Ones For Wellness: Sleep Supplements

The rate of insomnia in the United States has more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began, research shows.

Video Transcript

- Sleep problems, something that so many of us struggle with daily-- and according to the American sleep Association, between 50 and 70 million US adults have a sleep disorder of some kind. All kinds of supplements and prescriptions promise to help. But in today's Ones for Wellness, Brooke Katz looks into what's safe and what actually works.

BROOKE KATZ: From pills to powders, even gummies, all sorts of products promise you a better night's sleep. But do they work?

BRANDY ROANE: It really depends on the person and what you're using it for.

BROOKE KATZ: We talked to Dr. Brandy Roane, a sleep specialist with UNT Health Science Center.

BRANDY ROANE: It's more a matter of-- if you're legitimately low in something, definitely taking the supplement to ensure that you're at your normal levels.

BROOKE KATZ: She says melatonin can help when you're trying to shift your sleep. To go to sleep earlier, take it two hours before your intended bedtime. Studies have also shown valerian root can help. But Dr. Roane says it's most likely your nighttime ritual that's really priming you for sleep.

BRANDY ROANE: If you have a routine that involves valerian tea, and you have a bedtime routine, where you drink some tea, it's low, it's quiet, it's calming, you go through-- you brush your teeth, do your four to five things in your bedtime routine, and then you get into bed and you attempt sleep, you will start associating that valerian root tea with sleep onset.

BROOKE KATZ: When it comes to winding down with wine, she warns alcohol can actually make your sleep worse. As for prescription medication, she says it's best to have a detailed conversation with your doctor.

BRANDY ROANE: The biggest thing is recognizing that these are things that are helping to promote the sleep pathway. But at any point. They can stop working. The other piece of this is if you aren't sleeping sufficiently and you still have this in your bloodstream when you wake up the next morning, you are more prone to accidents.

BROOKE KATZ: Brooke Katz, CBS 11 News.

- Well, Dr. Roane really suggests talking to your doctor about any supplement that you're taking and monitoring your reactions. While melatonin is great for some people, she says it can induce more dreams and nightmares in others. And it can even cause next-day grouchiness. So keep that in mind. She says it is best if you and your medical provider are--