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Three Supplements to Safely Sleep Like a Baby

Three Supplements to Safely Sleep Like a Baby

  • Admin
  • Apr 08, 2019

 

When the Z's you so desperately crave elude you, you pay a price far beyond the in-the-moment frustration of counting sheep, ruminating over the day's events and experiencing counterproductive mind-racing thoughts about how useless you'll be tomorrow unless you can fall asleep. The reality is, you probably will be somewhat useless (and irritable) tomorrow if you don't get enough sleep.

If you suffer from insomnia, you're not alone. The Centers for Disease Control classifies insomnia as "a public health epidemic" affecting more than one-third of American adults. That's an interesting fact, but it doesn't solve your problem.

What you'll probably find far more interesting (and helpful) is that there are naturally occurring substances that have been deemed safe and effective for treating sleep disorders, that you can purchase at your local drugstore without a prescription. Here are three to try tonight!

Melatonin

Melatonin, a hormone produced naturally by a gland in the brain, helps regulate sleep and wake cycles. Exposure to light influences the amount of melatonin the body produces; in winter, melatonin production is less. The amount of melatonin produced by the body also decreases with age. Melatonin supplements have been proven effective for insomnia and are considered safe in low (0.2- to 20-milligram) doses. One study concluded that melatonin helps people fall asleep more quickly, sleep longer and experience higher-quality sleep.

Valerian Root

Valerian is a perennial plant that grows wild throughout North America. It's been used for centuries to treat insomnia and other problems, including anxiety and stress. As with studies gauging the effectiveness of most medications and herbal supplements, clinical opinions on valerian root's effectiveness vary. However, there is significant evidence -- dating back to the 17th century -- that valerian improves sleep by the same mechanism as powerful prescription drugs including Xanax and Valium (by increasing the amount of a calming brain chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid.) Unlike the prescription medications, valerian is considered safe, non-habit forming and free of unwanted side effects.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral essential to various bodily functions. Research shows many people don't consume enough magnesium through food. Besides curtailing inflammation (which contributes to heart disease and diabetes), magnesium supplements have been shown to relieve symptoms of insomnia. A study involving 46 people backed up those assertions. Subjects taking 500 milligrams of magnesium daily for eight weeks fell asleep more quickly, slept longer and felt more alert in the morning than participants given a placebo.

The aforementioned supplements are generally considered safe. However, some over-the-counter supplements can interact with prescription medications or exacerbate certain health conditions. Always talk to your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/melatonin-overview#1

http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/valerian

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853635

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