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Do Any Sleep Products Actually Work?

A sleep psychologist talks about whether any products that claim to help promote sleep actually work.

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There are all kinds of products that claim to help you sleep, like essential oils, sound machines and melatonin. But, do any of them actually work? Image for illustration purposes
There are all kinds of products that claim to help you sleep, like essential oils, sound machines and melatonin. But, do any of them actually work? Image for illustration purposes
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CLEVELAND CLINIC – There are all kinds of products that claim to help you sleep, like essential oils, sound machines and melatonin.

But, do any of them actually work?

“At the very best of what they do is they help you create a good wind down routine,” explained Alicia Roth, PhD, sleep psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “That is a key to falling asleep quickly, staying asleep, and having a good restful night of sleep.”

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Dr. Roth said there’s nothing wrong with trying different sleep products, but it’s important to understand there’s no perfect recipe.

And that’s something she tells her patients.

The more effort you put into finding the right sleep products, the more stress you’re going to put on yourself.

Instead, Dr. Roth recommends creating a wind down routine, which starts about an hour before bed.

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You want to relax your body and mind, so maybe that’s reading or watching an old TV show.

It’s important not to do anything stimulating.

Dr. Roth said you may also want to consider cognitive behavioral therapy.

“The scientifically proven treatment for insomnia is called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, and we call it CBTI for short. And for decades, CBTI has been run through clinical trials,” she said. “It’s found to be more effective above and beyond sleep medications, across people of different ages with different illnesses and different circumstances in their life.”

When it comes to sleep supplements, like melatonin, Dr. Roth said it’s best to consult with your physician before taking them

You want to make sure they can’t interfere with any medical condition you may have or other medications you are prescribed.

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