Last Updated on 15 June 2022 by Ray Plumlee

Valerian Root For Sleep
Valerian Root For Sleep

Stress can be a killer. Almost all of us have been told that it’s a great idea to reduce the amount of stress in our lives, but that’s easier said than done most of the time. There are various products on the market that are said to help with reducing stress. Some work, others, not so much.

Used in various cultures for over a thousand years, Valerian Root falls into the first category. Due to the relaxing effect it has on the nervous system, my research shows that Valerian Root is most often used for treating insomnia and stress related sleeplessness. This herbal alternative to prescription based sleeping pills has a natural calming effect, and promotes restful sleep, without making the user feel sluggish in the morning. The valepotriates and the isovaleric acid found in the root are said to have a strong sedative effect that is strong and non-addictive.

After reviewing dozens of first hand accounts, it seems that Valerian Root works best when you take it a few hours before bedtime. This allows the medication time to metabolize in your system, and promotes a natural sleepiness that will allow you to fall asleep, and stay asleep.

Additionally, Valerian Root is said to work amazingly on stomach cramps due to nervousness or menstruation related issues, as well as migraine and rheumatic pain, and other muscle tension.

The calming effect is said to slow down the mind, and promote a general feeling of well-being in users. Allowing stress to melt away, and relaxation to set in. In this aspect, the drug works as a mild tranquilizer, and allows users to experience less emotional distress, and has been used clinically to ween patients off of anti-depressants.

Due to the calming nature of the drug, it’s important that users have a full night’s sleep, and refrain from taking other anxiety or insomnia medications while using Valerian Root.

Of course, it’s always important to consult your primary care provider before taking new medications, including herbal supplements. There are a number of medications that could have negative interactions with Valerian Root. Also, my research has shown that many patients who have recently had surgery, or have surgery scheduled in the near future, have been warned against taking Valerian for a few weeks. Pregnant women should also consult with a doctor before starting any new medication. Based on my research, the most common side effects seem to be upset stomach and “strange dreams”. However, side effects can be different for everyone, and anything out of the ordinary should be reported to a medical professional immediately.

If you are looking for a natural way to help fight stress, or insomnia, Valerian Root may be worth investigating. Studies suggest that the effects and dosage recommendations can vary by user, so it’s important to take your time and research the interactions of this herbal medication.

Promoting A Better Nights Sleep With Valerian Root

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I’m Nick Wilkinson. I writer and radio personality who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

With over 14 years of experience in the Behavioral Health Field, I’ve been working in close contact with kids from all walks of life.

Specializing in teenagers and young adults, I’ve been a career long supporter of “verbal de-escalation” and non-violent crisis intervention. I believe that what you say, and how you say it, are the keys to successful communication. I currently write about men's health topics, parenting and child abuse topics, and other social issues. You can visit my blog at

Tagged on: anti-depressants    anxiety    emotional distress    herbal    herbal supplements    insomnia    medications    migraines    muscle tension    rheumatic pain    sleep    sleeping pill    sleeplessness    stress    surgery    tranquilizer    Valerian Root    well-being
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Lawrence Gonyea

I started taking valerian root and it made me drowsy initially. Please don’t drive or work with heavy equipment after taking this root. Later, I discovered that the ideal time to take it just before going to bed. In case you face underlying conditions, please take it only after having evaluation by your physician.


Would this be a good replacement for melatonin?

Ray Plumlee

From a sleep only perspective yes. But nutritionally no. Melatonin is not only a necessary hormone but an important source of anti-oxidants. Personally, I take both. Being close to 70, I want to ensure I am augmenting my melatonin which decreases as we age.



I’ve been taking Valerian Root after suffering from sleeping disorder. My doctor suggested me to take it and so far it’s working very naturally with my body and mind.

Brandon Johnson

I have always read about this supplement, but never really knew how I could use it each day. However, I knew that when I get good sleep, I am good all day long. I think maybe I should work on that and if using this at night helps, it will be the first thing I do.

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