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Valerian Root: Unveiling 10 Natural Solutions for Deep and Restful Sleep

Posted on April 18 2023

Are sleepless nights taking a toll on your well-being? Valerian root might be the answer if you seek a natural solution to promote deep and restful sleep. Valerian, a herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe and Asia, has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for sleep disorders. This article will explore valerian root, how it works, and its various uses in promoting better sleep. Finally, we'll examine ten ways to discover if valerian could be your key to a good night's rest.

Introducing Valerian Root

Valerian root is a herbal supplement derived from the roots of the Valeriana officinalis plant. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various health conditions, particularly its potential calming and soothing effects.

Valerian root contains several active compounds, including valerenic acid, valerenal, and valtrate, believed to contribute to its therapeutic properties. It is commonly used as a sleep aid and is often taken to help with insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.

While the exact mechanisms of action are not fully understood, valerian root is thought to interact with the brain's gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter system. GABA is responsible for inhibiting nerve activity, and by enhancing its effects, valerian root may promote relaxation and alleviate anxiety.

Valerian is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, and teas. It is generally considered safe for short-term use, but long-term safety and effectiveness have not been extensively studied. Common side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

As with any herbal supplement or medication, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using valerian root, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications, as they may interact with certain drugs.

Valerian as a Sleep Aid: Mechanism of Action and Benefits

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a herbal supplement commonly used as a sleep aid to promote relaxation. It has been used for centuries to help alleviate insomnia and improve sleep quality. While the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, valerian is believed to exert its sleep-inducing effects through several key components and interactions within the body.

  • Key Components of Valerian: Valerian root contains various active compounds, including valerenic acid, valerenol, and volatile oils. These constituents are thought to contribute to the herb's sedative and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties.
  • Interaction with GABA: One of the primary ways valerian may promote sleep is by interacting with the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps regulate neuronal activity and promote relaxation. Valerian is believed to enhance the binding of GABA to its receptors, thereby increasing GABAergic inhibition and producing a calming effect.
  • Modulation of Serotonin: Serotonin is another neurotransmitter involved in sleep regulation and mood. Valerian has been found to inhibit the breakdown of serotonin, leading to increased levels of this neurotransmitter. Elevating serotonin levels may contribute to the sedative effects of valerian and its ability to improve sleep quality.
  • Reduction of Anxiety and Stress: Valerian has demonstrated anxiolytic properties, which may indirectly aid in promoting sleep. By reducing anxiety and stress levels, valerian can help individuals achieve a more relaxed state conducive to falling asleep. It may also help alleviate restlessness and nervousness, further supporting its sleep-enhancing effects. Valerian's natural soothing properties can contribute to a relaxed state and calmness.
  • Potential Effects on GABA Transporters: Recent studies have suggested that valerian may affect the reuptake of GABA by inhibiting GABA transporters. This mechanism could enhance GABAergic neurotransmission and contribute to valerian's sedative actions.
  • Improved Sleep: Valerian has been reported to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, aiding individuals with insomnia or difficulties initiating sleep. It may also promote deeper and more restful sleep, improving the quality and reducing awakenings at night.
  • Non-Habit Forming: Unlike conventional sleep medications, valerian is considered non-addictive and has a lower risk of dependency or withdrawal symptoms.

10 Ways to Take Valerian Root

There are various ways to take valerian root, with something to meet everyone's taste. Whether you prefer the traditional approach of brewing valerian root tea or seek convenient alternatives, valerian root can be incorporated into your routine in different forms.

1. Valerian Root Tea

Tea is a popular and soothing way to consume this herb. To make valerian root tea, steep one or two teaspoons of dried valerian root in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. You can add honey or lemon for flavor if desired. Drink this tea 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime to promote relaxation and better sleep.

2. Capsules

Valerian is commonly available in the form of capsules or tablets. These are convenient for those who prefer a more standardized and controlled dosage. Follow the instructions on the packaging or consult a healthcare professional for the appropriate dosage. Capsules are typically taken with water and are most effective when consumed about an hour before bedtime.

