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National Institutes of Health • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

NCCAM Clinical Digest. For health professionals.

Sleep Disorders and Complementary Health Approaches

April 2014
A woman relaxes with her head on a pillow.

People who have trouble sleeping often try various dietary supplements, relaxation therapies, or other complementary health approaches in an effort to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and improve the overall quality of their sleep. Research on complementary health practices and sleep disorders has produced promising results for relaxation techniques and melatonin. Evidence about other products and practices is limited, and safety concerns have been raised about a few.

This issue of the digest summarizes recent research about some of the complementary health approaches that people use most for sleep disorders, including relaxation therapy, other mind and body practices, melatonin, and several other dietary supplements and botanical products.

Time to Talk Tips: 5 Things To Know About Sleep Disorders and Complementary Health Approaches

Read more about what the science says

Scientific Literature

NCCAM Clinical Digest is a service of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, NIH, DHHS. NCCAM Clinical Digest, a monthly e-newsletter, offers evidence-based information on CAM, including scientific literature searches, summaries of NCCAM-funded research, fact sheets for patients, and more.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, training CAM researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCAM's Clearinghouse toll-free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at nccam.nih.gov. NCCAM is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, the Federal focal point for medical research in the United States.

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Content is in the public domain and may be reprinted, except if marked as copyrighted (©). Please credit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as the source. All copyrighted material is the property of its respective owners and may not be reprinted without their permission.

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