Does Valerian Root Actually Help You Sleep?

Valerian is an herb native to certain parts of Asia and many parts of Europe. It has been used as a sleep aid since ancient Greek and Roman times (via WebMD). It can be found today as herbal supplements or as an ingredient in sleep aids, but does it really work? While valerian has shown promise as a sleep aid, the science behind this herb is limited and results are inconclusive (via The Healthy). The herb seems to be relatively safe but there is not enough data to confirm that it can help you sleep. It is also unclear what the ideal dosage is to see results (via Mayo Clinic).

This isn't to say that valerian root will not help you sleep or that it is dangerous to try. If you would like to try valerian root, be sure to speak with your doctor first. You should also consult a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements, especially if you are currently on medication or have underlying health conditions. A medical professional can help you determine which supplements are safe to take and at what dosage.

Tips for getting a good night's sleep

Getting enough sleep at night is crucial for your health and wellbeing. Sleep affects virtually every part of our bodies and brains (via Health). According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, all adults should be getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. Adults who sleep less than that are at a higher risk of negative health effects including dementia.

When trying to establish a healthy sleep regime, it is important to stick to a regular sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine. Make sure your bed is comfortable and your room has good curtains to prevent too much light from getting inside. Stay off your phone and other electronics for at least 30 minutes before going to sleep. Listening to light music or practicing meditation can also help (via The Sleep Foundation). Exercising during the day can also help you feel more sleepy at night. If you're having a hard time falling or staying asleep, speak with a healthcare professional about your situation.