Mar 18

Sleeping Pill

Sleeping Pill

Herbs and natural sleep aids

Many people with insomnia choose herbal remedies for treatment, although their effectiveness has not been evaluated by the FDA. Some remedies, such as lemon balm or chamomile tea are generally harmless. However, others can have more serious side effects and can interfere with prescribed medications, which can be dangerous. St. John’s Wort, for example, can limit the effectiveness of many prescribed medications such as blood thinners, birth control pills and some anticancer medications. Check with your healthcare professional if you are trying a herbal remedy.

Herbal sleep aids
There are several herbs thought to help sleep,including chamomile, valerian root, kava kava, lemon balm, passionflower, lavender, and St. Johns Wort. Many people drink chamomile tea for its gentle sedative properties, although it may cause allergic reactions in those with plant or pollen allergies. While there is some data showing valerian to be useful for insomnia, at high doses, it can cause vivid dreams, blurred vision, changes in heart rhythm, and excitability.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone whose levels peak at night. It is triggered by dark and levels remain elevated throughout the night until light decreases it. However, most studies have not found melatonin to be beneficial when compared to a sugar pill, placebo. Some positive results have been shown in helping jet lag and night shift workers, but simple exposure to light at the right time might be just as effective. Long term effects of melatonin are unknown.

Tryptophan, L tryptophan
Tryptophan is a basic amino acid used in the formation of the chemical messenger serotonin, a substance in the brain that helps tell your body to sleep. L tryptophan is a common byproduct of tryptophan, which the body then can change into serotonin. Some studies have shown that L tryptophan can help people fall asleep faster. Results, however, have been inconsistent.

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