Insomnia is an important public health burden and is the most ubiquitous sleep disorder in the general population, requiring accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Sleep hygiene and cognitive behavioural therapy form the foundation of management. In addition, various pharmacological entities are at hand to augment insomnia disorder. Acute insomnia requires short-term management with appropriately indicated hypnotic agents, while chronic sleeping difficulties benefit more from antidepressants. This article informs the reader about the currently available sleeping agents in South Africa, and may not include more effective or potent agents used in other parts of the world that are not yet accessible for local prescription.