When we’re seeking solutions to health problems we generally look to doctors and scientists for the best advice. But what happens when the experts don’t actually have all the answers?
This is often the case when we talk about sleep supplements. This rapidly growing market comprises a dizzying array of off-the-shelf products blending plant extracts, micronutrients, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, all of which purport to be able to help alleviate sleep problems in one way or the other.
The problems stem from the fact that whilst there exists a modest body of scientific literature showing potential efficacy for solving some sleep issues, the sleep supplement industry – devoid of regulatory restrictions – is forging ahead to satisfy the enormous demand for novel, non-pharmaceutical based sleep solutions.
We take a deep dive into these murky waters, exploring many of the lesser-discussed issues including the marketing of products, the distinctions between medical, anxiety and lifestyle-based sleep problems, the dichotomy of ‘pill’s vs ‘behaviour change’, the overlap of diet and nutrition, and also examining the exciting future potential of a new era of ‘nutritional sleep medicine’.
This episode’s guest:
Jesse Cook is a 4th year Clinical Psychology graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the active Sleep Research Society Trainee Member At-Large. Jesse completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, where he established an initial passion and skillset for Sleep Research through his time as a research assistant in Dr. Richard Bootzin’s Sleep Research Laboratory.
Jesse’s research primarily focus on the assessment and treatment of persons with unexplained excessive daytime sleepiness. Additionally, he has published multiple papers evaluating the utility and ability of wearable consumer technologies as a sleep assessor, relative to PSG. You can reach Jesse by email at firstname.lastname@example.org