Are natural sleep remedies really safe? Natural sleep aids do not undergo the same stringent test and inspection process as over-the- Counter or prescription medicines, leading some individuals to question whether or not natural sleep remedies really are safe. Well-known natural sleep remedies such as Valerian root have been clinically proven to aid a person’s quality of sleep. But is this enough?
Not necessarily. Although herbal sleep aids have been scientifically and medically tested, not all natural sleep remedies are created equally. There are certain dosages, forms, and combinations of dietary supplements that may cause side effects, depending on your exact circumstances. For instance, you can have too little or too much Valerian root in your system at one time.
Natural Sleep Remedies
The most common natural sleep remedies, available to older adults or those suffering from other sleep problems, include herbal teas, warm milk, and deep sleep music. Herbal teas are available in various combinations such as lavender, jasmine, and hops. Warm milk can be used to help bring you to sleep, as well as calming teas. Deep sleep music is soothing and aids in the induction of REM sleep. Typically, the music is played in the late afternoon or early evening, before your body feels sleepy.
In addition to these, there are other considerations regarding the safety of natural sleep aids. It is important to remember that natural sleep aids are not cures, they are only aids. They are not intended to replace traditional sleeping pills, and they should never be used by people with underlying sleep disorders. If you are experiencing any side effects, it is best to consult with your doctor.
Side Effects Of Sleep Apnea
One of the more serious side effects is sleep apnea, a condition in which the individual stops breathing for short intervals during the night. Sleep apnea can lead to daytime fatigue, depression, and high blood pressure. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association concluded that people who suffer from chronic insomnia are more likely to develop acne. Fortunately, researchers have developed natural sleep remedies that may reduce the risk of developing apnea. These remedies include changing lifestyle habits, including quitting smoking and reducing stress. In addition, some herbs are believed to ease depression and anxiety, while others are said to induce relaxation.
Studies have shown natural sleep remedies to be effective when combined with other strategies. For instance, one method includes teaching your loved one to move his or her legs regularly. Regular, short leg movement improves circulation in the legs, making it easier for them to fall asleep. Another strategy involves getting your in-home caregiver involved. An in-home caregiver can teach your loved one to position the body so the chin is resting on the chest, which can improve the breathing process.
Other Effective Natural Sleep Remedies
Other natural sleep remedies include taking regular exercise and sticking to a healthy diet. Taking vitamin or mineral supplements regularly, such as vitamin C, magnesium, and niacin, has been shown to help relax the muscles and decrease the amount of oxygen consumed by the brain. In addition, certain vitamins are said to improve brain function, such as Vitamin D and B6. Taking a daily dose of fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, has also been shown to improve the quality of sleep. However, it is important to discuss these potential benefits with your doctor or primary care practitioner.
If you have been prescribed medications to treat your chronic insomnia, such as sedatives, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines, you should avoid using them for at least two weeks before beginning any natural sleep remedies. Always consult with your primary care provider before stopping any prescription medications. As noted above, natural sleep remedies may help you to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with insomnia, but they should not be used in place of medications. As noted above, there are many different types of treatments available for patients suffering from insomnia, including lifestyle and dietary changes.