Valerian Root vs Melatonin

melatonin and valerian root for relaxationIt can be difficult in this high-stress world to find a way to wind down and relax at the end of the day.  Because of this difficulty, many people end up with poor sleep quality, stressed moods, and an overall feeling of being overwhelmed.

Luckily, there are some ways that you can take the bull by the horns and change how you relax after a hard day.  When it comes to natural relaxation and sleep aids there are two supplements that stand out among the rest: valerian root and melatonin.

Melatonin

For starters, melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone in all living plants and animals, although it serves a different purpose in each.

For mammals, melatonin is the hormone that, in combination with circadian rhythms, helps to regulate and normalize sleep patterns. Research has shown melatonin is beneficial not only with helping to regulate sleep but also to decrease anxiety, alleviate headaches, and more.

While melatonin is naturally produced in the human body, sometimes your melatonin levels become imbalanced so supplementating it can go a long way to improving sleep. Now let’s take a look at valerian root.

Valerian Root and High Stress

The root of the valerian plant has been supplemented for a very long time (we’re talking 16th century long time), and has served many different purposes over the years.

Today, valerian root is a common supplement for those who are looking to curb anxiety, reduce stress, and fight sleeplessness. While melatonin is a hormone found in the human body, valerian root certainly is not, therefore it works in a much different way.

Through binding with GABA (A) receptors via valerenic acid, the valerian root extract is able to exert most of its effects. While this may not mean much to you, it is important to note that valerian root is working in a synergistic manner with your brain and its constituents.

Most research involving valerian root has been focused on its ability to lower anxiety levels and it has shown that the extract does act as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety).

In addition, research involving sleep and and lack thereof has shown to be promising but ultimately inconclusive. Interestingly enough, the most profound and conclusive effect found to stem from supplementing valerian root is its ability to induce lucid dreaming, although this study involved a rather high dosage.

Sleep and relaxation supplements are not by any means in short supply, but when it comes to natural options that have been studied and proven to be effective, melatonin and valerian root really hit the nail on the head.

The facts are there now it’s up to you to decide which one is right for you. Remember always pay attention to the packaging of your supplement for dosage instructions and make sure you always listen to your body, because if you don’t who else will?

Melatonin and Valerian Root: Where to Find the Best Quality?

Valerian Root and Melatonin are fairly common supplements and can be found at many health-food or drug stores.  Therefore, the prices are standardized in the industry.  At most, you may pay a dollar or so more from store to store.

However, quality can vary greatly.  Many less-than-ethical companies will use low quality supplements in order to boost their profit margins.  Because of this quality difference, it is important to use a supplier that features third-party testing.  Third-party testing uses an unbiased tester to assure quality and purity of supplements.  Some sites use third-party testing on some supplements but not all of them. Sites like PC use testing on all of their products, including Valerian Root and Melatonin.

Melatonin vs Valerian Sources:

  1. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347389
  2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18036082