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A person who has difficulty falling or staying asleep may find that they benefit from using natural sleep aids, such as melatonin, to help them get the sleep they need.
This article will look at five natural sleeping aids and suggest when a person should see a doctor for sleep issues. It will also discuss some research that focuses on the effectiveness of natural sleeping pills.
People should be aware that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate natural sleeping pills because they are supplements.
When a person is shopping for natural sleeping pills, they should check for third party testing and read the product labels carefully.
It is also important that they speak with a doctor before taking any supplements, especially if they have any underlying health conditions or are taking any prescription medications.
Below, we review five natural sleeping pills and discuss how they could benefit a person who is struggling to sleep.
Please note that the writer has not tested any of these products. All information is research-based.
Valerian root supplements
Proponents of valerian root say that it may help relieve symptoms of anxiety and help people sleep.
People should remember that studies looking into the effects of valerian root are limited and conflicting, so further research is necessary to support their findings.
One valerian root-based supplement a person may want to try is Best Rest Formula, which contains a blend of valerian root, lemon balm, passionflower, and chamomile.
The levels of melatonin in the body rise and fall naturally during the day and night. Because light blocks melatonin production, its levels are highest at night. However, if a person has exposure to light at night, it could block melatonin production.
A small 2016 study suggests that melatonin supplements are effective in helping improve the onset of sleep in people who work shifts.
As a result, people should be aware that studies investigating the effect of melatonin supplements on sleep are conflicting, and more research is necessary to fully understand how they work.
One melatonin supplement a person may want to try is Melaton-5 from Thorne. Thorne say that they test all their products at least four times as part of their quality control procedures.
Proponents of lavender suggest that it has relaxing and antianxiety properties.
One systematic review from 2019 concludes that lavender in either capsule or aromatherapy form not only helps people get to sleep but also provides some anxiety relief.
Another 2019 review found that when people took silexan lavender capsules in 160-milligram doses, they scored lower on an anxiety score questionnaire.
However, both reviews acknowledge that more studies are necessary to understand the effects of lavender when a person takes it in either capsule form or as an aroma.
One lavender supplement a person may want to try is the Be Grounded supplement from Happy Healthy Hippie. According to Happy Healthy Hippie, they use non-genetically modified organism (GMO) and vegan ingredients in their products.
According to an older study, magnesium supplements may help with improving various aspects of sleep. The researchers identified significant increases in sleep time and quality.
Newer studies are also finding that magnesium supplementation is effective in helping relieve insomnia.
However, more studies are necessary to understand how magnesium supplements exert their effect on the body.
One magnesium supplement a person may want to try is magnesium+ by mindbodygreen. This supplement also contains jujube and pharmaGABA. According to mindbodygreen, they have state-of-the-art laboratories and conduct four rounds of testing.
Glycine is an amino acid that may help people fall asleep.
According to one 2015 study, glycine improves sleep by helping modulate the circadian rhythm, which governs the sleep-wake cycle.
One glycine supplement a person may want to try is from Life Extension. Life Extension claim that this supplement is vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
A person should talk to their doctor before taking any supplement, especially if they have any underlying health conditions or are taking any prescription medications.
If natural sleep supplements are not working, a doctor will design an appropriate treatment plan.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the following steps for falling asleep:
- Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
- Go to bed at around the same time each night.
- Do not eat a large meal before bedtime.
- Stay physically active during the day, if possible.
- Keep the bedroom cool, quiet, and dark.
Natural sleeping pills are available online and at most local pharmacies. The FDA do not regulate them, however, so a person should read reviews of the products and check for certifications from third party testing agencies.
If natural pills are not helping with sleep, a person should consider talking to their doctor.