A lack of sleep do to insomnia or RLS can pose significant health and emotional well being concerns for many people. Of those with RLS symptoms, 86% will have insomnia as well and will sleep less than the recommended 6.5 hours or more per night. Often when we are faced with consistent difficulty falling or staying asleep, we may look for alternative methods of inducing sleep. Prescription drug use is often not the answer as there is a significant risk of dependency and drug addiction from the use of such medications.
The alternative seems to be more homeopathic remedies. Valerian root is one such herbal remedy that has shown some promise in helping individuals fall asleep. As with any homeopathic remedy, you should always do your homework, and understand the benefits and potential side effects from such a substance.
What is Valerian Root?
The valerian plant is a perennial flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. In the last several years it has been introduced and naturalized in the United States. The part of the plant used for the herbal remedy is the root. Valerian plants have rhizome style roots which are dried and ground as a powder. They can be used to make tinctures and teas, or included in capsules or pills.
Will it Help Me Sleep?
For those with RLS sleep disruptions from Restless Legs (RLS), valerian is clinically shown to accelerate sleep onset, enhance sleep quality and reduce nighttime awakenings. Researchers have suggested that valerian is a safe herb for managing RLS Restless Legs (RLS) without side effects.
There have been numerous studies conducted on the effectiveness of valerian in reducing insomnia and inducing sleep. While there is not a consensus amongst medical professionals regarding the effectiveness of the remedy, there is significant evidence that it does indeed help people to fall asleep more quickly.
Valerian Root and RLS
So the big question for those with RLS is whether or not valerian root can help them with their symptoms. The answer is that valerian root will not eliminate the symptoms of RLS. There is currently no known cure for the condition. What valerian has been shown to do is to help some people with RLS fall asleep and stay asleep. Valerian root contains substances which cause relaxation and sedation, possibly helping you to overcome the symptoms of restless leg long enough fall asleep.
In a study done by the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, in 2009, participants with RLS were given 800 milligrams of valerian over a specific period of time, along with a placebo. The conclusion of that study indicated that there strong evidence to indicate that valerian does indeed help to manage the symptoms of RLS.
Valerian may not work for all people with RLS, but it is certainly worth looking at before going to something drug related that has potential addictive dangers.
Learn more about the Pros and Cons of Medications used to treat RLS