Valerian Root as a sleep aid. WARNING: this does not work for everyone...and DO NOT MIX WITH ANTI-AXIETY OR ANTIDEPRESSANTS... I found this out the hardway. I frequently get insomnia and a friend suggest the valerian root. I called my mother and she agreed I should try it. I was up all night, and not only that, I went into a psychotic rage, cried hysterically and drove off to my job in this state. Luckily my husband found me! I later looked up interactions online and found that when mixed with anti-depreess-or anxiety medicines, this can happen. I was taking Xanax at thet ime, although I had not taken any that day, it must have still be in my system (I take on an as need basis).
Also, 1/3 of people using valerian root tend to feel suicidal. This works great for some people, just be careful!! and please, don't take it alone.
First of all, I love Earthclinic! Thank you so much Deidre, Ted and anyone else who puts effort in making this site the wonder that it is.
I have a bit of feedback on Valerian Root (tea and liquid capsules). It did not work for me. I have had trouble sleeping due to anxiety. I have tried many other things (warm milk, magnesiun, bentonite clay, etc.), unfortunately, none of them seem to work for me. I believe that my level of anxiety is too high, (I have a big exam coming up and worry about not doing well) therefore I just cannot sleep. I can usually cope well with the anxiety during the day (I usually do oil pulling, take Ted's pH drink (baking soda/sea salt, etc.)). Also for the anxiety, L-Theanine (about 600 mg 3X/day) has been very helpful. Does anyone have any suggestions for the insomnia?
Thanks in advance!
Any valerian preps didn't work for me, even after several months' use, not only that it induced almost constant irregular heart rhythm, like trigeminy and palpitation. Didn't realize what caused this crazy rhythm until I ran out of valerian for a more than a month when that uncomfortable rhythm problem disappeared. This hard lesson could have been learned had I google-searched before venturing out for herbs.
When I'm having trouble with sleep, I take valerian root capsules.
Half a dropper of valerian root and half a dropper of lobelia in a little water 15 minutes before bed does wonders for my sleep. It also induces intense dreaming!
Vetiver oil should be on the list for insomnia remedies! It's the main natural remedy I use for a restful sleep. It relaxes me so much and eases all those crazy thoughts that come up that prevent sleep from happening. I diffuse it at night or put some on the back of my neck. Combine it with lavender oil and its even better! :)
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex for insomnia and stress
Take B complex vitamins to help with insomnia. Sleep disturbances can be the result of B vitamin deficiency. B vitamins are really good for stress relief, too. I take a quality brand from Genestra that has all the B vitamins and find I sleep better when I take it during the day.
When I stop taking the B vitamins the sleep problems seems to return, hope this helps.
I have suffered from insomnia since I was a teenager (I'm 34 now), going to bed has always been my least favorite time of the day because I would roll over for hours, it was horrible. I have tried many things such as melatonin, prescription drugs, Cannabis (illegal where I live, not good), certain teas, alcohol, etc. All were either Not effective, or created other problems in the long run. I also tried common sense approaches such as reading, warm milk, warm baths, skin brushing, etc etc etc... Nothing worked.
However for a month now I have been sleeping like a baby and the solution came in as a surprise since I'm taking it for something else other than insomnia: niacin (vitamin B3), in the form if nicotinic acid (B3 in the Niacinamide Form didn't work). Wow! Now I take it and I get that heavy feeling on my eye lids, and after a while I start yawning. Once that happens I just go to bed and voila!
Be careful though: nicotinic acid will make you flush, and if you don't know what that is it can be scary. So please do your homework and Research Doses and possible side effects so you know what to expect. Start on the low side until you get a nice flush (after awhile you will enjoy the warm feeling, and your skin won't itch as badly). As an extra bonus my skin feels and looks amazing, everybody comments on my Complexion Now! I'm also much calmer and no longer depressed (reason why I tool it in the first place). Very interesting positive side effects! I hear it will also lower bad Cholesterol and increase the good kind. Beware of side effects of you have liver issues, or is on medication. Amazing! But again, do you homework first.
Best part: this stuff is cheap, over the counter, and needed by the body anyway (without it you develop pellagra. Some bread is enriched with it, but not in orthomolecular amounts). I'm taking about 3 grams a day.
High vitamin D can lead to terrible insomnia and, secondary to that, exacerbate all your symptoms.
I developed severe insomnia last winter (nov 07) and went through quite a trial for months, with none of the many things I tried helping much except some tips on how to improve sleep habits through cognitive behavioral therapy. I was doing better May-Oct 08 then all of a sudden the same severe insomnia symptom was back in full force. Last month I decided to try vitamin D3 2000 IU/day, after reading so many recent articles about the importance of this sunshine vitamin. I chose tablets with D3 source from lanolin, since I am allergic to fish. Within a week I was sleeping soundly at night, and I am continuing to sleep well. In retrospect, it is likely that I became more susceptible to vit. D deficiency after I became lactose intolerant and stopped drinking milk.
