Melatonin is a type of hormone that is naturally found in the body and this hormone helps people fall asleep easily, once the sleep and wake cycle has been disturbed. Taking melatonin supplements is common for people who are working in shifts or are those who are trying to recover from a jet lag. These sleep aids can come in the form of liquid, capsules or tablet. Although taking melatonin supplements are consider more natural than prescribed sleeping pills, some brands make it from synthetic ingredients. Therefore, the best and healthiest way to increase Melatonin is through certain foods such as bananas, morello cherries, pineapples, oranges, oats, warm milk etc.
Valerian is a type of herb that is being used for centuries as a sedative in treating insomnia and anxiety. Studies have shown that valerian increases quality of sleep and also help people fall asleep quicker. It is not addictive and usually will not cause any side effects. However, some people do complain of morning grogginess, headache, upset stomach, uneasiness, irregular heartbeat etc. Valerian can be taken as a tea, capsule or extract. Make sure to consult your doctor before taking this as a supplement as it could have interactions with some antidepressants.
Kava is a herb which produces a calming effect. It is used in treating anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, stress and its related symptoms such as muscle tension or spasm. Its effects may also extend to pain relief. When used for sleep, kava can help increase deep sleep. It is not addictive but many will develop a resistance to the herb. Kava may not be suitable for all. FDA has recently listed an advisory to consumers regarding the potential risk of liver injury as a result of supplements that contains Kava. Kava should not be taken for a period longer than 3 months. The herb should not be used with alcohol or psychotropic medicines which includes antidepressants. Always consult your doctor before starting any supplements.