My Preferred Sleep Aid: Valerian Root

Want some help getting to sleep? Here’s my recommendation (and my Polish grandma’s)…

THIS IS NOT SPONSORED! I promise this isn’t like those influencer hair gummies.

Ok so obviously if you’re going from staying awake until 5am to waking up at 5am, you’re going to need some help to actually get to sleep. No sleep aid works for me. I took melatonin twice and built up an immunity to it. Taking Nyquil too often scares crap out of me. This is the ONLY thing that works for me and I’ve taken it for years. Hopefully it works for you, too!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Please consult with your doctor before you take any supplements.

Also, I want to note that I have Amazon Affiliate links to all the products. This is not sponsored, I actually use these products myself. I will be candid with you. I make 3% on each purchase and these are like $5, so it’s pennies. But since I’m still unemployed and creating full content full time, anything helps. Thanks for your support!

Click to purchase on Amazon through my Affiliate Link.

Valerian Root

I had chronic anxiety for what felt like forever. My grandma in Poland also suffers from anxiety and always recommended Valerian Root. It’s very popular there, and usually comes in drop form. Many moms give it to their kids if they can’t fall asleep. In America, a powdered pill is more popular, but nonetheless you can still get it here, and it’s CHEAP!

About the Root

According to, “the root portion [of Valerian Root] has been used in traditional medicine for at least 2,000 years”. Here is their quick scientific explanation of how it works:

Valerian root contains a number of compounds that may promote sleep and reduce anxiety.

These include valerenic acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants.

Valerian has received attention for its interaction with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that helps regulate nerve impulses in your brain and nervous system.

Researchers have shown that low GABA levels related to acute and chronic stress are linked to anxiety and low-quality sleep .

Valerenic acid has been found to inhibit the breakdown of GABA in the brain, resulting in feelings of calmness and tranquility. This is the same way anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax work .

Valerian root also contains the antioxidants hesperidin and linarin, which appear to have sedative and sleep-enhancing properties.

Many of these compounds may inhibit excessive activity in the amygdala, a part of the brain that processes fear and strong emotional responses to stress.

One study found that treating mice with valerian improved their response to physical and psychological stress by maintaining levels of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in mood regulation.

Moreover, researchers have shown that isovaleric acid may prevent sudden or involuntary muscle contractions similar to valproic acid, a medication used to treat epilepsy.

To read more visit The article here on
Valerian flower pictured. Native to Europe and Asia. The flowers are used for perfume and the roots are created into supplements.

Ways To Consume:

Pill Form:

Obviously if you can swallow pills just swallow the pill. However, it might not release as quickly. If you want a more immediate reaction, try the following.

Break The Pill And Take The Powder Straight:

I do this! WARNING it has a WEIRD smell. You’ll have to get over it. But I dry shot the powder inside the pills and just drink a lot of water to get it down. When I was younger, my mom would put the powder on a spoon with sugar and I took it that way. It’s kind of gross but you’ll get over it. If you can take tequila shots, you can take a freakin shot of valerian.

Break The Pill And Make A Tea:

I personally have not tried this method, but every bottle has this suggestion on it. I guess you can boil water and break the powder into it. If you try this, let me know. I’m curious to hear the feedback.

How To Take For Anxiety:

When I had chronic anxiety and I was on the verge of a panic attack (usually in college the day before an exam while cramming), I would take Valerian to calm down. I always took 1/4 or 1/2 the dosage. That way you don’t fall asleep, but you’re a little more relaxed. Again, every body is different so ask your doctor and slowly build up to it. But this is a holistic aid for anxiety. I used to take this on planes when I had really bad flight anxiety as well.

Important Point:

It has a weird smell. I’ll say that straight out. One lady once described it to me as smelling like ‘dog ears’ and well… yeah… that’s pretty much what it smells like. But its also amazing and helps and it’s cheap. Get past the dang smell. Plug your nose!

Where To Buy:

You can buy this literally anywhere. You don’t have to go anywhere fancy. Here are two Amazon Affiliate links. You don’t have to use them, but if you do you help support me to create more content (I make 3% on $5 so I appreciate the $0.15 haha – but every penny counts).

This first one is a nicer brand. It’s non-GMO and gluten free. It’s $15 for 2 bottles (240 pills):

$15 for two bottles. Click Here:

This second one is such a go to brand. I’ve used this one for a while and I’m super happy with it. It’s at any store. I get mine from Walmart, but it’s on sale on Amazon for $5. Get this. $5 will change your life. It’s worth the investment.

$5.49 for a bottle. I trust this brand with my life.

Let me know if you try it! Send me a message on Instagram @toritalkspodcast. I hope it helps you!


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