Need to rest? Here’s how to choose the best sleep supplement :: WRAL.com

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If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have trouble sleeping, supplements could solve your problem.

However, before buying or trying anything, there are a few important things to consider.

Breast cancer survivor Kelly Goldstein had trouble falling asleep for years – until her doctor prescribed her Ambien.

“I was happy that it knocked me out. I wasn’t thrilled with the side effects,” she said.

One of the main side effects she experienced was trouble sleeping.

“A lot of times there was a bag of popcorn next to my half-eaten bed,” she said.

This made her uncomfortable, so she tried melatonin – a supplement of a naturally produced hormone that regulates our sleep and wake cycles.

“It allowed me to fall asleep and get ready for bed,” she said.

Lauren Friedman, Consumer Reports’ health editor, said: “It’s a good option for people who may not be producing enough hormones and can also help people who work night shifts or have pain. jet lag.”

Other sleep supplement options:

  • Valerian root or vitamin D for insomnia
  • Iron if you have restless leg syndrome

However, Consumer Reports warns: Be careful when shopping.

“The Food and Drug Administration does not hold supplements to the same standards as over-the-counter and prescription drugs. They also don’t check what the labels say in the supplements,” says Friedman.

Groups like US Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab.com and NSF check labels — so Consumer Reports says to look for their marks or seals.

Some supplements can cause very serious side effects. They can also interact dangerously with other medications and have side effects if taken long term. According to Consumer Reports, always be sure to consult your doctor before taking anything.

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