How Does Valerian Help Sleep?

Valerian is one of the most common supplements that people use and have used over the past centuries. People that want to improve their sleep would be aware of valerian, which has been used to reduce apprehension and stress. There has been much research on the use of valerian as a natural supplement to improve sleep.

Valerian is often combined with another supplement, hops. Both of these supplements, when combined, enhance each other and the outcome is better than what you’d get if you use them as one. In this article, we will accentuate on how valerian can help with sleep and what it does to provide these outcomes.

We will also explain how valerian and hops function when combined.


Valerian is acclaimed as a supplement for sleep and curative purposes. It is found in the perennial plant, Valeriana officinalis, and it is the root of the plant which is extracted for medication. Valerian has been used for centuries and is innate to some parts of Asia and Europe. In the olden times, valerian was used to cure insomnia, apprehension, disquiet and stress.

Often, valerian is combined with hops to augment the influence of either supplements. The most common use of valerian and hops is to cure insomnia and improve sleep. Similar to valerian, hops has also been acclaimed for centuries as a curative medication for apprehension, disquiet and many other ailments.


The foremost purpose of valerian is as an anxiolytic, a medicine used to cure apprehension and stimulate, in its consumers, sedative outcomes. Valerian decreases apprehension by increasing the amount of GABA produced in the brain, which is a hormone formed in the brain and promotes recreation, while reducing stress.

This makes GABA imperative for sleep, as it makes sure that the body receives the required duration of sleep and increases the duration of REM sleep. REM sleep is important, since this is the duration that the mind is involved in restoration processes.

Similarly, hops also functions in the same way, to increase the amount of GABA hormones produced in the brain. There has also been research that indicates that the serene outcomes of hops come from its function to reduce the body temperature of the consumer. The reduction of the body temperature causes tiredness, which is fundamental to the promotion of sleep.


Valerian is one of the most researched supplements for insomnia and improvement in sleep. It is acclaimed by many scientists as a cure for sleep-related problems and stress. There has also been research that shows that valerian can not only promote, but also make it better and increase the duration of sleep.

Hops too has been used as a supplement to improve sleep for centuries now. As per research, hops, when consumed alone, can increase the duration of sleep. Hops also reduces the temperature of the body, which is fundamental to sleep. However, hops seems to be the most active when used with other supplements, often valerian.

Research also claims that both valerian and hops can mediate apprehension and stress. There has also been research that shows that valerian can reduce blood pressure and heart-rate. Hops has also been acclaimed as a stress-reduction medication by many scientists. Hops also has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties and has also been shown to reduce weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.

In addition to this, hops has also been shown to contain anti-cancer elements. Research conducted on the supplement shows that it is a pre-emptive cure for some sorts of cancers, such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. Research also shows that valerian and hops can be used as a curative medication for;

  • Menstrual symptoms
  • Menopausal symptoms other than sleep problems
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain or upset
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Epilepsy
  • Indigestion and intestinal cramping
  • Pain and inflammation, for arthritis and other conditions


Since valerian causes a sedative influence in its consumers, it is recommended that people not operate any heavy machinery after. Valerian is, overall, bearable for adults. However, there may be some minor systems after the consumption of the supplement, which includes;

  • Headache
  • Disquiet or unease
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness in the morning, often if consuming more than required
  • Intense dreams

It is recommended that women that are pregnant or breast-feeding consult a doctor before consuming valerian as a supplement. It is also recommended that patients about to under-go surgery not consume valerian, as it can combine with the anesthesia or any other medication. As such, you should not consume valerian anytime two weeks before the operation.

Hops, on the other hand, is not as intense and does not cause any side-effects, if consumed in the recommended amount. Hops is also, overall, bearable for adults. However, it is recommended that people with the below-mentioned conditions consult a doctor before consuming hops as a supplement;

  • Pregnancy and breast feeding
  • Depression
  • Hormone-sensitive conditions, including hormone-sensitive cancers
  • Surgery patients


In recent years, there have been many studies that have concluded which supplements and herbs valerian and hops can be combined with.

But, it is still recommended that you consult a doctor before consuming these combinations, as the outcome depends on your condition(s). Both valerian and hops can be combined with alcohol, but tiredness and more sleepiness will happen as a result.

Valerian can be combined with the below-mentioned supplements;

  • Calamus
  • California poppy
  • Catnip
  • Hops
  • Jamaican dogwood
  • Kava
  • L-tryptophan
  • Melatonin
  • Sage
  • SAMe
  • St. John’s wort
  • Sassafras
  • Skullcap

Whilst hops can be combined with the below-mentioned supplements;

  • 5-HTP
  • Calamus
  • California poppy
  • Catnip
  • Jamaican dogwood
  • Kava
  • St. John’s wort
  • Skullcap
  • Valerian
  • Yerba mansa

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