Sleep (Insomnia)Valerian

Effect of valerian on sleep quality

About 50% of postmenopausal women experience sleep disturbances such as insomnia.

Researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, in Iran, evaluated the effects of valerian extract taken nightly.

First, the details.

  • 100 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 60 years who were experiencing insomnia were assigned to a treatment group for 4 weeks.
    • 530 mg of concentrated valerian extract twice a day
    • Placebo
  • Neither the patients nor researchers were aware of the treatment given — double blind.

And, the results.

  • There was a statistically significant change in the quality of sleep with valerian vs placebo group.
  • 30% of the participants in the valerian group and 4% in the placebo group showed an improvement in the quality of sleep — a significant difference.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Valerian improves the quality of sleep in women with menopause who are experiencing insomnia.”

The value of valerian for insomnia is controversial as summarized here.

7/29/11 22:06 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.