Valerian Root: Fall Asleep Faster and Sleep Better

Muscled guy posingValerian root extract is typically used for relaxation as it has a mild sedative effect. Many people find that taking valerian root in the evening helps them to fall asleep at night, and others use valerian root for stress relief during the day. A study testing valerian root in comparison to a placebo and another supplement demonstrates the effectiveness of velerian root not only for aiding in falling asleep but also for improving sleep quality.

128 participants were involved in the study.Each participant was given 9 total supplement dosages. 3 were 400mg of a valerian root extract, 3 were a proprietary blend including valerian root, and 3 were a placebo. The samples were given in random order on different nights which were non-consecutive. The participants evaluated the subjective effects of the supplement dosages using a questionaire.

After examining the returned questionaires, the researchers concluded that the 400 mg of valerian root extract decreased the time that it took the perticipants to fall asleep and it improved their sleep quality without increasing morning drowsiness. Not surprisingly, these effects were most apparent in those who usually had trouble in these areas. Although the participants reported improved sleep quality as a result of the valerian root, there did not appear to be any increase in dreaming. The proprietary blend supplement which included valerian root appeared to have all of the same effects as the 400 mg of valerian root but with morning drowsiness reported in some users, showing that the extra ingredients did not add to the effects of valerian root but rather only increased negative effects.

The sample size was fairly large for this study, but using a questionaire as the sole measure of the effects of the supplement might lead one to be skeptical of the results. The feedback observed does agree with the expected results, providing evidence that valerian root does work as it is typically advertised. If you suffer for occasional sleeplessness or are looking to get the most out of every hour of sleep, you just might want to give valerian root a try.



Leathwood PD, Chauffard F, Heck E, & Munoz-Box R. (1982). Aqueous extract of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L.) improves sleep quality in man. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. 17(1), 65-71.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cassie is a chemistry major and national level bodybuilder. Questions or comments? Talk to Cassie on the FORUM or on FACEBOOK.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website reflects the opinion of our staff and manufacturer’s and should not be interpreted as medical advice. The information is not unbiased or independent and is the opinion of the owners of The descriptions and statements accompanying these products and vitamin supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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