Sleep Supplements

Any list of basic lifestyle changes to improve your health is going to include improving your quality of sleep, but that’s easier said than done. Sleeping pills often seem like the domain of musicians and movie stars, but there are actually a range of different supplements claiming to help you achieve a good night’s rest. So, what do you need to know (

Before we start talking about supplements, remember that there are other things that can help you sleep better. Think about your diet and exercise. Is your room nice and restful? What about your lighting? Are you winding down properly at the end of the day? Consider the many things that come under the heading of “sleep hygiene”, then check for possible medical causes.

With that out of the way, let’s dig a bit deeper into the vast range of products that might be considered sleep supplements, whether as pills, potions or lotions. Some are herbal and entirely from nature. Chamomile is a popular one, as is lavender. If you’re down with the modern world, you might have tried CBD. Then there are the supplements cleverly constructed in the lab, such as synthetic melatonin. They can mimic natural compounds in an attempt to enhance the body’s sleep processes.

Sleep supplements may have similar general aims, but they can interact with the body in different ways. Some lower your anxiety levels by calming the nervous system. Others influence your brain and neurotransmitters to try to control your sleep cycles. Of course, there are also variations in how each supplement impacts individuals.

Broadly speaking, sleep supplements can help you fall asleep quicker and for longer but may also allow deeper, more restful and more restorative sleep. Your sleep cycles will hopefully become more regulated. This is particularly useful for those populations that often have more sleep issues, like shift workers, the elderly, or those who have been traveling.

Milder side effects may include headaches, dizziness and grogginess. Stomach problems can be a concern. More serious complications can result from interactions with other medications or if you’re in a vulnerable population (very young, pregnant, elderly). Dependency can be a concern, especially with more concentrated synthetic supplements.

Supplements can be effective sleep aids when used properly, but always consult with a medical provider first to decide which is the safest and most appropriate for you.

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