Loads of people take supplements to help them sleep, prevent a cold, boost energy, and even improve memory. But supplements aren't regulated by the FDA, so the manufacturers of these pills don't have to list any potential side effects. While studies on supplements and their side effects are limited and often inconclusive, we asked Sophia DeMonte, rPH, a COSTCO pharmacist, and APhA spokesperson and Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND author of The Magnesium Miracle to detail some of the unexpected symptoms five common supplements may cause:
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What it's used for: Sleeplessness and insomnia.
Possible side effects: Vivid dreams.
Valerian has been used for centuries as a calming aid, muscle relaxant, and to foster deep sleep. According to Dr. Dean, vivid dreams may occur as a result.
"If you sleep poorly and wake often you may not be getting into a deep enough sleep to dream, so if you take Valerian and notice you dream more, what's likely happening is you're getting into a deeper sleep," she says.
So if you take valerian and experience a memorable nocturnal adventure, it's not the Valerian that's lighting up your night, but the deeper sleep it's helping you get.