A good number of people have sleep problems. They may be physiological or psychological in nature. Whatever the case may be, interrupted sleep and insomnia are literally nightmares that are sure to get in the way of not only a person’s fitness programme, but in his or her quality of life as well.
In general, sleep supplements contain the following ingredients:
1. Lemon balm—its scientific name is Melissa officinalis and is most commonly referred to as the Melissa. This herbal supplement is helpful in promoting good sleep and also helps in relaxing the body’s muscles. It has a popular mint taste which, when added to tea, calms the nerves and helps a person sleep soundly.
2. Lavender—considered as a soothing herb and is also known for promoting good and healthy sleep. This herb is used as one of the best sleep aids for elderly people who suffer from lack of sleep and for babies with colic.
3. Chamomile—an herb with a pleasant taste which belongs to the family of daisies. It helps in relaxing the nerves and muscles. It is found in all the relaxing herbal teas and is known for its calming effects.
4. Hops—it is naturally found in beer. To offset its bitter flavour, it should be mixed with lemon balm. This supplement plays a key role in treating insomnia and is also used as a pain reliever.
5. Valerian—a supplement used as an effective sleep aid and is found in almost all herbal teas. Valerian has a sweet scent and a soothing effect on the muscles.
6. Kava—this is a plant which is a member of the pepper family. Its upsides are its relaxing properties and ability to reduce anxiety.
7. St. John’s Wort—this herb is used to treat depression and anxiety, making it an ideal ingredient for people who cannot sleep due to stress-related issues. However, it can cause an increase in sensitivity to sunlight and should not be taken with prescription medications for depression.
8. Melatonin—this is a natural hormone that helps regulate human circadian cycles (the sleeping-walking cycles). It is known to be effective in regulating a person’s internal clock. It comes in two forms:
a. Immediate Release Melatonin—mainly for those who have trouble falling asleep right away every night.
b. Extended Release Melatonin—ideal for individuals who awaken shortly after falling asleep and experience sleeplessness in the middle of the night.
Melatonin has some potential side effects. One of these is daytime drowsiness which can be easily avoided with lower dosages. Other reported side effects of this hormone are nightmares, vivid dreams and in some cases, sleepwalking. Overuse or incorrect use of this supplement may disrupt the circadian rhythm (a daily rhythmic activity cycle based on a 24-hour period) which may cause irregular sleep-wake cycles.
Other reported side effects of melatonin include:
• Hormonal changes
• Mood changes such as delusion, paranoia and hallucinations
• Increased cholesterol and decreased blood pressure
• Possible negative interaction with common medications including antipsychotic and antidepressant medicines, steroidal medications, birth control pills, anti-inflammatory drugs, blood-thinning and blood pressure medications.
• Possible disorientation and increased risk of seizures, especially when overdosing
• Increased risk of autoimmune disorders such as hepatitis
Women who are pregnant, nursing or trying to get pregnant should avoid melatonin supplements. Excessive use may lead to developmental disorders in the baby. This may also produce a contraceptive effect for women who want to have a baby.
On the other hand, men may experience a decrease in sperm count, decreased sperm mobility and increased breast size. Both genders may experience a decrease in sex drive or libido.
In any case, it’s always best to consult with a physician before taking any unfamiliar supplement.
Amino Z Sleep Supplements
Check out our awesome sleep supplements today:
Nutra-Life Valerian 2000 Complex 60 Tablets
Swisse Ultiboost Sleep 100 Tablets
Nutra-Life Sleep Well 60 Capsules
Nature's Way Rest And Restore Night Multivitamin For Men 60 Tablets
Blackmores Executive Sleep Formula 14 Tablets