Thursday, February 25, 2010

Catching Some ZZZZ$

This morning I received an email update from Pink magazine about Photoxpress_5668823sleep. This email article discussed and linked to a site for Alteril, “the sleep aid that can make all the difference in your sleep.”


So what is this miraculous substance?

Alteril is an all natural sleep aid formula that contains the ingredients shown to help you sleep. If you are one of the millions of people who have trouble falling asleep, get up in the middle of the night, or wake up groggy in the morning, Alteril may be the solution for you.

Many people have taken sleep aids that contain the ingredients found in Alteril for years for good, sound sleep and now it is available to you for only a fraction of the cost of prescription sleep medications.

Alteril contains three primary ingredients, L-tryptophan, melatonin and valerian, along with additional ingredients believed to help calm and relax you.

Alteril may help you get the deep, restful sleep you need and lets you wake up energized for the entire day. This combination of nutraceuticals interact with brain receptors and is believed to help produce deep restful sleep.

L-tryptophan is the amino acid metabolized to produce serotonin and melatonin; it is frequently blamed for the post-Thanksgiving nap, although this effect remains unproven and controversial.

Melatonin, produced endogenously, promotes sleep. The effects of exogenous melatonin are less clear. According to the government’s evidence report:

  • Evidence suggests that melatonin is not effective in treating most primary sleep disorders with short-term use, although there is some evidence to suggest that melatonin is effective in treating delayed sleep phase syndrome with short-term use.
  • Evidence suggests that melatonin is not effective in treating most secondary sleep disorders with short-term use.
  • No evidence suggests that melatonin is effective in alleviating the sleep disturbance aspect of jet lag and shiftwork disorder.
  • Evidence suggests that melatonin is safe with short-term use.

Valerian, the final ingredient, is the root of a plant used to “treat” insomnia and anxiety. Few studies of sufficient quality exist to judge its efficacy. Few reports of side effects or drug interactions exist, but, once again, it has not been rigorously studied.

Thus, this box appears on the Alteril site:FDA Warn

When I review those bullet points from their web site, it sure sounds like Alteril is intended to treat something; sleeping problems, for instance.

The Alteril site has some great suggestions for sleep hygiene that may be sufficient for most people with occasional insomnia. It reminds me of diet aids that are most effective when used with a prescribed diet and exercise program.

I realize that sponsors and promotions are part of the Pink business plan. I don’t mind getting a pitch for a book or service; I have actually bought some of this stuff. I do mind getting ads for a non-drug that at best can be said to be harmless. Because not everyone is going to look up other sources of information, like I just did.

Sleeping child courtesy of PhotoXpress.

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