Supplements for better-quality sleep are in high demand. “Consumers are looking for supplements that can help promote restful and restorative sleep,” says Erin Stokes, ND, medical director at MegaFood, which markets Dream Release sleep formula and other supplements. She quotes a National Institutes of Health figure of 60 million Americans per year who report frequent insomnia or extended bouts of it. Likewise, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in February 2016 that more than one in three Americans was sleeping less than the recommended seven hours per night. “Sleeping less than seven hours…is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress,” CDC’s report explained.
The health and safety consequences of too little sleep seem to be pretty well publicized to and understood by Americans, which is why it comes as no surprise that supplement makers are increasingly marketing various “natural” alternatives to over-the-counter and prescription sleep drugs. These supplements contain ingredients ranging from minerals to amino acids to herbs to hormones, including magnesium, GABA, L-theanine, L-tryptophan, chamomile, hops, lemon balm, melatonin, and the subject of this slideshow, valerian root. Valerian-containing sleep supplements are available as capsules, tablets, gummies, melt-aways, and liquids targeted at nearly all demographics: adults, children, and athletes.
While melatonin supplements
appear to be leading the sleep-supplement pack, this slideshow takes a closer look at valerian, which has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and appears in many current-day sleep-supplement formulations.
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