Alternative Treatments for Sleep Disorders
Exercise for Sleep Disorders
Regular exercise deepens sleep in young adults -- whether or not they have trouble sleeping. In addition, several studies show that exercise can improve sleep in older people. Recent studies show that even low-to-moderate tai chi can improve the quality of sleep for older people, while Tibetan yoga exercises can help cancer patients with sleep problems. Although consistent exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, most experts advise completing exercise at least three to four hours before bedtime to avoid interference with sleep.
Warnings About Alternative Therapies
Alternative therapies are not always benign; in particular, some herbal products can interact with other medications you may be taking. Consider the following points before starting alternative therapy:
- Always talk to your doctor before trying an alternative approach, and tell your doctor what alternative treatments you are using.
- If you experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, diarrhea, or skin rashes, stop taking the herbal product and notify your doctor immediately.
- Avoid preparations made with more than one herb.
- Beware of commercial claims made for herbal products. Look for scientific-based sources of information.
- Select brands carefully. Only buy brands that list the common and scientific name of the herb, the name and address of the manufacturer, a batch and lot number, expiration date, dosage guidelines, and potential side effects.