About Valerian for Sleep

Valerian helps people get to sleep more rapidly.

Valerian has been used as a sleep aid since the time of the Roman Empire.


Common Names:
valerian, all-heal, garden heliotrope
Latin Name:
Valeriana officinalis

Used for insomnia in ancient Greece and Rome, Valerian is a perennial flower that originated in Europe, and is now grown throughout North America as well. Valerian is available in the form of teas, capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of valerian and sleep disorders, 128 volunteers took 400 mg of an extract of valerian, a commercial preparation containing 60 mg valerian and 30 mg hops, and a placebo, alternating them at random. Each study subject took one of the three preparations three times on nine nonconsecutive nights, completing a questionnaire the morning after each treatment. Compared with the placebo, the valerian extract resulted in a statistically significant  improvement in time needed to fall asleep, sleep quality, and number of nighttime awakenings. (Taken from Valerian: Health Professionals Data Sheet, published by the National Institutes of Health)