Sominex Herbal is an over the counter sleeping tablet that’s made and sold in the UK.
Note that there are two types of Sominex – you can read about my experience with the anti-histamine version here.
In this review, I’ll only be discussing the herbal one, which contains valerian, hops and passion flower.
Please remember that this is only one person’s view of how well they work. As you’ll see from the comments below, readers have had very different experiences.
So as well as talking about my personal experience, I’ll also provide some useful information, and how it compares to other herbal sleep aids.
I could probably sum up Sominex Herbal in 6 words: pretty packaging, strong taste, light sedation.
What immediately stood out is the smell and taste. Valerian is notorious for being strong in both departments, so I washed the 2 pills down as quick as possible.
But it’s a small price to pay for a natural ingredient, and you’ll find the same with other brands containing valerian, such as Nytol Herbal.
Talking of Nytol herbal, the two remedies are pretty much identical. So it makes sense that I had a similar experience with both of them.
A mild sedation
I took Sominex Herbal every night for a week, and although it’s far from powerful, I do think it had a sedative effect.
Following that, I again took it for a couple of nights a week over the following weeks, and found there was a noticeable effect each time.
It’s admittedly difficult to tell if there’s a placebo effect at work or not. Especially since I realized that it had the same ingredients as another sleep aid I’d already tried.
Having said that, there is some research evidence that valerian has sedative properties. So there is scientific backing behind the choice of ingredients.
No side effects
Although some people might react to the ingredients, I had no problems at all. I felt physically fine during the time I took Sominex and had no morning grogginess.
And that’s one of the important benefits of herbal sleep aids, even if they aren’t so strong.
Would I recommend it?
If you’re looking for a strong sleeping pill to switch your mental lights out, you probably won’t get that, unless you’re particularly sensitive to the ingredients.
But if you prefer natural ingredients to a powerful pharmaceutical sleep aid, and just need a little help to relax at night, then Sominex Herbal might just do the trick.
The patient information leaflet describes the ingredients of each tablet as:
- Hop strobile extract 34 mg
- Valerian root extract 30.8 mg
- Passion Flower extract 15.2 mg
- Calcium hydrogen phosphate
- Microcrystalline cellulose (E460)
- Colloid anhydrous silica
- Stearic acid
- Magnesium stearate
- Hypromellose 4500
- Polyethylene glycol 400
- Iron oxides (E172)
- Titanium dioxide (E171)
The first three on the list are the active ingredients which cause relaxation.
Is it suitable for you?
According to the patient leaflet, you shouldn’t take Sominex Herbal if you fall under any of the following categories:
- Allergic to any ingredients.
- Under 18 years old.
- Already taking any medication for anxiety or insomnia.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Intolerant to sugars (contains glucose).
- You shouldn’t mix it with alcohol.
- Don’t drive or operate machinery if drowsiness persists the next day.
Possible side effects of Sominex Herbal
It’s generally considered a safe herbal remedy to take. But the leaflet warns of some possible side effects and advises that you stop taking it immediately and consult a doctor if you experience any of them.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and stomach cramps.
- Rarely: hypersensitivity or increased heartbeat.
Can you take a different dosage?
Technically, the dosage is two tablets according to the instructions. I think it’s fine to take just one if two seems too strong for you though.
But I wouldn’t advise taking more than two without first consulting your doctor.
Valerian also has an unusual property in that it can take 2-4 weeks to work properly. So the manufacturer advises taking it for that long to get the best results.
However, they also say you should speak to a doctor if your sleep problem lasts longer than four weeks.
Have you tried it?
Have you tried Sominex Herbal before? If you have, it would be helpful to hear your experience in the comments below.