Here is How The Valerian Plant Can Help With Insomnia

Why can't I sleep? Unfortunately there is no straight answer here. Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. Most of the time, insomnia is related to bad sleep habits, stress, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, an illness or a specific medication. Chronic insomnia can lead to illness and long-term mental issues. Fortunately, there are many remedies that can help you get to sleep and more importantly, stay asleep.

Valerian is an herb, native to Europe and Asia, which is also found in North America. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb at least since ancient Greek and Roman times. Galen, an ancient Greek doctor whose work is still studied today, regularly prescribed valerian for insomnia. Valerian extracts were commonly used in the United States and Europe between the mid-1800s and the mid-1900s, when many people began to take prescription sedatives instead.

Recently, scientists have become interested in valerian, and it has been researched in several clinical studies. Scientific studies on valerian have been somewhat inconclusive, however. The studies were very small, and valerian was given with other herbs that might have changed the effect. These studies show that valerian seems to reduce anxiety, and seems to reduce falling asleep time in people who have trouble falling asleep. It also seems to result in a more restful sleep, with fewer night waking. It seems to be of most help to people who are struggling with an occasional case of insomnia, or nightly insomnia that began only recently. Valerian is less likely to help those insomniacs who stay up for days, and have done so for most of their lives. Researchers think that valerian is likely to be proved to be helpful, though, for cases of mild to moderate insomnia.

Using Valerian to Prevent Insomnia:

Take valerian capsules or tablets in water, just before bed.
Alternatively, take a liquid valerian extract just before bed.
Alternatively, you can make tea out of valerian, but it is likely to be quite bitter-tasting. Valerian is known for smelling like sweaty socks. Valerian tea should also be taken at bedtime.

It is unclear why valerian works, or why it seems to be so helpful for mild to moderate insomnia but ineffective for chronic, severe insomnia. Valerian does contain chemicals, called valepotriates, that are thought to be muscle relaxants and sedatives. But valerian still puts some people to sleep even the valepotriates are removed from it. Another possibility is that valerian increases the levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with slow-wave sleep.

Another possibility is that valerian reduces the anxiety and stress that keep some insomniacs awake. Research shows that chronic insomniacs tend to have high levels of stress hormones in their blood. Valerian, meanwhile, is a traditional remedy not only for insomnia, but also for anxiety. Perhaps valerian’s anti-anxiety effects make it easier for some insomniacs to fall asleep.

Valerian is on the federal Food and Drug Administration’s GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list. However, it has not been proven safe for long term use, although researchers believe that it is safe to take every day at bedtime for periods of four to six weeks. It can cause a mild hangover the next day, consisting of headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, or tiredness. You should avoid driving and operating heavy machinery while taking valerian. Valerian withdrawal can also occur if you take it daily for several weeks and then stop suddenly. Valerian withdrawal symptoms include confusion, delirium, and rapid heartbeat. It is also thought that valerian can interact with prescription medications to increase drowsiness.

More

Many people have experienced the person who is just not available. Whether it is physically or emotionally unavailable, these people tend to ask...

Midsize SUVs are designed to balance feature diversity, seating space, and cargo capacity. With so many SUV options available, buyers are becoming...

Do you think it's normal for couples to stop having sex after marriage? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it isn't. Everyone can go through...

Property prices are soaring high so it isn’t possible for everyone to buy huge houses with spacious rooms. However, thanks to some small...

All sibling rivalry and family arguments aside-- if you grew up with a big sister, you're probably luckier than you realize. There are a lot of...

Latest Fab Stories

Life can get so busy and stressful at times and this is why many homeowners are opting to decorate their homes with a Zen style. Zen principles...

Everyone would love to have a spa-style bathroom in their home, as the days are usually filled with busyness and stress and it would be lovely to...

If you haven't tried Samsung devices yet, you don't know what you're missing. After releasing smartphones just over ten years ago, the high...

For decades, many of us have lived by the 40-hour workweek. It just seems standard and logical, what else is there? Yet, one company elMejorTrato....

A reverse mortgage is a collateralized loan product that allows retirees to borrow against the equity they have accrued in their home. After...

Designing your child’s home can be a fun and rewarding task. Your children are the most important people in your life and you want to be sure that...

When decorating your home, you want every object on display to tell a story. Utilizing antique store finds or flea market trinkets in your...

You probably use your smartphone and tablet for everything from communication to playing games and reading. You may read everything from books to...

How much do you know about Feng Shui? Some people who are getting into interior decorating are becoming more and more interested in Feng Shui. Did...

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The brilliant colored leaves, crisp morning air, football games and decorating the home! One can...

Life can be tough enough, but many of us bring even more problems on ourselves. If you have any of the following five habits, you're probably...