Trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. More than half of us say we’re not getting the uninterrupted sleep we need. Could sleep supplements be a dream come true?
Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle, helping to control when we’re sleepy and when we feel awake.
It’s a good option for people who may not produce enough of the hormone and may also help those who work night shifts or are jet-lagged.
Store shelves are stocked with pills claiming to help you sleep, like Valerian root, used for centuries to treat insomnia.
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And about vitamin D: Some research suggests that if your levels are low, taking a supplement may help you nod off faster and sleep longer.
If it’s restless leg syndrome keeping you up at night, your doctor may suggest taking iron.
But Consumer Reports says be wise when you shop!
The latest news from Consumer Reports magazine.
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t hold supplements to the same standards as they do over-the-counter and prescription drugs. It also doesn’t verify that what the labels on supplements say is actually in the supplements.
But groups like U.S. Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab.com, and NSF do, by testing supplements for risky contaminants like metals or pesticides before they’re sold. So Consumer Reports says look for their marks or seals.
You may not think so, but some supplements can cause serious side effects. They can also interact dangerously with other drugs. Consumer Reports says make sure you always check with your doctor before taking any.
And don’t forget that you can also supplement your sleep supplements with a noise machine to block distractions that might be keeping you awake.