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Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re looking for help falling and staying asleep, consider these natural sleep aids:
Melatonin: A naturally-occurring hormone that may help regulate your natural sleep cycle, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Magnesium: A mineral that can help regulate sleep and other critical functions. Proper magnesium intake may help improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep.
Valerian Root: An herb used to treat anxiety, depression, and menopause symptoms. Its popularity as a possible sleep aid is growing, but more studies are needed to verify its efficacy.
Botanicals, such as Lavender or Passionflower: Lavender is often used in aromatherapy for relaxation and may help prepare your body for sleep. Passionflower is known for its calming benefits and is often used in bedtime teas.
It’s important to note that sleep supplements can interact with other medications, like blood thinners. Talk with your doctor before taking a sleep aid to understand any potential risks.
Consult your doctor before using over-the-counter sleep aids, even if they’re natural and generally considered safe.
Melatonin: It’s generally considered safe for short- and long-term use. But studies of melatonin’s effects have been limited to adults, so usage is not recommended for children and adolescents at this time.
Magnesium: Daily intake is generally safe, but you shouldn’t exceed 350 mg of supplemental magnesium per day, according to the National Academy of Medicine. The recommended total daily magnesium intake ranges from 310 mg to 420 mg, depending on age and sex.
Valerian Root: Daily intake should not exceed a month without talking to your doctor.
Research shows that certain sleep aids, like melatonin, are generally effective. But findings on other sleep supplements, like Valerian Root or Passionflower, show mixed results and require more research.
It depends on the specific supplement’s formula, so reading the label instructions is important. But the general rule is to take melatonin about 30 minutes before bed and combine it with a healthy bedtime routine. Melatonin can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to kick in.
Melatonin: Supplements with melatonin are meant to make you groggy, so only take it at night, about 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
Magnesium: It’s safe to take any time of the day, as magnesium does not tend to make you groggy. Ensuring a proper dose of magnesium (not exceeding 350 mg of supplemental magnesium per day) is more important than the time of day if you’re taking it to help aid sleep.
Some supplements may include ingredients with sedative effects. Make sure to talk with your doctor before taking any sleep aids.
Your body naturally produces melatonin — the hormone responsible for preparing your body for sleep. Melatonin works with your body’s circadian rhythm. Levels rise when it’s dark outside to promote sleepiness and then decrease when it’s light outside to signal that it’s time to wake.