Menopause is a major turning point in a women's life. Of all the changes the body goes through during this transition, it's the feeling of fatigue millions of women have trouble kicking, because they aren't getting enough sleep. So, should you run for the sleeping pills?
On the September 25 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Mehmet Oz welcomed Dr. Michael Breus, "The Sleep Doctor." Dr. Breus was there to discuss the common misconceptions about melatonin for sleep and how to use it properly, but there is one sleep supplement he would recommend for women who've gone through this major life change -- valerian root.
This herbal supplement could mean the difference between tossing and turning and sleeping soundly by fighting post-menopausal fatigue before you even hit the bed.
Menopause and Insomnia
Menopause is when the menstrual cycles end and a woman is no longer able to become pregnant. This process has drastic effects on the body as the hormones shift. Hot flashes and night sweats can be very uncomfortable and mood swings can keep women up at night as well and lead to chronic fatigue.
Dr. Breus cited a study conducted this year at the University of Tehran, in which 100 women, ages 50 to 60, participated. The women were divided into two groups, one receiving a twice-daily valerian root supplement for two weeks while the other group took a placebo twice a day. Thirty percent of the women who took valerian saw an improvement in their sleep.
A Little More About Valerian
According to The American journal of medicine, insomnia affects approximately one-third of adults. Valerian (Valeriana officianalis) herbal supplements are produced from the flowering valerian plant, which is native to North America, Europe and Asia. It works within the brain to inhibit certain nerve impulses that can keep you awake, producing a mild sedative effect. Valerian root can help calm stress and anxiety, allowing you to unwind and fall asleep naturally. Valerian root also doesn't have the risk of dependency of prescription sleep aids and has little to no side effects.
How to Use it
You can find valerian root in teas, liquid extracts and in capsule or tablet form. Only mild symptoms have been reported from valerian root use -- typically headaches or stomach upset. It's important to keep your doctor informed if you plan on adding a valerian root supplement to your routine. Make sure to give yourself a trial period to see how it will affect you, especially when it comes to tasks like driving the next morning. Start with a lower dose and work your way up gradually to reset your sleep cycle. Studies are ongoing to determine the effects of long-term valerian usage, so stick to a two-week period when using it, followed by a break.
Valerian can help you get the sleep you need to prevent post-menopausal symptoms from weighing you down. Check out our full selection of valerian supplements at eVitamins and enjoy a great night's sleep!
Products you may like:
Alvita Organic Herbal Tea Valerian Why you may like this product? A tea is a great way to get
the benefits of an herb like
valerian without having to
take pills. This tea from
Alvita combines valerian root
with peppermint to help calm
and relax you, helping you
unwind for a restful night's
sleep. And it tastes great!
Solaray Valerian Root Why you may like this product? Solaray's valerian root
supplement is organically
grown and processed to ensure
purity and quality, for a
supplement you can feel good
about taking. Each two-capsule
serving provides about 1 g of
valerian root extract.
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