Consumer Reports recently tackled the question: Are “natural” sleep supplements safe?

For most people, the risks, according to Shelby F. Harris, Psy.D., director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, far outweigh any small benefit. “Just because you can buy it without a prescription doesn’t mean these supplements are without any side effects,” Harris advises. She says she commonly sees patients complaining of dizziness, nausea, vivid dreaming, and sleepiness while taking melatonin. About 20 percent of melatonin users in a 2015 Consumer Reports survey reported next-day grogginess. Melatonin can undermine the effectiveness of blood pressure drugs and diabetes medications.

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