Cleveland Clinic: Integrative medicine specialist Naoki Umeda, MD, speaks about the pros and cons of using supplements to improve sleep.
According to Dr. Umeda, “While some natural remedies such as melatonin, valerian, magnesium or chamomile tea may help for some people, there’s no definitive evidence from randomized controlled trials these are effective for typical insomnia,” he says.
There are, though, some supplements that may help, but you should consult your healthcare provider for more information.
Melatonin is a hormone that’s related to sleep control. While it may be effective for shift work sleep disorder or jet lag, it hasn’t been found to aid typical insomnia. It may increase the effect of warfarin (a blood thinner), and it should not be used if you are pregnant.
Valerian is an herb that may help improve sleep quality. It is considered safe if you take in recommended doses, but don’t use if you are pregnant.
Magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate may also help improve sleep quality by changing the amount of some neurotransmitters that have a calming effect. Taking excessive amounts, however, can cause digestive issues like diarrhea. It can be used while you are pregnant, but please consult your Ob/Gyn.