Alternative Medicine for Sleep, Part 2: A Natural Way to Get Your Zs

If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, don’t ask your doctor to pull out her prescription pad just yet. Prescription sleep drugs are often effective, but can have side effects. These include memory loss, decrease in sexual desire, and morning grogginess. Instead, consider taking sleep-inducing herbs and supplements.

Supplements and herbs are safer than sleep drugs. The bad news: They are neither as consistently effective nor as potent as pharmaceuticals. The good news: By combining certain herbs and nutrients, most people see good results.

Good Night Rx is one supplement you might take to help you sleep. It is a combination of 5-HTP, melatonin, GABA, taurine, kava, valerian, hops, chamomile, and several other herbs. I am quite proud of this formula – which took me years of trial and error to develop. And thus far, feedback has been quite positive, with an 80 percent satisfaction rate. (Quite high for an herbal product.) One to three hours before bed, you take one capsule on an empty stomach. When taken with or just after a meal, this supplement will not work as well. So wait at least half an hour after taking Good Night Rx if you plan to have a late night snack.

Some people say they notice the sleep-inducing effects are even better the second or third night of use. But please note that dosage and timing can vary significantly among different people.

[Ed. Note: Ray Sahelian, MD, the author of Mind Boosters, is internationally recognized as a moderate voice in the evaluation of natural supplements. Visit Dr. Sahelian’s website at, and read more of his articles about the supplements you should and shouldn’t be taking at ETR’s free natural health e-letter.]