A lack of sleep due to insomnia or RLS can pose significant health and emotional well-being concerns for many people. Of those with RLS symptoms, 86% will have insomnia as well and will sleep less than the recommended 6.5 hours or more per night. Often when we are faced with consistent difficulty falling or staying asleep, we may look for alternative methods to induce a good night’s rest. Prescription drug use is often not the answer, as there is a significant risk of dependency and drug addiction from the use of such medications.
The alternative seems to be more homeopathic remedies. Valerian root is one such herbal remedy that has shown some promise in helping individuals fall asleep. As with any homeopathic remedy, you should always do your homework, and understand the benefits and potential side effects from such a substance.
Valerian is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. In the last several years it has been introduced and naturalized in the United States. The part of the plant used for the herbal remedy is the root. Valerian plants have rhizome-style roots which are dried and ground as a powder, which can be used to make tinctures and teas, or included in capsules or pills.
For those with RLS sleep disruptions from restless legs, valerian is clinically shown to accelerate sleep onset, enhance sleep quality and reduce nighttime awakenings. Researchers have suggested that valerian is a safe herb for managing RLS without side effects.
There have been numerous studies conducted on the effectiveness of valerian in reducing insomnia and inducing sleep. While there is not a consensus among medical professionals regarding the effectiveness of the remedy, there is significant evidence that it does indeed help people to fall asleep more quickly.
So the big question for those with RLS is whether or not valerian root can help relieve their symptoms. The answer is that valerian root will not eliminate the symptoms of RLS; there is currently no known cure for the condition. But valerian has been shown to help some people with RLS fall asleep and stay asleep. Valerian root contains substances which cause relaxation and sedation, possibly helping you to overcome the symptoms of restless legs long enough to fall asleep.
In a study done by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in 2009, participants with RLS were given 800 milligrams of valerian over a specific period of time, along with a placebo. The researchers found strong evidence to indicate that valerian does indeed help to manage the symptoms of RLS.
We include 800 mg of valerian root powder in every bottle of Calm Legs. Valerian may not work for all people with RLS, but it is certainly worth considering before taking prescription drugs, which may carry the risk of addiction.