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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2007 May;8(4):248-52. Epub 2007 Apr 18.

Do herbal agents have a place in the treatment of sleep problems in long-term care?

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University of California, Los Angeles, Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Sleep disruption is common in the long-term care setting. This article discusses the available literature on 2 herbal approaches to sleep problems in long-term care. The largest body of evidence exists for the use of the dietary/herbal supplements valerian and melatonin. While these agents appear to have a modest positive effect on sleep quality among older adults, most studies were small in size and included only subjective assessments of sleep quality. In addition, it is unclear whether these agents pose risks to long-term care residents because of potential drug interactions. Additional research is needed before making conclusive recommendations about the use of these interventions for sleep in the long-term care setting.

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