Melatonin is all the rage regarding brain health and sleep these days, and we can see why. Key to restorative sleep, melatonin is one of the most well known ingredients in our Sleep Peacefulli brain health supplement. However, more and more people have been talking about Valerian Root and its benefits for insomnia and beyond, so we thought we’d shed some light on this powerhouse ingredient that works side-by-side with Melatonin in our Sleep Peacefulli sleep aid formula.
First of all -- what is it?
Native to Europe and Asia, Valerian is a flowering plant known for its relaxation properties found in its root extract. It has been used as a medicinal herb for a really long time (we’re talking Ancient Greece and Rome here, people!). Even Hippocrates described the herb’s properties, and noted ancient Greek physician Galen noted its use as a remedy for insomnia.
The active compound Valerenic acid increases levels of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) in the brain, which plays a key role in managing anxiety levels. It’s often used for those who have difficulty sleeping, as well as helping to manage the consequences of stress, like headaches, migraines, anxiety, mood disorders, as well as ADHD and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
How do people consume it?
One popular method of getting your dose of Valerian Root is by applying it as an essential oil. Whether you put some in your diffuser or dab some on your wrists before bed, you may notice some of its relaxing properties. A more purist way of consuming the plant? Some put it in salads among other vegetables to ingest the root more directly.
Finally, you can take Valerian Root as a supplement on its own in capsule form. We did just that, but took it several steps further by combining it with other ingredients known to relax the body and mind while warding off insomnia in our Sleep Peacefulli supplement.
Studies suggest that consuming Valerian Root can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep by 15-20 minutes, as well as improving the overall quality of sleep. By taking it in a supplement like Sleep Peacefulli before bedtime, it becomes an effective method for catching those Zzzzzs.
What does it really do?
Valerian Root has been known to treat various conditions through its calming and sedative properties. These include insomnia, migraines and headaches, depression, and anxiety. We’ve included it in our formula because it has been shown to not only be useful in encouraging sleep, but also in ensuring that such sleep is actually restorative. It is useful in promoting REM sleep throughout our sleep cycle, which is vital to feeling energized and well-rested the next day.
Wait -- so how is it different than Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is already found naturally in our bodies. When we go through the circadian rhythm (you can learn more about that here), melatonin is released, signaling that it is time for our bodies to rest. We can encourage the release of more melatonin through supplementation, but Valerian Root is an ingredient only discovered outside of our bodies. Valerian Root is found in nature and is used as an aid to help with sleep, as well as anxiety reduction.
What's your bedtime routine to help you wind down? Tweet us @TheLiveli and let us know!