Sleep is essential for your overall physical and cognitive health. Even busy people should get enough sleep to regain lost energy. During sleep, your cells regenerate and essential biochemical processes in your body take place. Sleep supplements are popular because they are natural alternatives to synthetic sleeping pills. In addition, natural sleep supplements are safer and more obtainable. However, natural sleep aids also have certain disadvantages. Let’s find out about Sleep Supplements’ Pros and Cons.
Sleep Supplements Pros
PRO: Fall asleep faster and longer with the intake of sleep aids
Manufacturers created sleep aids to help you sleep better. Whenever you’re having a problem falling asleep, it affects your sleep duration especially when you need to get up early the next day. Excessive use of gadgets before sleeping is another possible cause of insomnia. You need to somehow modify your lifestyle to reap the maximum benefits of sleep aids. Sleep aids induce relaxation which helps you fall asleep faster and longer.
Sleep aids (most notably melatonin) are also capable of correcting early stages of circadian rhythm disorders. Restoring your circadian rhythm is also essential in warding off insomnia. In addition, people with circadian rhythm problems often don’t fall asleep at all. However, if circadian rhythm disorder persists despite the intake of sleep supplement, you might need to seek medical attention.
PRO: Natural sleep formulas may boost your cognition
For optimum mental performance, you need to get enough sleep. That is why natural sleep formulas can keep your mind sharp. In addition, some natural sleep aids double as nootropic ingredients to further enhance your cognition. So, you can wake up with enhanced brainpower after taking sleep aids.
PRO: Sleep aids induce relaxation
For you to fall asleep, you need to relax your body and mind. Relaxation of the mind means that sleep aids temporarily frees your mind from anxiety, insomnia, stress and other factors which might get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Your body also needs to relax for you to sleep properly. Some sleep aids even induce muscle relaxation to help you sleep better. As you relax, your body and mind recovers. Sleep aids might even induce enough relaxation to reduce snoring. In addition, sleep also trigger cell repair. However, the key to great sleep is to relax so that your cells can regenerate effectively.
PRO: Prevents the short- and long-term health consequences attributed to sleep disruption and deprivation
Sleep disruption and deprivation affects about 60 million Americans every year. The negative effects that sleep disruption and deprivation can have on your health vary greatly. Moreover, they also affect your physiological and neurological health. Many people underestimate the importance of sleep. Sadly, that is why many individuals experience sleep disruption and deprivation. In spite of that, they are still ignoring its health risks. Here are the most common consequences of sleep disruption and deprivation:
- Increased stress levels
- Somatic problems
- Psychosocial issues
- Increased risk of kidney problems
- Cardiovascular disease
- Decreased nitric oxide
- Elevated risk for metabolic diseases
- Increased risk for certain cancers
- Early death
PRO: Sleep supplements enhance your physical performance
You need to get enough sleep to reach your peak physical performance. Athletes and bodybuilders often follow strict sleeping schedules to maintain muscle mass and strength. Even during sleep, your body can maintain its anabolic state. In fact, there are specific supplements for maintaining anabolism during sleep. These supplements are mainly post-workout and BCAA supplements.
Natural sleep supplements vs. synthetic sleeping pills – Pros and cons
|Natural Sleep Supplements||Synthetic Sleeping Pills|
|Ingredients||Naturally-occurring compounds||Synthetic compounds|
|Common side effects||Headache, dizziness, gastric distress, and daytime drowsiness||Headache, constipation, urinary retention, forgetfulness, clumsiness, dry mouth, and throat and daytime drowsiness|
|Prescription||Not necessary. All are available over-the-counter.||Most are prescription drugs|
|May cause dependency or addiction||Yes||Yes|
|May cause withdrawal symptoms||Yes||Yes|
|Drug interaction||Possible, but less likely||Yes|
Sleep Supplements Cons
CON: You might feel daytime sleepiness
Daytime sleepiness might be a problem, especially if you work or study during the day. You need mental alertness and energy. That is why feeling daytime sleepiness is a possible problem after the intake of sleep supplements. However, you can easily offset this by consuming energy boosters during the day. Usually, your morning coffee can help you avoid daytime sleepiness if you took sleep supplements the night before.
CON: Sleep supplements may cause dizziness and headaches
Sleep supplements induce relaxation. However, their effects can be too much for some people. That is why you might feel headache or dizziness soon after taking natural sleep aids. When this happens, you can lower the dosage of your sleep supplement (you can even take only half of the recommended dosage).
CON: Some sleep aids can cause gastric distress
Natural sleep aid formulas feature mostly herbal extracts, amino acids, essential nutrients, hormones, and other biochemical compounds. However, not all ingredients of sleep aids are easy on your stomach. Some ingredients for sleep (most notably melatonin) might cause gastric distress depending on the dosage.
People may tolerate sleep aids differently, but this side effect remains a possibility. You can opt for sleep formulas which contains ingredients that are less likely to cause gastric distress (such as l-theanine, an amino acid you can find in top-notch sleep supplements EVLNUTRITION SLEEPMODE and PHARMAFREAK GH FREAK ).
CON: Ideal for short-term sleeping problems only
Sleep aids are only ideal for short-term sleeping problems because one might depend on them too much. It’s possible one can develop tolerance and dependence on the ingredients of sleep aids upon long-term use. In addition, the likelihood of experiencing side effects from natural sleep aids increase with prolonged intake. You might even experience withdrawal symptoms upon sudden stops after extended intake of sleep aids.
Conclusion on Sleep Supplements Pros and Cons
Sleep supplements are safer and probably cheaper than synthetic sleeping pills. They are safe for short-term use. However, the primary con of sleep aids is their potential addictive qualities. Even though sleep aids boast of natural ingredients, dependency and addiction remain possible. That is why sleep aids we don’t recommended them for long-term use.
Sleep aids produce maximum benefits only when one uses them based on the manufacturer’s recommended dosage. If your sleeping problem persists (despite the intake of sleep aids), it is best to consult a doctor. Underlying medical conditions can also contribute to sleeping problems.
The effects of sleep supplements greatly depend on the quality of its individual ingredient. You can check out our guide on How to Buy a Good Supplement to help you choose a high-quality sleep formula. However, if you would like to know the best sleep supplements that we have reviewed so far, you can check out our Best Sleep Supplements 2018 Edition. Now, you can never go wrong in choosing the right sleep aid for you.
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