Sleep-aids derived from natural products

Zhenzhen Hu, Seikwan Oh, Tae Woo Ha, Jin Tae Hong, Ki Wan Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Although drugs such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines are often used for the treatment of insomnia, they are associated with various side effects such as habituations, tolerance and addiction. Alternatively, natural products with minimal unwanted effects have been preferred for the treatment of acute and/or mild insomnia, with additional benefits of overall health-promotion. Basic and clinical researches on the mechanisms of action of natural products have been carried out so far in insomnia treatments. Recent studies have been focusing on diverse chemical components available in natural products, with an interest of developing drugs that can improve sleep duration and quality. In the last 15 years, our co-workers have been actively looking for candidate substances from natural products that can relieve insomnia. This review is, therefore, intended to bring pharmacological data regarding to the effects of natural products on sleep duration and quality, mainly through the activation of GABAA receptors. It is imperative that phytochemicals will provide useful information during electroencephalography (EEG) analysis and serve as an alternative medications for insomnia patients who are reluctant to use conventional drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalBiomolecules and Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology.


  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Insomnia
  • Natural products
  • Pharmacological mechanisms
  • Sleep


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