Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep through the night is a problem that can severely affect your ability to function normally during the day. If you experience recurrent sleep problems, talk with your medical provider about using a natural herb called valerian root to help you sleep. Your doctor can recommend an appropriate dosage of valerian root based upon your health needs.
How Much to Take
People who struggle with insomnia can take between 400 milligrams and 900 milligrams valerian root extract daily. Typically, you shouldn't use valerian root for more than 28 consecutive days unless otherwise instructed by a medical professional.
When to Take
The best time to take your daily dose of valerian root is 30 minutes to two hours before going to bed. After taking this herbal treatment, you will become progressively drowsy. For this reason, don't take valerian root unless you intend to fall asleep shortly after taking it.
Other Medications Not to Take
While taking valerian root, there are other medications you shouldn't take. Avoid using alprazolam or other sedative medications in conjunction with valerian root because this treatment combination may cause severe drowsiness. In addition, don't take valerian root with alcohol, as alcoholic beverages may enhance the sedative effects of valerian root.
Potential Side Effects
Short-term treatment with valerian root is usually safe, but it may cause mild side effects in certain people. You may feel unusually excited or restless and may develop a headache. Taking higher doses of valerian root may cause daytime fatigue, which may make it difficult for you to remain alert and attentive while participating in your usual daily activities. If these side effects are bothersome or persist, contact your doctor for further guidance and care.
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.