valerian for insomnia

According to the National Sleep foundation, if you have trouble falling or staying asleep, or if you wake up feeling tired every single day, you might be suffering from insomnia. It can be caused by a number of factors such as, an overactive mind, stress, anxiety, depression, diseases, medicines, fluctuating cortisol or blood sugar levels, even sleep disorders.

While there are several ways to improve your sleeping habitscertain herbs act as natural sedatives that can put you to sleep within minutes. One such herb is valerian.

How Valerian Works For Insomnia
Valeriana officinalis, or valerian, is known for its sedative properties that are potent enough to calm a racing mind and relieve stress. [1,2,4] It also reduces restlessness and anxiety.

According to a 2011 study published in the journal Menopause, valerian root improved the quality of sleep in menopausal women with insomnia. [4]Another study found that valerian, in combination with hops, helped improve sleep latency and sleep quality. [5]

How To Use It

  • Make a tea by steeping 1tsp dried valerian root with six to eight fresh mint, or lemon balm leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink, once cool. Have it three times a day for better results. You can also try this herbal drink to cope with your sleeping woes.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page and read about other Natural Remedies here.

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1. Donath F, Quispe S, Diefenbach K, Maurer A, Fietze I, Roots I. Critical evaluation of the effect of valerian extract on sleep structure and sleep quality. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2000 Mar;33(2):47-53. PubMed PMID: 10761819.

2. 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. Review. PubMed PMID: 17145239; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4394901.

3. Fernández-San-Martín MI, Masa-Font R, Palacios-Soler L, Sancho-Gómez P, Calbó-Caldentey C, Flores-Mateo G. Effectiveness of Valerian on insomnia: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Sleep Med. 2010 Jun;11(6):505-11. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2009.12.009. Epub 2010 Mar 26. PubMed PMID: 20347389.

4. Taavoni S, Ekbatani N, Kashaniyan M, Haghani H. Effect of valerian on sleep quality in postmenopausal women: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.Menopause. 2011 Sep;18(9):951-5. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31820e9acf. PubMed PMID:  21775910.

5. Salter S, Brownie S. Treating primary insomnia – the efficacy of valerian and  hops. Aust Fam Physician. 2010 Jun;39(6):433-7. Review. PubMed PMID: 20628685.