Can't fall asle at night?
Instead of taking a sleeping pill, millions of people reach for the dietary supplement, melatonin, but it's not without risks.
Leah linschied and consumer reports explain what you need to know .
((end pkg)) (o/c close) ((tease: /sot/vo)) (sot) "you can't just assume it's safe.
It's not regulated in the same way as prescription and over the counter drugs."
(v/o) need help sleeping?
Here's some information you should know before reaching for that sleep aid.
"i usually get about six hours of sleep a night."
"four to five hours" "five hours" a consumer reports survey finds 80 percent of adults in the u.s. struggle with sleep at least once a week.
And everyone has their own way of dealing with it.
"i usually just lay there."
"i toss and turn.
Sometimes i get up and start cleaning up my house."
"when i have trouble sleeping, i try to take melatonin."
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that is naturally produced by the body and it's also available as a popular supplement.
Studies do show it can be helpful but only for some people under certain conditions.
Lauren friedman, consumer reports health editor "if you're jet lagged, if you have to work a night shift, or if you're getting older.
For people who are 70 or older, your body might not produce enough melatonin on its own."
Still there are lots of other people using melatonin--is it safe?
Lauren friedman) "you should never take a dose of melatonin that's more than 10mg.
And you should actually consider starting, if you want to try melatonin, at only about .2 to .5 mg."
Taking more than what your body produces can cause you to be sleepy or mentally or physically slow the next day.
Since melatonin is not regulated by the same rules as prescription and over-the-counter drugs... look for labels from consumer lab-dot- com, nsf international, usp or ul.
They provide some peace of mind that a product contains what's on the label.
Also, check with your doctor before starting melatonin.
It can interact with blood pressure and diabetes drugs.
And be aware of possible side effects... lauren friedman) "after taking melatonin, some people report dizziness or nausea or they say they're drowsy the next day."
So, it's best not to drive when using it.
This is leah linschied consumer reports says there's not enough research to know whether melatonin is safe to use for longer than three months.
You should talk to your