Some of us may be experiencing insomnia, meaning we are having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or achieving high-quality, restorative sleep. To maintain a healthy and productive body, we need to know that having quality sleep is necessary for overall health.
Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining brain functions and systemic physiology, and chronic sleep problems could have a significant impact on our health. Insufficient sleep leads to reduced stress resilience, decreased quality of life, mood disorders, and cognitive, memory, and performance deficits (1).
When it comes to sleep problems, the Valerian herb may provide some help.
Valerian Root And Insomnia
Valerian is a perennial flowering plant that may help reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and help a person sleep better. Medicine is made from its root.
Valerian root contains valerenic acid, isovaleric acid, and a variety of antioxidants. These important components may help promote sleep and reduce anxiety.
In a study involving 27 young and middle-aged adults with sleep difficulties, 24 participants were reported to experience improved sleep, and 12 of those reported “perfect sleep” after taking 400 mg of valerian root (2).
Moreover, the results of a study revealed that a single dose of valerian can help adults with insomnia to achieve deep sleep 36% faster, and also the time they spent in deep sleep was increased during 14 days of taking valerian (3).
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a chemical messenger that helps regulate nerve impulses in our brain and nervous system. Low levels of it have been related to acute and chronic stress that is linked to anxiety and low-quality sleep, according to studies (4,5,6). Experts have fud that the valerenic acid present in valerian can prevent the breakdown of GABA in the brain, thereby resulting in feelings of calmness and tranquility (7,8,9).
How To Consume Valerian Root?
Have a soothing valerian tea. Simply mix 2 to 3 grams of dried, powdered valerian steeped in a cup (225 milliliters) of just-boiled water. Steep a cinnamon stick or star anise in the cup to mask its unpleasant taste. Drink the tea 2 hours before going to bed.
It is advised to use valerian for 2-3 weeks and then taking a break for an equal length of time before starting up again. The use of valerian for extended periods has reported adverse side effects, such as headaches, depression, or withdrawal after stopping (10).