Valerian Root for Sleep vs. Melatonin: Which One is Better?

Image split between Valerian Root for Sleep vs. Melatonin on the left and a bowl of white pills on the right, separated by a question mark, posing a comparison in health approaches.

Do you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep? Are you looking for a good sleep aid that is all-natural? At-home remedies like valerian root and melatonin can both help you get better sleep. However, they may not be the perfect choice for everyone. Here’s what you need to know about some of the most popular natural sleep aid options.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is an herb that blooms beautiful pink flowers. The root of the plant is used as a natural remedy for many different ailments. The herb grows naturally in Europe and Asia, where it originates from, but it can be cultivated in the United States as well.

Valerian Root History

Valerian root has been around for centuries. Even the ancient Greeks used it medicinally as a treatment for anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Today, you can still find valerian root all around the world being used as a sleep aid. 

How to Take Valerian Root

Unlike some sleep remedies, you aren’t limited to a certain method of taking valerian root. You can drink valerian root tea, use valerian root essential oil, or take it in capsule form. The dosage of valerian root is anywhere between 250mg and 1,000mg and is based on the severity of the sleep disruption or stress. 

No matter how you take valerian root, you should always take it between 30 minutes and 2 hours before bed. The longer it takes you to fall asleep, the earlier you should take valerian root. People who take valerian root report feeling less stressed, falling asleep faster, and waking up refreshed. 

How Valerian Root Works

Valerian root works because it stops your brain from breaking down a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an important neurotransmitter that is involved in the regulation of your brain’s nerve impulses. These nerve impulses are responsible for your stress and anxiety levels, and with more of it in your system, you’ll feel less stress and anxiety.

How Long Does Valerian Root Stay in Your System?

Valerian root is broken down by the liver, and it takes about two hours for half of the valerian dose to be eliminated from the body. However, the full effects of the valerian may not be felt for up to four hours.

The drug has a half-life of about six hours, meaning that it takes that long for the body to eliminate half of the dose. The effects of valerian root can last for up to twelve hours.


Hand pouring Slumber CBN gel capsules with a message asking 'Have you tried CBN for sleep?' next to a 'SHOP & SAVE' call-to-action.

Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that is responsible for helping you sleep. When you have good melatonin levels, you will be able to enter REM sleep and stay asleep longer. REM sleep is when your body is able to heal itself and feel well-rested. When you don’t enter REM sleep or aren’t able to get enough of it, your body won’t feel rested. 

Melatonin History

Melatonin was first discovered as a hormone in the 1950s. It was soon identified as a hormone that affects your sleep. Scientists discovered that your body has different levels of melatonin throughout the day – low in the morning and high at night. In the 1990s, melatonin sleep supplements hit the market, and it has been popular ever since. 

How to Take Melatonin

Most melatonin supplements come in gummy, pill, or tablet form. Melatonin dosage varies depending on the person. Some need to take a lower amount of melatonin to match the melatonin levels already present in their body, while others need a higher dosage. You can experiment to find the right dosage for you or visit a doctor for help. 

Melatonin for sleep should always be taken 1-2 hours before bed when your melatonin levels naturally begin to rise. This will make the melatonin more effective as it boosts the natural levels of melatonin in your body. When taken correctly, you’ll fall asleep faster, have no sleep disruptions, and feel well-rested in the morning.

How Melatonin Works

Melatonin supplements help boost the natural levels of melatonin in your body. This helps you enter REM sleep and get a better night’s rest. Boosting melatonin levels is important to help regulate your circadian rhythm, which is also known as your body’s “clock”. Your circadian rhythm helps your body decide when to be awake and when to sleep. Circadian rhythms can be messed up by several factors, such as jet lag or working late. Melatonin supplements help to correct this. 

Melatonin vs Valerian Root, Which Should You Use?

Melatonin and valerian root work in distinct ways, so even though they both help with sleep, you will likely find that you react in different ways to each supplement. As a recap: 

  • Valerian root focuses on creating relaxation by preventing the breakdown of GABA. It may be best for those who can’t sleep because of stress.
  • Melatonin corrects the hormones in your body, which helps if you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep because of your sleeping patterns. It fixes your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s “clock”. 
  • Valerian root is a milder option and doesn’t affect sleep as much as it affects stress levels. It has fewer side effects but can still cause dizziness or some drowsiness. 
  • Melatonin is the stronger choice between the two. When taken correctly, it’s very effective for fixing sleep problems. However, if not taken correctly, it can cause grogginess or other side effects. 

Ultimately, neither option is going to be perfect for every person. To decide which is right for you, you need to identify the reason behind your sleeping problems and choose based on that. If you are leaning towards melatonin, we do have CBN & Melatonin gummies available.

If Melatonin and Valerian Root Aren’t the Right Fit, Try CBN for Sleep

Woman wearing a 'Slumber' branded sleep mask, holding a bottle of Slumber sleep aid capsules, against a blue background, promoting restful sleep.

Are you looking for an all-natural remedy outside of valerian root and melatonin? Both valerian root and melatonin aren’t long-term solutions and don’t work for everyone. CBN for sleep, on the other hand, is perfect for a wide variety of sleeping problems. If you experienced side effects with other sleep aids or they just weren’t effective for you, we’d encourage you to give CBN a try. Many users report that it helps them to sleep without the side effects. Plus, it is natural and plant-based.

Sleep is so important to your daily life. At Slumber Sleep Aid, we want you to find the sleeping remedy that works best for you! Visit our shop to browse our selection of oils, softgels, topicals, and gummies.


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