General Health

How To Sleep Better At Night Naturally

When it comes to getting a good night sleep, things can start to get desperate. Weeks of restless nights, constant exhaustion and eye bags that are now a permanent feature, can leave you crying out for just one night of glorious, uninterrupted sleep.

It’s not too much to ask…is it?

Yet, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s inaugural Sleep Health Index, 45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep has affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days.

Sleep plays an important role in maintaining our health and a lack of it can have serious consequences, leaving us looking and feeling worse for wear.

I have one word for you. Valerian Root.

Could this powerful herb be the answer to a good night’s sleep? Let’s find out.

What is Valerian Root?

Valerian root is a powerful herb, hailing from the Latin verb ‘valere’, which means “to be strong” or “to be healthy.”  Like its namesake, it has been used in traditional medicine for over 2,000 years, revered for its healing properties.

While the plant blooms sweet fragrant pink and white flowers, the root contains essential oils, including valerenic acids. These active oils promote the calming sedative effect that valerian root has, and it has been used throughout the centuries as a solution to sleepless nights.

How does it work?

Valerian root contains a number of powerful compounds that help to promote a good night’s sleep. It has been noted for its successful interaction with GABA (a chemical messenger that helps to regulate nerve impulses in the brain). 

Studies have shown that low GABA levels are related to increased stress levels, which could result in low-quality sleep. However, research has shown that valerenic acid resolves this issue by preventing the breakdown of GABA in the brain. This results in feelings of calmness, helping to promote a tranquil sleep.

The answer to a better night’s sleep?

1) Relaxation

Valerian root has become popular for its ability to aid in a good night’s sleep. Studies have that the powerful compounds it contains help to promote relaxation and calmness.

As mentioned previously, studies have revealed that low levels of GABA in the brain can result in increased feelings of stress. Valerian root works by inhibiting the breakdown of GABA in the brain, increasing feelings of calm and helping you to feel relaxed before bed.

2) Improves sleep quality

Not only will valerian root help you relax into a deep sleep, research has shown that it will also improve the quality of your sleep. Several studies have highlighted its effectiveness in promoting a deep sleep, with one study reporting that 44% of participants reported a perfect sleep and 89% reported improved sleep, all with no side effects.

You may have come across the saying ‘It’s quality not quantity’, but when it comes to sleep you need both. Even if you get 8 hours of sleep in total, if it’s a broken and constantly interrupted sleep, you will not reap the same benefits.  The key factors of quality sleep are included in a report published in Sleep Health:

  • Sleeping more while in bed (at least 85 percent of the total time).
  • Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less.
  • Waking up no more than once per night.
  • Being awake for 20 minutes or less after initially falling asleep.

3) Fall asleep faster

A further benefit of valerian root when it comes to getting some shut eye is that it can actually help you fall asleep faster.  Recent research published by Sleep Health Index has reported that as many as 27% of people take longer than 30 minutes on average to fall asleep.

The longer it takes to fall asleep, the less sleep you usually have. This increases the likelihood that you will wake up sleep deprived and grumpy, wishing you hadn’t spent that hour scrolling through your phone.

One study which reviewed the effect of valerian root on 128 participants reported a significant decrease in sleep latency scores (the amount of time to fall asleep) and a significant improvement in sleep quality. Therefore, if you are struggling to fall asleep, valerian root could be of great benefit to you.

4) Helps sleeping disorders

Valerian has been used as a natural remedy for sleep disorders since the Ancient times. Sleep disorders are a wide spread problem, with it being estimated that 30% of people experience insomnia, meaning that they have difficulty falling asleep or achieving quality and restorative sleep.

However, research has shown that Valerian may be a powerful weapon in combating insomnia. One randomized study reviewed 100 postmenopausal women experiencing insomnia.

Half the group received valerian extract twice a day for 4 days. The results revealed that valerian improved the quality of sleep in women with menopause who were experiencing insomnia and supported the effectiveness of valerian in the clinical management of insomnia.

Frequently failing to get the recommendation of at least 7 hours of sleep every night can have a serious impact on your health, putting you at risk of developing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease.

In fact, one study found that those who get six hours or less each night has a 48 per cent higher risk of developing or dying from heart disease.

Although commonly prescribed sleeping pills, such as Valium are known to help you sleep, they can leave you with a number of dangerous side effects.

These can range from drowsiness, nausea and blurred vision to memory problems and a decreased interest in sex.

Herbal supplements are a safe and natural solution for sleep disorders and valerian is one of the few herbal supplements that meet the rigorous U.S. standards, leading to its being given a rating of 1 on a scale of 1 to 5.

Deep Sleep is the perfect natural remedy for a refreshing nights sleep. Containing a blend of valerian roots and melatonin, it promotes regular sleeping cycle and helps to combat sleep deprivation. These natural healing ingredients combined together make an impressive weapon against sleepless nights, ensuring that you get the optimal amount of sleep that your body needs!

Sources

  1. Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W. Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2006;119(12):1005–1012. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.02.026
  2. Taavoni S, Ekbatani N, Kashaniyan M, Haghani H.. (2011). Effect of valerian on sleep quality in postmenopausal women: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.. Menopause. 18 (9), p951-955.
  3. Benke D, Barberis A, Kopp S, Altmann KH, Schubiger M, Vogt KE, Rudolph U, Möhler H.. (2009). GABA A receptors as in vivo substrate for the anxiolytic action of valerenic acid, a major constituent of valerian root extracts.. Neuropharmacology. 56 (1), p174-181.
  4. Hasler G, van der Veen JW, Grillon C, Drevets WC, Shen J. Effect of acute psychological stress on prefrontal GABA concentration determined by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Am J Psychiatry. 2010;167(10):1226–1231. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.09070994

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