Valerian Root vs. Melatonin: Comparing Sleep Benefits

Valerian Root vs. Melatonin: Comparing Sleep Benefits
December 29, 2023
Viking Beast

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Valerian Root and Melatonin are well-known compounds beneficial for improving sleep quality.

However, both have unique benefits and look promising in their separate ways. I’ve tried them individually and together and share that experience in this article.

This article will contain everything you need to know to decide whether to give Valerian Root or Melatonin a shot.

In the practical information, I’ll discuss what the compound is, how it works, if it’s safe (who should avoid it), the (possible) benefits, and (possible) side effects.

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Practical information about Valerian Root
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Practical information about Valerian Root

What is Valerian Root?

Valerian Root is a herb that has a pleasant sedative and anxiety-reducing effect. It’s been used for centuries to help with insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.

It’s a tall plant with flowers found in the grasslands of some parts of Europe and Asia.

How does Valerian Root work?

Science hasn’t pinned down exactly how Valerian Root works at the time of writing.

However, they believe it stimulates gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) production in our brains. This neurotransmitter helps relax our bodies and is vital in regulating nerve function.

As a herbal supplement, it’s best to take it within 2 hours before bed.

Is Valerian Root safe, and who should avoid it?

Valerian Root Extract has been safely used in clinical studies in 300-600 mg dosages for up to 6 weeks.

A longer duration is likely safe, but studies haven’t gone that long (yet).

Valerian Root is well-tolerated by the majority of people.

People that should avoid Valerian Root are pregnant or breastfeeding women (safety unknown), people with liver disease, and people that take other sedatives or sleep medication.

What are the benefits of Valerian Root?

Valerian Root can help with:

  • Reducing anxiety and stress
  • Sleep quality: falling asleep faster and sleeping deeper
  • Helping to relax
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flashes for women going through menopause

What are the side effects of Valerian Root?

In uncommon cases, Valerian Root can have the following mild side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • An upset stomach
  • Sleeplessness
Practical information about Melatonin
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Practical information about Melatonin

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is the sleep hormone that’s produced in the brain.

It regulates your internal day/ night (24 hours a day) schedule, called the cardiac rhythm, and helps you sleep.

How does Melatonin work?

The brain produces melatonin in response to darkness. When there’s (a lot of) light, your brain will make low amounts of melatonin, and when it gets dark, it will produce a high amount of melatonin.

Melatonin is important because it triggers sleep, makes you feel tired, and eventually helps you go with the Sandman to the dream world.

However, the blue light from digital screens can prevent our brains from making enough melatonin because it signals daytime instead of the necessary darkness.

As a dietary supplement, melatonin is used to fall asleep faster and sleep better.

Is Melatonin safe, and who should avoid it?

Melatonin is generally considered safe for healthy adults in responsible dosages, with a recommended maximum of 10 mg (even more should be well-tolerated) for up to a few months.

Often experts recommend starting at a dosage of 1-5 mg, but dosages as low as 0.3 mg can be effective.

There’s currently insufficient research on long-term supplementation with melatonin, so long-term safety is unknown.

People with an autoimmune disease can best avoid supplementing melatonin.

What are the benefits of Melatonin?

Melatonin can help with:

  • Falling asleep faster
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Increase sleep duration
  • Insomnia

What are the side effects of Melatonin?

In general, Melatonin doesn’t have any severe side effects. The possible side effects of Melatonin in (very) high dosages are:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling agitated
My experience with valerian root
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My experience with Valerian Root

Valerian Root is an absolute game-changer for me. Often I work till late in the evening and find myself unable to shut off my mind when it’s bedtime.

This would lead to being awake for hours on end, and with periods it got so bad that you could nearly call it insomnia.

Since supplementing Valerian Root, I have slept fast and deep. I take 500 mg of Valerian Root Extract between 30 minutes and 2 hours before sleep.

After I take it, the muscles in my body start to relax, my mind can shut off, and my worries seem to become problems for the next day. It’s perfect for me.

My experience with Melatonin
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My experience with Melatonin

Supplementing Melatonin is excellent if you want to become tired.

Melatonin signals your brain that it’s time to end the day, lay down, and let your mind follow the sandman into the world of dreams.

I take 0.3 mg about 30-60 minutes before bedtime, which works very well for me. After I take it, I start to get tired, and when I’m ready to sleep, I sleep fast.

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Valerian Root vs Melatonin winner: Valerian Root
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Winner Valerian Root versus Melatonin: Valerian Root, but…

In my opinion, Valerian Root wins against Melatonin because it has more benefits in general.

They improve sleep quality, helping me to fall asleep faster and deeper, only in their respective ways.

Valerian Root calms down the muscles in my body and shuts down my mind, so I don’t feel the anxiety and stress of everything that has to get done.

Melatonin is the sleep hormone produced in our brains that makes us sleepy.

I prefer the effects of Valerian Root, but this is personal.

I take both Valerian Root Extract 400 mg and Melatonin 0.3 mg daily at night. Research advises against mixing Valerian Root with other sleep aids like Melatonin.

Perhaps 0.3 mg of Melatonin is such a low dose that it doesn’t matter much. I’ve been doing it for a long time without side effects, and I sleep wonderfully.

To check out the supplements I use and work effectively for me, you can click on the name down below:

NOW Valerian Root (500 mg) on Amazon

Nootropics Depot Melatonin (0.3 mg)

I can also recommend giving this nighttime fat burner a try; it has more melatonin and is excellent for improving sleep quality:

Inno Supps Night Shred on Amazon

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