Sleep patterns are influenced by many factors i.e. stress, hormones, working habits, nutritional status, chronic illnesses, pharmaceutical medications, anxiety, overactive mind and stimulants. Correcting sleep imbalances is a long term goal and implementing a range of healthy lifestyle changes can be helpful in order to establish a sleep/ awake cycle and reinforce these changes.
Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis) is a herb which has been recognised for over 2000 years and dates back to Ancient Greece and Hippocrates. The actions of Valerian root are sedative, anxiolytic, hypnotic, tranquilizing and anti-spasmodic.
Valerian is commonly recommended for individuals suffering from nervous disorders such as anxiety, restlessness, stress, dyspepsia, flatulence and insomnia. It is most beneficial for individuals who suffer from mild to moderate insomnia or sleep problems, its effect on people with chronic sleep disturbances is limited. Many naturopaths will prescribe a blend of herbs when addressing a particular condition for better results. For example, they may use Valerian as an ingredient, however they will add other herbs such as Chamomile, Hops, Vervain, Oats, Lemon Balm, Passionflower or Zizyphus to help improve the outcome and also address underlying causes, such as nervous system tension.