All of us have spent some restless nights when insomnia has hit our door and stayed for hours! Either from tension, anxiety or extreme enthusiasm, or even from jet lag syndrome after a long journey, an endless evening is not a great experience when you find yourself spinning on your bed!
Although this may be an isolated incident, what happens when insomnia becomes a habit? Can melatonin and valerian be the perfect combination for this problem? Is it safe to take them and how long can we consume them?
“Our body naturally produces melatonin. It does not cause sleepiness, but as its levels increase during the evening, we enter a state of quiet wakefulness that promotes sleep”, explains Luis F. Buenaver, a sleep expert at Johns Hopkins University (1).
However, almost all of us may experience difficulty with our sleep. If this continues for a while, you can try some melatonin supplement. Surveys show that this helps to sleep faster, especially those who manage to sleep too late at night, and get up late in the morning.
If melatonin still does not help you after one or two weeks stop using it and contact a specialist. If you see a good result you can continue for one or two months until your sleep gets normal.
Melatonin: Interactions and Side Effects
Melatonin is not indicated in pregnancy and lactation, as well as in autoimmune diseases or depression. If you are in diabetes or hypertension medication, consult your doctor as a melatonin supplement can increase sugar levels and blood pressure (1)!
What is valerian?
Valerian is one of the best-known herbs for sleep and is found mainly in Europe but also in some parts of Asia and North America. It is used very often for sleep disorders and especially for the treatment of insomnia. There are many who choose it for relaxation, as a natural solution for stress and anxiety. Valerian supplements are mostly made from the root of the plant.
Valerian for sleep
Nowadays, many research has been done on the effect of valerian on insomnia. Most have shown that it can reduce the time we need to fall asleep by 15-20’. In addition, valerian seems to improve the quality of sleep. Taking it 2 hours before sleep seems to have a better effect. Depending on the organism it may take from a few days to several weeks of continuous intake to see results (2).
Valerian can be found dried and used to make a tea in order to relax and prepare for sleep, but also as a pill where its concentration is much larger.
Valerian: interactions and side effects
Valerian may cause dizziness, headache, stomach upset or intense drowsiness. Because we may feel more lethargic, it is advisable to avoid driving or do dangerous manual work after taking it. In addition, it is advisable to avoid it if we have problems with our liver (3). Avoid it also during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as there is not enough research on it.
Valerian is very likely to interact with any medications we may be taking. It is likely to increase the action of other tranquilizers or sleeping pills, and also interact with alcohol, antidepressants and herbal supplements for better mood such as St. John’s Wort (3). Because valerian slows down the central nervous system, its use must be stopped two weeks before a planned surgery so that there is no problem with anesthesia or a drug that also affects the central nervous system.
Melatonin and Valerian
Now many formulations combine valerian with melatonin for maximum effect. Together they seem to have a better and faster result than anything else and promise a quiet sleep!
Find in Vita4you.gr many supplements for insomnia!