(New Brunswick, Nj)
It has now been 3 years since I started the vitamin D. Yes I still take it, and yes it still works! In fact my winters have been much much healthier since. I take 4000 iu D3 most mornings. also vit c, krill oil, probiotic, 1-2drops of lugols. 200 mg magnesium citrate near bedtime. I make fresh green veggie juice most days too, regular walking and yoga. Sleeping soundly most nights and waking up ready for the day. Feel like I am finally living my life, not just dragging through it.
I find that taking vitamin D prevents sleep unless taken only in the morning. B vitamin complex I have to take only in the morning too.
Vitamins D and B Complex
I have a question about vitamin D. I was reading 'Right Sleep' and the doc there says get B12 and Vit D blood tests. It's a pricy program, so I just did the blood test. My b12 was great, right in the middle of the range. My D3 was also right in the middle of the range, but my D2 was at the bottom, not even reading an exact number, simply <4. Does this matter at all? I've always read that D3 is what you want, but I'm thinking everything matters and should be in a good range. Should I do anything? and, if so, what?
I must say, since I started supplementing with D and B complex, I've been sleeping much better. How do I get all my numbers in the good range?
Hi GertJr -
That's a really good question! I found this article very informative:
Vitamin D3 is only found in animal-sourced foods, whereas D2 mainly comes from plant sources and fortified foods (it's cheaper to produce).
Vitamin D3 appears to be better than D2 at improving vitamin D status.
You can also get Vitamin D3 through sun exposure on your bare skin. The further you are away from the equator, the harder it is to get proper D3 levels from sun exposure alone.
If your total Vitamin D levels are in the optimal range, I wouldn't worry about the breakdown between D3 and D2 (none of my tests had a Vitamin D2 category - just D3).
Hope that helps!
Watch the Sunrise
I had years of insomnia and was told that my circadian rhythm off and that the best way to fix this was to look at the sunrise as many days as you can in a row to reset your natural clock. This makes it that the body creates and releases the correct hormones at the correct time. I had been making cortisol at night and melatonin during the day, which is not as it should be.
Going for morning walks to see the sunrise is so healing and definitely helps! I didn't even do it for that reason, it was just refreshing. It's hard to get into the habit at first if you haven't been sleeping well but it's worth the weeks or months it takes to get there for sure! I can't go out now but I'm going to try looking out the window in the morning to get the same benefits. Thanks ,Michelle!
I have been trying to find a solution to my persistent insomnia and heart burn. Since giving up wheat both have completely subsided. After years of otc and struggling to find a solution I am so relieved to be sleeping like I did when I was a child (41 years young now).
Wiggle the Toe Method
I had psychotic depression after my childs birth. I didn't sleep for days. A reflexologist told me this. You wiggle one toe, then the next one, then the next one and so on. Over and over. It works brilliantly, try it tonight!
Xiao Feng San
I have been suffering from insomnia for a few weeks, mainly caused by hypnic twitches. My problems involve trouble falling asleep and waking up and having trouble falling asleep again. I tried magnesium citrate and magnisium oil on the skin which I think helped a bit. I saw my TCM acupunturist who gave me Xiao Feng San for inflammation and sleeplessness. I could fall asleep as soon as I went to bed, but I was still having trouble with waking up in the middle of the night and taking a bit to get back to sleep (caused by stress). It worked the day I started taking it, and when I ran out of it I couldn't sleep again. If you suffer from this please see a TCM specialist, just give it a try. Oh and it also worked for the inflammation.
I starting adding 30mg of zinc for Covid prevention, besides D3. Couple of weeks later I realized I had been sleeping much better; deeper, remembering dreams, less frequently getting up and only in the first couple of hours. (I take meds with a lot of water before bedtime.) And the zinc was the only new addition. After a little research I found out that yes, indeed, zinc does help with sleep disorders.
I am a 52 year old post menopausal woman who has had a challenging time during the past couple of years during the transition due to adrenal fatigue. I have tried everything for insomnia due to cortisol fluctuations and recently tried zinc supplements (zinc glycinate chelate) after reading that zinc lowers cortisol. Results were immediate and I'm happy to report that I have been sleeping like a baby, 8-9 hours straight, for over two weeks now! I initially started with 30mg before bed, but I have cut back to 15mg with no noticeable affect. I also take magnesium glycinate before bed but it alone wasn't enough. Just wanted to share in hopes that supplementing with zinc might help others!
Dear Flippside (Tampa, Fl),
The Zinc worked like a charm!!! I only used it once at 15 mg. and not only was I asleep in half an hour amazingly I had tremendous energy all day! I had been dragging for weeks and not sleeping! And without taking anything I am sleepy right now. But I am taking one tab of Zinc right now!
I can't believe the energy I have with only one tab of zinc!
Thanks so much for posting this!