There are a number of 'natural' insomnia medications out there. A few that spring to mind include Kava Kava, Valerian Root and melatonin supplements. Just because these are marketed as natural, it doesn't mean they don't come without risks or side effects.
This article from the Los Angeles Times debates the effectiveness of melatonin supplements and for that reason alone it's worth a read. However, of more interest to us was this part of the article:
"Although studies in children suggest that doses of 1 - 10 mg melatonin have little to no side effects, there is not enough information to clearly say that doses greater than 0.3 mg per day are safe in children under age 15. In fact, doses between 1 - 5 mg may cause seizures in this age group."
Now, we found that last part rather worrying and this information further reinforces our view that insomnia medication (whether marketed as natural or not) should always be seen as a last resort, not a first. Additionally, we hope this also serves as a note of caution - just because something is 'natural', it doesn't mean it's without risk or side effects.
Always consult your doctor before taking any medication or supplements for your insomnia - natural or not.
Last updated: April 30, 2010