Consumer Reports examines sleep supplements, drugs that promise sweet dreams

If you have trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. One in 3 of us isn’t getting the uninterrupted, good-quality sleep we need. There are lots of products out there sold with claims that with just one dose, you’ll be dozing right off. Really? Consumer Reports looks into sleep supplements and drugs with promises to be a dream come true.

We’ve all been there after a rough night of sleep: facing the next day isn’t fun. Not sleeping enough isn’t just annoying, it can actually contribute to serious health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain, and depression.

For decades, many people have turned to over-the-counter sleep drugs. But they can leave you feeling drowsy the next day.

Prescription sleep medications, even the newer ones, come with additional risks. Some have also been linked to sleepwalking and other odd nighttime behaviors. So you should take the lowest dose for the shortest time possible.

Another option is CBD, or cannabidiol. CBD is shown to have mild side effects and isn’t addictive.

But if you suffer from chronic insomnia, before you turn to CBD it’s time to make an appointment with your physician. He or she might suggest a more proven treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps focus on behavior that can improve your sleep.

If you still want to give CBD a try, talk with your doctor, especially if you take other medications, because CBD may interact with them.

And what about melatonin? Consumer Reports says it might be a good option for people who work night shifts or are jet-lagged. But taking more than what your body produces can cause you to be sleepy or mentally and physically slow the next day. You should start off with a dose between .2 and .5 mg and never take a dose higher than 10 mg.

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About the Authors

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

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