Tags: alternative | insomnia

Experts Urge Studies of Herbal Insomnia Remedies

Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012 11:05 AM


Health experts are calling for more research into the benefits of a bevy of herbal and alternative remedies for insomnia commonly in use in the U.S.
The recommendation, urged in a new report in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies, is based on studies that show as many as one in three Americans suffers from chronic sleep deprivation and another 10-15 percent has chronic insomnia.
“Over-the-counter herbal remedies are often used to treat insomnia, but surprisingly, very little research has been done to study their efficacy,” according to the new report. “Sleep disorders can profoundly affect a person's whole life and have been linked to a range of diseases, including obesity, depression, anxiety, and inflammatory disorders.”
For the report, researchers conducted a search of the Internet and electronic databases to identify literature on herbal remedies that are commonly used to manage insomnia. They found that few scientific studies had been published that reported on the therapeutic potential and safety of these herbal remedies and the results were either inconclusive or contradictory.
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Considering the potential a natural management strategy could offer patients with insomnia, additional research is required, they added.
Among the natural remedies used to treat insomnia:
• Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle and can cause drowsiness, lower body temperature and slow metabolic functions, and puts the body into sleep mode.
• Magnesium can play a key role in sleep regulation, with some studies showing deficiencies can prevent the brain from settling down at night. Good sources include green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and almonds.
• Valerian root has been used to treat sleep problems since the time of ancient Rome and Greece, but research on its effectiveness has had mixed results.
• L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves that can ease anxiety that interferes with sleep by boosting production of the feel-good hormone serotonin.




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Health experts are calling for more research into the benefits of herbal and alternative remedies for insomnia.
alternative,insomnia
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2012-05-24
Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012 11:05 AM
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