Are Chinese Herbs A Better Sleep Aid Than Melatonin?

I am often asked this question.   My answer usually is something like this. 

Just because you are not familiar with Chinese herbs does not mean they not as effective as the everyday sleep aids you've often heard about.  Simply because Chinese medicine has not been the predominant form of medicine in the U.S. for the past 200 plus years does not negate the fact that over a billion people on the earth depend on this medicines systems and theories.  The continual use of herbal sleep medicine for over 1000 years, gives it both a safety record unmatched by other sleep remedies, and a success rating no other natural treatment can hold a candle too.

In comparison, Melatonin was discovered in 1958,  it took another 25 years to accumulate knowledge about  melatonin and what effect it had on both physiological and behavioral aspects of people.  It's use as a sleep aid started about 20 years ago and clinical studies on it's use as a sleep aid vary greatly.  This may be partly due to melatonin not being a regulated drug with regulated dosage levels, like other hormones sold only by prescription.This pineal hormone may be more important for overall well being, than as a OTC (over-the-counter) sleep aid. 

Comparing the two as sleep aids is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.  One is a hormone the other botanical medicine, one has only two decades of use while the other over a thousand years. One has thousands of conclusive studies…. do I need to continue? 

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