Valerian (valeriana officinalis)
I've heard of many people lately who are struggling with sleep and finding it difficult to get a full night's rest. Many of the people I hear saying this are dealing with stress and anxiety, and they just cannot seem to get their brains to shut off long enough to fall asleep.
You might think those sleeping pills or melatonin tablets are harmless...but think again. They can have all kinds of negative long term effects not only involving dependency, but on whacking out your hormones! Yikes!
On the contrary, even though valerian is a powerful nervine herb that can help you if you just need to get some zzzzz's, it is very safe for almost everyone! Valerian is not only a sleep aid, but a pain-reducer, muscle relaxant, anti-spasmodic, and a sedative which is helpful specifically for those suffering from anxiety.
If you find yourself tense, drinking a tea or tincture made from valerian root may just be the trick you need to be able to calm those muscles down. We can hold a lot of tension in our neck, jaw, and shoulders which can make it difficult for us to wind down and valerian is great at helping those muscles just chill!
Important to note: about 1 out of every 10 people will not have relaxed response when ingesting valerian. In these friends, it may cause agitation, excitement, and even a bit of a loopy feeling not conducive for good rest.
Therefore, I recommend trying a few drops (of tincture) or a few sips of tea during the day, when you won't have your sleep adversely effected if you happen to be 1 of the 10.
Another way to utilize this sleepy wonderful herb is to diffuse valerian at night, especially for kiddos who may be unlikely to appreciate your efforts of getting them to take a tincture or tea.
A dreamy diffuser recipe to try:
2 drops valerian
2 drops lavender
2 drops cedarwood
If you do not yet have these oils on hand...oh my goodness, let me tell you...life changing. We diffuse every single day and night in our home! Grab your oils and diffuser here!
Look for more sleep tips coming soon!