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Melatonin Alternative: Valerian Root

While cannabidiol is the star of most Betoken CBD products, it’s not the only natural product we recommend. Valerian root, a widely beloved natural remedy for sleep, stress, and other maladies is featured in our Betoken Nighty Night capsules. The root is native to Europe and Asia, where the usage as a sleep aid is as old as history. If you find that melatonin isn’t working for you or don’t like its side effects, Valerian may be an excellent alternative.

Use of Valerian as a Sleep Aid

The first hint of the deep roots of Valerian as a for sleep lays in its name. Roman physicians gave the root its name, which is Latin for “To be strong.” Traditionally, people would either chew the root or dry and powder it to make tea. Today, you can find extracted essential oils of valerian root in many shops.

How Does Valerian Root Work?

Studies show that Valerian root works by interfacing with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. GABA helps regulate many chemical responses in the brain, which modern research indicates is the key to Valerian root boosting sleep. Low levels of this compound contribute to heightened stress, poor sleep, and a variety of other ill effects.

Animal trials, as well as studies in humans, have helped underline the sleep-enhancing potential of valerian root. For instance, a study in rats subjected a group of valerian-dosed animals and a control group to induced stress. At the end of the study, it was clear that the rats that had consumed valerian root experienced less stress as indicated by brain activity and physical behavior.

While GABA-maintaining compounds in valerian root appear to help with sleep and mood regulation, that’s not all. Other elements of the plant, such as linarin have been shown to enhance sleep and produce calm. Overall, there’s a strong basis for believing in the value of valerian root to improve sleep.

Valerian Root vs Melatonin

It is well established that Melatonin produced by the body plays a fundamental role in getting quality sleep. Studies have found it works best for people whose circadian rhythm or sleep schedule is shifted later, or so called “night owls”. However, Melatonin also comes with many unwanted side-effects including daytime drowsiness, headaches, dizziness and nightmares. 

There are many reasons to choose valerian root over melatonin. For one, many nature-minded people will likely feel more comfortable with something they can grow in their own garden as opposed to something produced in a laboratory (our bodies naturally produce Melatonin, but the Melatonin you buy OTC is man-made). Valerian root may also offer a more holistic effect than melatonin, since it relies on a mixture of plant-based compounds to relieve stress and anxiety as well as improve sleep. Furthermore, there are interesting theories that valerian root could have historic and future applications as an anti-seizure medication.

Try Valerian Root and CBD

When combined with CBD, Valerian Root may be particularly effective in helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It also does not cause any grogginess or daytime drowsiness. Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day when you try Betoken’s Nighty Night capsules for sleep! 


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