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A 37-year-old member asked:

what herbs help sleep disorders?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Duhon
Sleep Medicine 35 years experience
None, or some..maybe: For initial insomnia - research suggests some scents(eg. Chamomile) can aid relaxation, as may teas from chamomile, valerian and kava. There are no manufacturing standards for these substances, so dosages vary and are unreliable. Some people find magnesium helpful for falling asleep or for restless legs. There are no valid herbal remedies for sleep apnea, narcolepsy, parasomnias, etc.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
There are "GMP Standards" for manufacturing botanical medicines. A useful web site to check on contents and independent testing of products is www.consumerlab.com Clearly, not every product available is there, but you can review many.
Sep 21, 2012
Dr. Beverly Dexter
Clinical Psychology 25 years experience
Herbs and sleep: None are FDA regulated so the research is less compelling. I teach a comprehensive CBT for Insomnia class. Some people find melatonin helpful (not an herb, made natural from other animals or synthetic). Valerian root and kava are sometimes used but I don't recommend spending very much if you are going to try them because there is no solid evidence they would help. Herbal teas may be more an expect
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Herbs: Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), California poppy Eschscholzia californica), Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa), Lemon Balm ((Melissa officinalis)), passion flower (Passiflora incarnata), Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), Hops (Humulus lupulus), Lavender (Lavandula officinalis), St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) & are herbs which can aid with sleep.

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How often does ptsd affect sleep?

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Very often: Ptsd can cause nightmares and can be disruptive to sleep in other ways, like through depression. There are medications like Clonidine and prazosin that can help with nightmares, but psychotherapy also works. Try not to use alcohol to help you sleep as it can make the nightmares worse as the alcohol wears off, and lead to dependance. There are treatments for ptsd, seek help.
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How can I overcome past tragedies that affect my sleep?

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You may need help: It's not clear why people with similar tragedies take different paths after the tragedy. That is not known. After a tragedy most folks experience sleep problems (too much or even too little). In some, dreams can be so real it feels like living the tragedy all over again. "flashback" types of dreams that persist may indicate ptsd. Counseling & medication can help in that extreme case. Don't wait.
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What is a sleep disturbance? Do you have to wake up or can you sleep through it?

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Does anybody know about sleep disorders when first starting new job?

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Anxiety: Anxiety causes lots of sleep issues. Mostly it has to do with falling asleep and waking up too early. This can be months or days before new job or "new stress" and can persist if not taken care of with relaxation strategies and stress relief.

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