A small study published online as an accepted paper in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that saffron was associated with improved sleep quality. The randomized controlled trial involved 55 adults with sleep complaints. They were given 14 mg of saffron extract twice a day. Compared with those who received the placebo, participants taking the saffron extract said they slept better during the four-week study.

The Australian researchers said they wanted to explore herbal medicine options to improve sleep and identify those without serious side effects. The authors noted that despite the popularity of herbal medicines, there is little evidence about their effectiveness or safety as a treatment for sleep disorders.

The authors hope their study will lead to additional research in larger groups to further validate their findings.

Read more sleep research news from the AASM.