Melatonin Versus Valerian: Which Is the Better Natural Sleep Aid?

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Have you had trouble sleeping well lately? Practically everyone has trouble at one time or another. Millions of people suffer from chronic sleep problems that sooner or later lead to sleep deprivation. Considering the side effects and possible dangers involved with over-the-counter or prescription sleep medications, natural alternatives are the best choice for anyone who has problems sleeping. But with all the choices available, which remedy do you choose? This article will take a closer look at two of the most popular natural sleep medications on the market: melatonin and valerian.

Most experts agree that natural sleep remedies are better and safer than prescription medications in the long run. Natural choices have fewer side effects. Even over-the-counter pills can cause dry mouth or agitation. Herbal remedies for sleep are much less likely to cause any long-term dependency. People who choose to take prescription sleeping pills often begin to rely on them as the only way they can sleep. Also, natural sleep medications don't require a prescription or an expensive office visit to your physician.

One very popular natural sleep aid is melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and waking cycles, as well as other biorhythms. This substance is naturally produced in our bodies, but the production of melatonin declines as we grow older. Studies of the effects of melatonin has shown that this natural remedy helps users fall asleep faster, but has no effect on total sleep time.

Valerian, or valerian root, is often recommended as one of the most effective natural sleeping medications available. This herbal remedy has a long history of use for insomnia. It was especially popular in Europe beginning in the 16th century. Valerian has the distinction of being approved by many of the world's major drug agencies. It has been deemed safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, Germany's Commission E, and the European Pharmacopeia. Valerian works by affecting the central nervous system. It is possible to build up a tolerance to valerian over time.

When choosing any natural sleep aid, it's important to determine what works best for you. If you're having trouble falling asleep, you might try melatonin. It's also good for short-term problems like jet lag or changing shifts. On the other hand, if you're having trouble staying asleep, you might want to give valerian a try. The good news is that you can take either natural remedy with the confidence that you are working in harmony with your body rather than drugging it into submission.

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