Herbal Sleep Medicines — Be Careful!

Many people believe that herbal medications are relatively benign and do not have any side effects. However, pretty much anything with an effect will have side effects. Plus, herbals work because they contain certain chemicals that mimic traditional drugs. These chemicals can interfere with other medications or medical conditions and should always be checked with a physician or pharmacist before taking.

The main problem with herbal sleep medicines is that they are not regulated. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not have any oversight over herbal medicines. That means you have to trust the company selling the product to be selling what they claim to be selling. Sometimes the herbs may be contaminated with other herbs. Sometimes the dosing from bottle to bottle or even pill to pill can be very different because the herbs were grown under varying conditions. Plant grown collected from nature may have very different properties than those grown in a greenhouse. The timing of harvests and the amount of sunshine or rain can impact potency. Herbs collected from contaminated places can contain heavy metals and various farming chemicals. Because the companies selling herbals do not have to report to any agencies to validate their products, you have to be extra careful with taking herbal sleep medicines.

Here are a few examples of herbal sleep medicines

It is very important to check for drug interactions. Conditions like seizures, epilepsy, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pregnancy, or breastfeeding are important to consider before trying any herbal sleep medications. Contrary to popular belief, herbals can be just as potent as some prescription drugs, and should be used with at least as much caution.

Try listening to music wearing headphones for sleeping!

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