3. Valerian Tinctures

Tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts that can be mixed with water or juice. Tinctures provide a potent and easily absorbable form of valerian root. Follow the instructions on the product label for the recommended dosage. It is important to note that tinctures may have a strong taste, so diluting them in a beverage can help mask the flavor.

4. Valerian Root Powder

Valerian root powder can be incorporated into foods or beverages for consumption. Add it to smoothies and protein shakes or over oatmeal or yogurt. Start with a small amount and gradually increase the dosage as needed. The powder may taste slightly bitter, so it is often combined with other ingredients to mask the flavor.

5. Essential Oil

Essential oil can be used topically or in aromatherapy. For topical use, mix a few drops of valerian root essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply it to your wrists, temples, or the soles of your feet. To use valerian root essential oil in aromatherapy, add a few drops to a diffuser or inhale the aroma directly from the bottle. Both methods can help promote relaxation and relieve stress.

6. Valerian Root Extract

Extract is a concentrated form that can be added to water, juice, or other beverages. Follow the recommended dosage on the product label. The extract can be taken directly or mixed with a beverage of your choice. It is important to note that valerian root extract may have a strong taste, so diluting it in a flavored drink can make it more palatable.

7. Valerian Root Syrup

Valerian root syrup is a sweetened form of valerian root that can be taken orally. It is often used to promote relaxation and better sleep. Follow the instructions on the syrup bottle for the recommended dosage. You can take it as is or mix it with water or juice if preferred. Valerian root syrup can be a good option for those who dislike the taste of other valerian preparations.

8. Chews or Gummies

Valerian root is also available in chewable or gummy form, which can be a convenient and enjoyable way to consume it. These products are often formulated with other calming ingredients like chamomile or melatonin. Follow the dosage instructions on the packaging and chew or consume the gummies as directed. They can be a good option for individuals who have difficulty swallowing pills.

9. Valerian Root Bath

Taking a valerian root bath is a relaxing and indulgent way to experience the herb's benefits. Add a few drops of essential oil or a handful of dried valerian root to your bathwater and soak for 20 to 30 minutes. The warm water combined with the aromatic properties of valerian root can help calm your mind and body, easing tension and promoting a sense of tranquility. Clean the tub thoroughly afterwards to prevent residual oils or herb particles from causing slipperiness.

10. Soothing Balm

Soothing balms or salves are topical formulations that can be applied to the skin for relaxation and tension relief. They often contain valerian root extract and other herbal extracts or essential oils known for their calming properties. Massage a small amount of the balm onto areas of tension, such as the neck, shoulders, or temples, for soothing relief.

Mesmerize: An Alternative Sleep Aid

Discover a whole new world of tranquility with Mesmerize, your new favorite visual meditation app for finding inner peace and relaxation. 

Mesmerize combines captivating colors and stunning animations with soothing audio to create immersive experiences that allow your mind to unwind. These carefully crafted visual journeys are designed to help you de-stress, refocus, and bring balance to your busy life. 

With a wide range of customizable visual patterns and calming soundscapes, Mesmerize is tailored to your unique preferences, making meditation more enjoyable and accessible than ever before.

Achieve mindfulness, boost your creativity, get better sleep, improve your mental well-being, and more with this easy-to-use app. Whether you're a meditation newbie or a seasoned zen master, Mesmerize offers an engaging, personalized experience for everyone.

Join the growing community of happy users who have found their zen with Mesmerize. Head tothe App Store or Google Play to download and unlock a world of tranquility today.


Overall, valerian root offers various versatile and accessible forms for consumption, allowing individuals to choose the best method that suits their preferences and needs. Whether through teas, capsules, chews/gummies, or even in a relaxing bath, valerian root provides a natural way to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and support a restful night's sleep.

The Mesmerize app is also an excellent choice for those seeking alternative methods to promote relaxation and improve sleep. Mesmerize is a cutting-edge application that combines advanced audio and visual techniques to induce deep relaxation, meditation, and, ultimately, a restful night's sleep.