Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UIC Examines Sleep Disorder Self-Treatment With Herbs

Date:
June 7, 2000
Source:
University Of Illinois At Chicago
Summary:
In the June 2 issue of "Sleep Medicine Reviews," researchers at the UIC College of Pharmacy and College of Nursing discuss the propensity of people with sleep disorders to self-treat using herbs, review the most commonly used herbal stimulants and sedatives, and recommend a course of action.

In the June 2 issue of "Sleep Medicine Reviews," researchers at the UIC College of Pharmacy and College of Nursing discuss the propensity of people with sleep disorders to self-treat using herbs. UIC researchers also review the most commonly used herbal stimulants and sedatives, and recommend a course of action to the medical and research communities.

Related Articles


Difficulties with sleep and wakefulness are found in up to 38 percent of the world population. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults in 1998 reported that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily activities at least a few days a month. Ten to 15 percent of these respondents reported using over-the-counter medications or a dietary supplement to help them stay awake during the day.

"Health-care providers have largely ignored this phenomenon in the past, but it is now becoming necessary for providers to educate themselves and their patients in the wise and unwise use of these agents," said Charlotte Gyllenhaal, UIC College of Pharmacy research assistant professor and lead author of the article titled "Efficiency and Safety of Herbal Stimulants and Sedatives in Sleep Disorders."

The researchers reviewed caffeine and caffeine-containing herbs, ephedrine-containing herbs, yohimbe and ginseng for their ability to combat fatigue, as well as valerian, German chamomile, kava, lavender, hops, lemon balm and passion flower for their ability to improve sleep.

They note that caffeine is widely used to control sleepiness, but more research is needed on its use in sleep disorders. They express safety concerns about ephedra and ephedrine, used in stimulants and weight loss products, and yohimbe, used in stimulant and body-building preparations. They note that there is some inconclusive experimental evidence for the use of Asian and Siberian ginseng to treat fatigue.

Experimental evidence also supports the efficacy of the herbal sedatives valerian and kava, which have received the most research attention. Both herbs in small studies decreased sleep onset time and promoted deeper sleep. The researchers note that German chamomile, lavender, hops, lemon balm and passion flower are reputed to be mild sedatives but need much more experimental examination.

The UIC team calls on researchers and medical professionals to address the use of herbs to treat sleep disorders by:· Systematically gathering data about the use of herbals by people with sleep disorders· Exploring herb-drug interactions, especially in relation to elderly patients who take many prescription medications and frequently complain of sleep problems· Continuing basic research into the identity of active compounds and their stability in a variety of preparations· Conducting large-sample, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of herbal sedatives· Examining the prevalence of adulteration and contamination in herbs, especially those imported from areas where there is little manufacturing regulation· Exploring the activity of herbal sedatives in sleep initiation verses sleep maintenance· Asking patients nonjudgmental questions about their use of herbal preparations to aid sleep and wakefulness and incorporating their answers into their medication history

The Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences in the UIC College of Pharmacy, established in 1982, brings together a multidisciplinary group of faculty to pursue research and development projects in areas including the isolation and biological evaluation of agents from plants to treat and prevent a variety of diseases; synthesis and biosynthesis of natural products; drug plant exploration in the tropics; and the computerization of the world's literature on the chemistry and biology of natural medicinal products.

The Center for Narcolepsy Research in the UIC College of Nursing, established in 1986, brings together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers to increase knowledge about excessive sleepiness disorders, including narcolepsy and sleep apnea syndrome. The center also studies the biobehavioral impact of excessive daytime sleepiness on persons and their families. It operates the only Pupillometry Laboratory in the Chicago region that studies the relationship between pupil behavior and other biobehavioral aspects of sleepiness.

With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the largest medical school in the United States and is one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the area.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Chicago. "UIC Examines Sleep Disorder Self-Treatment With Herbs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000606143109.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Chicago. (2000, June 7). UIC Examines Sleep Disorder Self-Treatment With Herbs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000606143109.htm
University Of Illinois At Chicago. "UIC Examines Sleep Disorder Self-Treatment With Herbs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000606143109.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins