Natural Remedies

Why shouldn't you take valerian root before sleep?

Valerian Root: Helps with Anxiety, Not So Much with Sleep

Valerian root is a natural herb with calming effects. It works similarly to medications like Valium by influencing GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces stress and promotes relaxation. This can be helpful for anxiety, but there's a catch:

  • Valerian's Sedative Effects: While it calms anxiety, valerian can cause drowsiness, sluggishness, even insomnia for some. It's NOT a reliable sleep aid.

Getting to the Root Cause

Anxiety and sleep problems are often symptoms of deeper imbalances:

  • Hormones: High cortisol (the stress hormone) is a major culprit.

  • Melatonin/Serotonin Connection: Low melatonin affects sleep, and can also contribute to low serotonin, linked to depression.

Natural Solutions: Beyond Supplements

While you CAN supplement melatonin, it's best to support your body's own production. Here's how:

  1. Exercise: Gets your body primed for healthy sleep cycles.

  2. Sunlight: Infrared rays naturally boost melatonin.

  3. Vitamin B1: Found in nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds. Supports overall nervous system health.

  4. Gut Health: Probiotics support the production of calming neurotransmitters.

  5. Diet: Healthy keto and intermittent fasting can benefit hormone balance.


  • Valerian may interact with medications. Talk to your doctor before using.

  • Lifestyle changes take time but have lasting benefits.

Last updated: May 24, 2024 14:15 PM