8. Valerian Root
Valerian root is a herbal remedy that’s been used since Roman and ancient Greek times to help naturally promote good quality sleep. In fact, it’s often referred to as ‘Nature’s Valium’, such is it’s potential to promote calmness.
Often, insomnia or the inability to fall or stay asleep is a consequence of having anxiety. Our racing minds can keep us awake or wake us up in the small hours and we can struggle to quiet our minds in order to fall asleep. Then, we face the following day through a haze of tiredness, that can make anxiety symptoms feel worse, and we’re trapped in a vicious cycle.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter found naturally in the body that promotes stillness and sleepiness, especially in the evening. Some people have low levels of GABA that can mean they struggle with insomnia and anxiety.
Valarian root supplements contain compounds called valerenic acid and valerenol that can act on GABA receptors in the brain that increases levels of GABA in the central nervous system. Therefore, taking valerian root supplements in the evening can have a mild sedative effect that can help us fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer, without causing a drowsy effect the next day. In some people, achieving better sleep can help them manage their anxiety symptoms.