Does Valerian Root Actually Work for Insomnia?

Difficulty falling asleep or just staying asleep can be a very common problem to all of us a times.  Not only can it be incredibly frustrating, but it can leave you feeling tired and irritable for the rest of the entire day.

Approximately one in three people suffer from sleep related disturbances or insomnia.  The old ‘joke’ about statistics like this—if you pick two friends and they’re okay, then you’re it!

Otherwise, Ask Yourself these Questions:

  1. Do you often experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep?
  2. Do you awake feeling tired or rested?
  3. Do you awake too early in the morning?
  4. Have these sleep related difficulties persisted for longer than one month?
  5. Have you experienced an impairment in your ability to function as a result?

Valerian Root for Insomnia, Research:

If you suffer from sleep related difficulties, you should see your physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.  For those who suffer from a mild degree of insomnia, extracts of the roots of valerian (Valeriana officinalis) are widely used for inducing sleep and improving sleep quality.  In fact, the extract of the root of valerian, a flowering plant, has been widely used to treat sleeping disorders in Europe for decades.

Important! Dosage: 225 to 1215 mg [this review included studies which had Valerian dosages in this range]

Clinical Significance

  • Valerian is commonly used to improve sleep.
  • Patients taking valerian had an 80% greater chance of reporting improved sleep compared with patients taking placebo; however, there was evidence of publication bias.

Conclusions from the Study Authors:

“This systematic review suggests that valerian may improve sleep quality, but methodological problems of the included studies limit the ability to draw firm conclusions.”

To improve your sleep hygiene, avoid drinking more than 2 cups of coffee during the day, avoid napping during the day, set a regular bed time, moderate your alcohol consumption, and avoid exercising late at night.

Reference:

  1. Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W.  Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Am J Med. 2006 Dec;119(12):1005-12

3 thoughts on “Does Valerian Root Actually Work for Insomnia?

  1. I sleep terrible! I remember being a little girl and could still never get a full nights sleep. I take an over the counter sleep aid occassionally but should give the valerian a try. I did not know about that so thank you for the information. I have added you to my blogroll so others can benefit as well.

  2. Heidi, thank you very much for the comment as well as addding my site to your blogroll. Cheers,

    Jarret

  3. Thank you for the advice on the book by the Dalai Lama. I love his quotes that I have seen and did not know he had a book. I am going to order it on Amazon or run up to the book store this week. I will let you know what I think.
    Great blog you have here!

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