Valerian root is an ancient natural herb used for insomnia, anxiety, and stress.
Valerian root, aka “nature’s Valium,” is a safe, natural sleep-enhancer. Unlike sleeping pills, valerian root doesn’t cause problems with dependence or withdrawal symptoms if it’s discontinued.
The best part about valerian root for sleep is that it works well even in the long run. Most natural solutions for sleep are effective at first, but the body quickly builds a tolerance.
Let’s take a look at what exactly valerian root is and why you should give it a try if you are experiencing sleeping problems.
What is Valerian Root?
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is an herb native to Asia and Europe but also grows in the US. The root of the valerian plant has been used to make medicine for sleep disorders, anxiety, and stress. Manufacturers use extracts and oils made from the valerian plant as a flavoring in foods and beverages.
The flowers from the valerian plant present a delicate scent, used to make perfume, while the root gives a powerful, earthy odor. The sedative effects and strong smell of valerian root are attributed to the volatile oils and other compounds present in the plant.
Potential Benefits of Valerian Root
Plenty of research studies support the benefits of valerian root for anxiety and sleep disturbances.
Valerian Root for Sleep
The most common use of valerian root is for insomnia (the inability to fall and stay asleep). Most studies show that valerian root helps people with sleep difficulties. One controlled study of 27 young and middle-aged adults with sleep problems showed that valerian root improved sleep in 24 participants. Twelve of the participants reported “perfect sleep” after using 400 mg of valerian root. 
Valerian Root for Anxiety
A small 2002 study investigated the effects of 50 mg of valerian root extract in 36 participants diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. The participants took the extract three times a day for four weeks and noticed a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to placebo. 
Valerian root can also help with other conditions, but there is not enough evidence. Other potential benefits of valerian root are:
- Improves symptoms of depression
- Reduces menstrual pain
- Might reduce symptoms of serious restlessness
- Lowers anxiety caused by stress
- Helps with headaches
- Helps with menopause symptoms
- Helps with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- May help with epilepsy
- May help upset stomach
How Valerian Root Helps Sleep
Valerian root is rich in components that are helpful for people experiencing difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or achieving quality sleep. Some of those components include:
- Valerenic acid
- Isovaleric acid
Research shows that valerian root, specifically valerenic acid, interacts with gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain. Researchers believe that low levels of GABA are linked to anxiety and insomnia.
So valerenic acid inhibits the breakdown of GABA in the brain, which is how medications such as Valium and Xanax work. By reducing the breakdown of GABA in the brain, valerian root maintains the levels of mood-stabilizing brain chemicals. These chemicals make you feel relaxed and calm, which may improve your sleep. 
The antioxidants in valerian root, such as linarin, also show sedative and sleep-enhancing properties. 
One study showed that valerian root helped adults with insomnia achieve deep sleep. Deep sleep (slow-wave sleep) is essential for repairing and recharging your body. Deep sleep is what keeps you well-rested and energetic after waking up.
An even more fascinating thing the study revealed was that a single dose of valerian root in adults helped them achieve deep sleep 36% faster. 
In another study, people who experienced withdrawal symptoms after long-term use of benzodiazepines showed significant improvement in sleep quality after two weeks of valerian treatment. 
How to take valerian root to improve your quality of sleep?
You can take valerian root as a single ingredient in teas and pills. But pills and teas have a bitter taste and strong smell (described as “sweaty feet” by users), so a better option is to take valerian root as part of a multi-ingredient supplement.
Many people find that taking valerian extract, tea, or dry root only works as a mild remedy. So, one of the best and safest ways of taking valerian root is together with other natural sleep-enhancers.
Hair Bears Sleep Gummies are scientifically-formulated vitamin complex of several natural sleep-enhancers, including valerian root, lemon balm leaf, passionflower, melatonin, vitamin B-6, and CBD from organic hemp.
Our sleep gummies contain the right, tested dosage of natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about how much you need to take.
Our gummies are easy-to-use, and you can carry them with you wherever you go. This is convenient because you don’t have to worry whether you’d be able to prepare a valerian root tea to help you sleep when traveling.
The power mix in Hair Bears Sleep Gummies comes in various incredible flavor that you’ll love. The best part is, your body will benefit from soy-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free sleep enhancers that help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality.
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FAQ on Valerian Root for Sleep
Is valerian root safe?
Research reports safe use of valerian root for medicinal purposes for up to 28 days. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes valerian root as “generally safe.” But, you should avoid taking sleeping medications at the same time when taking valerian root.
What Are the side effects of taking valerian root?
Some of the side-effects of valerian root include headache, dizziness, upset stomach, dry mouth, restlessness, and excitability.
What does valerian root do?
According to studies, valerian root helps with sleep disturbances by assisting people fall asleep and restore quality sleeping patterns. Valerian root also helps with anxiety, stress-relief, menstrual, and menopause symptoms.
How much valerian root should I take to fall asleep?
There is no official dose of valerian root that you can take to help you sleep. According to a study done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 400 mg of valerian root can significantly improve sleep. Doses as high as 900 mg can increase sleepiness and make you feel “hangover” the next morning.