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Valerian’s Impacts on Sleep and Mental Health

Bulk Nutrients Ambassadors Lou Calvert Sleeping

Valerian to Support Sleep

Sleep is one of those essential human functions that absolutely cannot be messed around with. Good quality sleep is important for overall health, as it plays a crucial role in physical and mental well-being, including immune function, cognitive performance and emotional balance. It also plays a vital role in recovery and muscle growth, as it allows the body to repair and rebuild muscle tissue.

Research suggests that a valerian supplement can play a useful role in improving and supporting overall sleep quality. A 2004 study comparing a herbal preparation including valeriana officinalis with a valerian-only extract and a placebo, found that both valerian preparations reduced the time needed to fall asleep, and improved sleep quality without any morning-after drowsiness.

A 1985 study suggested valerian can play a vital role in assisting people with mild to moderate insomnia. It discovered dosages between 450 and 900mg helped to reduce the time needed to fall asleep, increased total sleep time, and reduced the amount of time someone woke up after falling asleep. Valerian root has been used since the Middle Ages to treat disorders like insomnia.

A 2011 study investigated the effects valerian would have on postmenopausal women experiencing insomnia. Those who took 530mg of valerian extract twice a day for four weeks had significantly improved sleep quality compared to those who took a placebo, with 30% of the woman studies experiencing sleep improvements as well.

There are a significant number of studies into the impact of valerian when it comes to promoting sleep – so if you’re someone struggling with your sleep quality and aren’t feeling rested when you wake up, valerian may help you sleep better.

Valerian’s Mental Health Benefits

Valerian is widely known for its benefits in reducing anxiety and stress.

A 2010 study showed a significant reduction in anxious behaviour when valerian extract or valereneic acid was administered, compared to a control group given a placebo.

A more recent study in 2021 monitored 39 people undergoing dialysis treatment. It discovered significant reductions in patient’s anxiety symptoms after taking 530mg of valerian root an hour before bedtime for a month long study, compared with a placebo. The study also showed an improvement in sleep quality, and symptoms of depression.

There has also been research that suggests valerian can benefit symptoms of conditions that present with anxious behaviours, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.

A 2011 study looked at the effects valerian had on 31 adults with OCD behaviours. Those who took 765mg of valerian extract daily for eight weeks saw a reduction in behaviours, compared to those who took a placebo.

Valerian could also be of benefit to children with hyperactivity and concentration difficulties. A 2014 study of more than 150 primary school aged students studied the effects a combination of valerian and lemon balm extract had on their behaviour. After seven weeks, the children who took the treatment saw a more than 50% improvement in measures of focus, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Research studies are currently underway to see how valerian can benefit other conditions. Some studies currently suggest valerian root may provide benefits for the symptoms of menopause, menstrual issues such as PMS and period pain, as well as restless legs syndrome.

Can I Take Valerian?

It’s always recommended you contact a medical expert before considering adding a supplement to your diet, particularly when you consider potential effects and dosage.

However, research suggests valerian can have benefits for people struggling with sleep and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, therefore it could be a beneficial supplement to add to your diet if you have either of those concerns.

Ryan Bevan Head of Operations TGA

Ryan Bevan

Ryan Bevan works hard to ensure strict TGA compliance, coordinating with external consultants, and managing intricate documentation - all while drawing strength from Bulk Nutrients' exceptional Quality Assurance team.

More about Ryan Bevan


  1. Balderer & Borbely (1985), Effect of valerian on human sleep. Psychopharmacology, 87: 406-9.
  2. Cass, H. (2004). Herbs for the nervous system: Ginkgo, kava, valerian, passionflower. Seminars in Integrative Medicine, 2, 82-88.
  3. Murphy, K., Kubín, Z., Shepherd, J., & Ettinger, R. (2010). Valeriana officinalis root extracts have potent anxiolytic effects in laboratory rats
  4. Shinjyo, N., Waddell, G. and Green, J. (2020). Valerian Root in Treating Sleep Problems and Associated Disorders—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 25. doi:
  5. ‌Tammadon, M.R., Nobahar, M., Hydarinia-Naieni, Z., Ebrahimian, A., Ghorbani, R. and Vafaei, A.A. (2021). The Effects of Valerian on Sleep Quality, Depression, and State Anxiety in Hemodialysis Patients: A Randomized, Double-blind, Crossover Clinical Trial. Oman Medical Journal, [online] 36(2), p.e255. doi:
  6. ‌Tammadon, M.R., Nobahar, M., Hydarinia-Naieni, Z., Ebrahimian, A., Ghorbani, R. and Vafaei, A.A. (2021). The Effects of Valerian on Sleep Quality, Depression, and State Anxiety in Hemodialysis Patients: A Randomized, Double-blind, Crossover Clinical Trial. Oman Medical Journal, [online] 36(2), p.e255. doi:
  7. Pakseresht, S., Boostani, H. and Sayyah, M. (2011). Extract of Valerian Root (Valeriana Officinalis L.) vs. Placebo in Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Randomized Double-Blind Study. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 8(1). doi:
  8. ‌Gromball, J., Beschorner, F., Wantzen, C., Paulsen, U. and Burkart, M. (2014). Hyperactivity, concentration difficulties and impulsiveness improve during seven weeks’ treatment with valerian root and lemon balm extracts in primary school children. Phytomedicine, 21(8-9), pp.1098–1103. doi:

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