Which valerian root or melatonin is best? 

Even if it’s time to go to bed, you may not have an easy time falling asleep. Whether there’s a change in your routine or a shift in your daily habits, it can be very difficult to get a good night’s rest. Luckily, there are several supplements that can help you fall asleep naturally, like valerian root and melatonin. 

Valerian root comes from a plant, and melatonin is a hormone that naturally exists within the body. You can find both of these natural ingredients in all kinds of supplements, most commonly in sleep aids. But which one is best for you? 

Valerian root

Valerian root is a tall plant with fern-like leaves and budding flowers that grow at the top of its stems. The blooms range in colors from white to purple and pink. Suppliers grow them all over the world, including North America and Asia. People use valerian root as a natural sleep aid, and some even use it to help address anxiety and other psychological issues. However, there is not much scientific evidence proving its effectiveness for mental health. You can find it in several forms, from tablets to capsules and chewable gummies.

Valerian root pros

valerian root

Many users report that valerian root promotes relaxation, which can help you fall asleep more quickly. People commonly use valerian root to help lessen symptoms of insomnia and other sleep issues. Some report that the relaxation effects feel like a sedative, which is why it may be helpful for treating anxiety. Additionally, valerian root can help reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.

Valerian root cons

There have not been enough studies to prove valerian root’s effectiveness. In fact, most studies show that it is just as useful as a placebo. It’s also unclear if valerian root is non-habit forming. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should consider the potential side effects of valerian root, whether taking it on its own or in combination with other medicines. Make sure to consult with your physician before introducing valerian root into your diet.

Best valerian root

NOW Valerian Root Herbal Supplement

NOW Valerian Root Herbal Supplement

This herbal supplement promotes sleep and relaxation within the body. It’s dairy-free, non-GMO, corn-free and has low sodium. Plant-based dieters will like this option because it uses a vegan-friendly capsule.

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Melatonin is a hormone the body produces when it perceives darkness. Dark surroundings send a message to your brain which encourages your body to adjust its circadian rhythm. This hormone helps you regulate your sleep schedule, no matter where you are in the world. Companies manufacture melatonin supplements to help people improve their sleep. Melatonin supplements can also help people with sleep rhythm issues, and it encourages a more productive sleep each night.

Melatonin pros

Melatonin can help regulate sleep, especially for those who want to correct sleep pattern disorders. It’s also helpful for those who need to adjust their sleep schedule after traveling to an alternate time zone. Since melatonin naturally occurs within the body, it’s generally safe to take as long as you use the appropriate dosage. If taken in small doses, melatonin allows the body to drift off to sleep in a natural, comfortable way that won’t leave you feeling drowsy the next morning.

Melatonin cons

There is the potential for negative effects, especially if you are trying to alter your body’s natural chemistry. And if you happen to take other medicines or vitamins, there are several different potentially negative drug interactions. This is especially true for those taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. Consult your doctor before taking melatonin, so you’re certain it’s safe for you to use it. Furthermore, you should not take melatonin for an extended period, so don’t make a habit of using it regularly.

Best melatonin

Vitafusion Extra-Strength Melatonin Gummies

Vitafusion Extra-Strength Melatonin Gummies

These blackberry gummies promote sleep, so you can get a good night’s sleep when you need it. They are gluten-free, dairy-free and don’t contain any artificial flavorings or sweeteners. However, this product is heat sensitive, so make sure to store it in a cool, dry location.

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Should you get valerian root or melatonin?

While some may find valerian root promotes relaxation and deep sleep, melatonin is a more natural way to get the rest you need. Since melatonin already exists within the body, it is less likely to have undesired side effects. Melatonin is also less likely to leave you with a sleep hangover or continued drowsiness the following day. Consult a doctor or medical health professional before you start using melatonin or valerian root to ensure you get the most out of these supplements.


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Erica Redding writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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