tablets would work, I was just so desperate, looks like it paid off.

    Highly recommend

  18. Hi Ethan.
    I am 67, female and came off HRT seven years ago, on retirement and the menopause symptoms hit with a bang and irratic sleep started then. Most symptoms have gone but all of a sudden I had real insomnia, sleeping one hour or none at night. The doctor gave me sleeping tablets and anti anxiety tablets, which just knocked me out all the next day even at reduced amounts. I have been taking herbal nytol for five days and found that twice a day really good. Two teaspoons in the evening and 2 before bed. I also have good night hygeine (blackout curtains, no blue lights on, no tv in room etc.) I have no caffeine now, nor chocolate and eat sleep- inducing foods: kiwi fruit, turkey, passion flower juice, cammomile tea, oily fish, no alcohol and a drink of milk before bed. I must say the elixier nytol is part of a whole new regime but the sleep is worth it. I’m about to try the tablets now as local chemists have run out of liquid nytol. Hope this helps.(ps. I do find breathing exercises, some mild yoga, and relaxation techniques help a little)

    1. Hi Anne
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things where sleep hygiene is concerned, which is great. And if the Nytol helps a little too, it’s good to know you have something that can give you the sleep you need.

    1. Hi
      I think it’s because of the risk of valerian interacting with medication commonly prescribed for depression, or having a negative effect on the person’s mental health. If you check with your personal doctor, they will clear it for you or not.

  19. I’ve been taking Nytol one a night for two weeks with little effect. They contain 385mg of valerian root extract and I’m not sleeping any better.

    I’m finding I’m having to get two and sometimes three times a night to urinate.

    I decided to research the ingredients and have found that valerian is a diuretic and can be used to treat high blood pressure.

    This explains why I’m not sleeping any better – my bladder won’t let me!

    Hope this may help others.

    1. Hi Aaron
      Thanks for your comment. It’s a good idea to ask your parents and/or doctor for their advice about that. I’d also recommend having a read of some of the sections on this site about sleeping better that don’t involve sleep aids. You can often make a big difference just with those methods. Have a read of this article for a good starting point.

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