Valerian Root Will Make You Sleepy
December 15, 2010 6:01 PM   Subscribe

What dose of Valerian (in capsule or other form) has worked for you, for sleeplessness?

I'm working through occasional insomnia, and am interested in adding Valerian to the mix. Have you had luck with Valerian pills, and how many mgs worked for you? Or, if you're a naturopath, what do you recommend? (My specific situation is waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep.)

posted by enzymatic to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I tried it in a blend called "Nerve Blend SP-14" by Solaray. It didn't work particularly well for me. The dosage was 880mg, but it was a mix of Valerian, Passion Flower, Wood Betony, Ginger, Chamomile, and Blessed Thistle. Personally, what has worked fairly well for me is a supplement called Z-12 by Biotest, or if you really need a sleep fix, a few Benadryl tend to do the trick for me. Good luck and happy ZZZZ's.
posted by gibbsjd77 at 6:20 PM on December 15, 2010

IANAD, but I've heard that Melatonin is actually better for your sleep cycle (i.e. waking up in the middle of the night) than Valerian. Valerian, again, from what I've heard, is more helpful in actually falling asleep.

That said, at the suggestion of Mefites, I started taking Valerian. I take 3 capsules (1300 mg) when I want to be sure I fall asleep sooner than later. Usually, though, 900 mg is what I take. (I'm a regular sized female, FWIW).

Best of luck to you!
posted by too bad you're not me at 6:21 PM on December 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

I used a product called Alluna which contained Valerian and some other stuff (hops?). Don't know the dosage but it was, like, perfect for me. Highly recommended.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 6:22 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I never had any luck with valerian (or melatonin, for that matter) at any dosage.
posted by something something at 6:24 PM on December 15, 2010

Valerian does not do anything for me. Melatonin works like a charm though.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:25 PM on December 15, 2010

Surprisingly enough, Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra has been pretty effective for me, to the point that I need to make sure I have close to 8 hours to sleep before I drink any. I used to use the Yogi brand, which also works well, but the Sleepytime Extra has been pretty easy to find and works at least as well.
posted by piedmont at 6:34 PM on December 15, 2010

I used to take 2-3 capsules occasionally and it worked quite well for me. I don't know the exact dosage of the capsules though.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:49 PM on December 15, 2010

I have never had any luck with Valerian and nor has my husband. But melatonin used to work for me before they took it off the market over here. And phenergan knocks my husband out like a charm :)
posted by lollusc at 7:06 PM on December 15, 2010

I've never noticed any effect from Valerian or melatonin. Benadryl works well.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:08 PM on December 15, 2010

Best answer: 2000mg (1 capsule) works for me. Available here in Australia as Cenovis EasySleep.
posted by cybele at 7:11 PM on December 15, 2010

No experience with Valerian. Melatonin does nothing for me. Benedryl is my best friend. 25 mg each night keeps me asleep - or if I do wake up in the night, I easily get back to sleep.
posted by Sassyfras at 7:14 PM on December 15, 2010

I have 530mg capsules. 2 will put me to sleep when I have mild insomnia. 4 will help with severe insomnia sometimes, but sometimes not. This was for help going to sleep, though, not staying asleep.

You might want to consider a white noise machine, along with whatever else you decide to take.
posted by hiteleven at 7:23 PM on December 15, 2010

I fully recommend Sleepytime Extra as well. It's cheapest by at least a dollar at Target for some reason. The Extra kind seems to be pretty pricey in the supermarkets.
posted by smirkyfodder at 7:28 PM on December 15, 2010

For me, 400 mg works well to relax/soothe anxiety, and 800 puts me to sleep pretty easily. Although FWIW, I've never had serious insomnia, and only take it when I want to get to sleep quickly and sleep really deeply. More than 800, and I'm out like a light.
posted by aldebaran at 7:48 PM on December 15, 2010

My capsules are 470 MG each. I take two to help with a panic attack and three to help me sleep.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:30 PM on December 15, 2010

Valerian never worked for me. Gave me vile-flavored burps, to boot. YMMV and all; I know it's worked for a lot of people.

Strict adherence to "sleep hygiene" is the only thing that has done the trick for me on a long-term basis.
posted by ErikaB at 8:57 PM on December 15, 2010

Valerian has never worked for me as a sleep aid, although I usually take about 1000mg daily for stress. Melatonin sometimes works. One antihistimine however = me out like a light.
posted by elendil71 at 11:35 PM on December 15, 2010

It's worked for me, for stress-related sleep problems. 1~2 1000mg valerian root tablets, depending on how I wound up I was.

After a couple of weeks, though, I started getting odd stressy-panicky dreams early in the morning before waking up. Had the same problem on some mild prescription sedatives after only a couple of days, which is why I dropped them & tried valerian. Reality breaking through, I guess. Now that I'm away from the original stressors, I only take them on odd occasions for a couple of nights at a time.
posted by Pinback at 12:13 AM on December 16, 2010

One or two of these from GNC has worked for me. It is a fairly mild effect, not like a traditional sleeping pill, either Rx or over the counter.
posted by caddis at 7:34 AM on December 16, 2010

I just wanted to mention that the Valerian Root doesn't make me drugged sleepy like an antihistamine does. It's more like it just mellows me out, kind of like "Okay, now I could sleep." If I need to be up it's pretty easy to fight the effects.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:13 PM on December 16, 2010

Best answer: Usually when I've taken it, I've just taken one ~500mg capsule. I've used it as a sleep aid, but it mainly makes me feel relaxed rather than drowsy.
posted by shponglespore at 9:08 AM on December 17, 2010

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