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Insomnia

Also indexed as:Sleeplessness
Tired of insomnia? Fortunately, there are alternatives to counting sheep to help you get a healthy night's sleep. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
L-Tryptophan
1 to 2 grams at bedtime 3 stars[3 stars]
L-tryptophan has been used successfully for people with insomnia in many studies,including double-blind trials.
Valerian
300 to 600 mg of a concentrated root extract 30 minutes before bedtime3 stars[3 stars]
Valerian may help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep quality.
5-HTP
Adults: 200 mg two hours before bedtime and 400 mg at bedtime; children: 3 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) body weight2 stars[2 stars]
5-HTP is converted into serotonin and might, therefore, be helpful for insomnia. In one study, supplementing with 5-HTP appeared to improve sleep quality.
Corydalis
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Corydalis contains several ingredients, one of which has been shown to influence the nervous system, providing pain relief and promoting relaxation.
Hops
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Hops is commonly recommended by doctors as a mild sedative for those suffering from insomnia or nervous exhaustion.
Lavender
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Lavender oil's aroma is known to be calming and may be helpful in some cases of insomnia.
Melatonin

(Tinnitus)
Take under medical supervision: 3 mg daily at bedtime2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with melatonin may improve sleep quality and relieve other symptoms of severe tinnitus.
Melatonin
Take under medical supervision: 0.5 to 3.0 mg daily one to two hours before bedtime2 stars[2 stars]
Taking melatonin before bedtime may help reset your body's internal clock.
Tart Cherry
1-8 ounces up to twice daily for seven days 2 stars[2 stars]
Tart cherries contain a small amount of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin and may improve some measures of sleep quality.
American Scullcap
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
American scullcap is commonly recommended by doctors as a mild sedative for those suffering from insomnia or nervous exhaustion.
Bitter Orange
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Bitter orange has a history of use as a calming agent and to counteract insomnia.
Catnip
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Catnip is commonly recommended by doctors as a mild sedative for those suffering from insomnia or nervous exhaustion.
Chamomile
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile is commonly recommended by doctors as a mild sedative for those suffering from insomnia or nervous exhaustion. It is a particularly good choice for children whose insomnia may be related to gastrointestinal upset.
Lemon Balm
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Studies have found a combination of valerian and lemon balm to be effective at improving sleep.
Magnesium
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People with period limb movements during sleep or restless legs syndrome often have sleep problems. In one trial, insomniacs with these conditions slept better after supplementing with magnesium.
Passion Flower
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Passion flower is commonly recommended by doctors as a mild sedative for those suffering from insomnia or nervous exhaustion.
Vitamin B12
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In two small preliminary trials, people with insomnia resulting from disorders of the sleep-wake rhythm improved after supplementing with vitamin B12.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

Learn more about Aisle7, the company.

Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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