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Old 05-14-2009, 01:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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QUESTION? Valerian root for insomnia?


Hi- I need some advice... I have a little over a year of sobriety and I have had insomnia lately. I went to GNC (General Nutrition Center) the other day and they said Valerian Root is a herb that promotes healthy sleep. They said it was all natural and non-addictive.

I just want to make sure this isn't considered "mind-altering"? It's a herb. Hmmmmmmmmmm ???

What do you think AA would think?

Any advice????

Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Please see if this link with tips for sleeping is beneficial

Insomnia? 42 Simple Tips to Help You Get to Sleep - Insomnia treatment, cures

I don't like to sleep....never have...
.so I have no personal experieness with sleep aids.

About AA and my general health......what I take
why I take ....is a medical matter between my
doctors and myself. I have no reason to
discuss my meds in meetings.

All my best.....
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've tried Valerian several times over the years because I have chronic insomnia.

It did nothing for me.

I have heard that it helps some people though.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi

I have used valerian root. It doesn't put me right to sleep. It has a mild calming effect and I think it does help a little get to me to sleep. I like it, no side effects. I don't use it regularly.

I have used melatonin. It actually works a little better, but I don't like it. For me, it makes me cranky the next day, my experience is not typical and I haven't heard many complain about that. Rozerem is a prescription sleep medicine and it is somewhat based on melatonin... it works a little bit, but like the melatonin.... makes ME cranky.

Both of these work better if used regularly, so for a one night "stand", may not work as well.

I like plain old benadryl. Some may object... mind altering and all that... For me, it does not affect my sobriety, doesn't cause any cravings, and I feel better if I sleep. I think it's fine, although some don't... my brother is 24 years sober, he uses it too, occasionally and he doesn't worry about it either.

What you need to do is your business, whether it affects your sobriety, is between you and your HP. You could also see a doctor, there are some non-benzo options out there... though some of them have dependency issues... some don't.

Now get to sleep ....

Mark
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've used Valerian for help in relaxing and it helped me. It's an herb but not 'mind altering' at all, and not addictive.

Why would AA 'think' anything of your taking valerian? It's not a med, it's a supplement, and it's not for anything but mild relaxation.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by least View Post
Why would AA 'think' anything of your taking valerian? It's not a med, it's a supplement, and it's not for anything but mild relaxation.
Hardcore AAers can have some pretty strong views on things like that, I've found. If I were still attending you can bet I wouldn't tell them about anything I'm taking, med or not.

I'll have to try valerian root. I'm currently taking melatonin to sleep, but it makes me groggy the next day.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know about valerian root, but I use melatonin. I have restless legs and it helps me a great deal to fall asleep when my restless legs act up.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I used it off and on for years.. not sure if it worked or if I just thought it worked. Very (almost frighteningly) vivid dreams/nightmares was the side effect I had to get away from, and ended up stopping and switching back to sleeping pills like unisom etc..

After I quit drinking I tried Sleep MD, which is also all natural, and a combo of herbs.. some valerian, melatonin and others and seriously it worked like a charm for me. Never ever drugged me or made me feel any type of high, just let me sleep quickly and soundly. Again, with herbs as they aren't tested or approved by the FDA, you just have to take it with a grain of salt...but might be worth a try!

Congrats on the sober time!!
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hardcore AAers can have some pretty strong views on things like that, I've found. If I were still attending you can bet I wouldn't tell them about anything I'm taking, med or not.
One of the most enjoyable things about recovery via the hard core AA approach is that I no longer have to be controlled by how others view me. I no longer require your good opinion of me to be OK. And that means I have the freedom to be completely honest and let the judgement of others fall where it may.

BTW, the opinion of this fairly hard core AAer is that valerian doesn't qualify as mind-altering.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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hey there,

i have suffered from terrible insomnia for a few years now, and its recently gotten even worse since getting sober. i've tried both valerian root products as well as melatonin and other OTC sleep aids (such as benedryl and other products containing diphenhydramine). In my experience, valerian root did nothing, and melatonin was extremely weak in actually making me tired, it would just increase my tiredness if i was already sleepy and help make me feel more refreshed in the morning, even if i hadnt slept much.

Now, benedryl and all the other OTC sleep aids they sell containing diphenhydramine WILL put you to sleep. However, they are probably considered mind-altering and they make you feel pretty miserable for the entire next day. When I go a really long time without sleeping well and i'm at my wit's end, and always on a weekend night when i know i have nothing urgent to do the next day, i'll take a low dose of benedryl and sleep for a full 12-14 hours and deal with the 'hit by a bus' feeling the next day.

I'm not really a huge fan of sleeping, though. All my friends think i'm crazy for it, but i'd just rather be doing something more fun or productive. So, instead of forcing myself to sleep, i catch up on reading and movies into the wee hours of the night, and max out on my coffee in the morning!

Rach
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have had sleeping problems for years & tried just about everything. That being said exercise earlier in the day, reading something positive or boring before bed or meditation cd's (nature sounds are also good... waves etc.) Yoga at home an hour or two before sleep is also nice, you can buy some good cd's at most large stores.

In regards to medication well.... I need my sleep right now & met with my doctor to discuss. I am currently using zopiclone if I am unable to sleep, its quite strong but it works. Talk with your doctor & see what they have to say.

Imovane - Uses, Side Effects, Interactions - Drugs - Medbroadcast

Some interesting articles on insomnia Insomnia (Difficulty Sleeping) Cause, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment on MedicineNet.com

Good luck
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I use it. I find it milder than melatonin. It doesn't seem to threaten my sobriety at all, but each person, as we all say, is different.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm a melatonin fan, but I may pop 2 or 3. But then I'm a pretty big guy. My doc likes me to use it as it's safe and non-addictive. I've no experience with valeranian root, and am cautious about benedryl as it can be habit forming.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It;s definitely not mind altering by mom and few other have poor success with
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I love bendryl, it wears off after a few hears and give you deep sleep, you wake up feeling amazaing and it's not addictive. I love benedryl much more then the othrs lik zopicline etc
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubile75 View Post
Hi

I have used valerian root. It doesn't put me right to sleep. It has a mild calming effect and I think it does help a little get to me to sleep. I like it, no side effects. I don't use it regularly.

I have used melatonin. It actually works a little better, but I don't like it. For me, it makes me cranky the next day, my experience is not typical and I haven't heard many complain about that. Rozerem is a prescription sleep medicine and it is somewhat based on melatonin... it works a little bit, but like the melatonin.... makes ME cranky.

Both of these work better if used regularly, so for a one night "stand", may not work as well.

I like plain old benadryl. Some may object... mind altering and all that... For me, it does not affect my sobriety, doesn't cause any cravings, and I feel better if I sleep. I think it's fine, although some don't... my brother is 24 years sober, he uses it too, occasionally and he doesn't worry about it either.

What you need to do is your business, whether it affects your sobriety, is between you and your HP. You could also see a doctor, there are some non-benzo options out there... though some of them have dependency issues... some don't.

Now get to sleep ....

Mark
Weird I never feel any sort of mid-alterning effect from benedyl, at all. i just feel normal, i take it and get super tired and fall asleep, wake feeling amaaing with no morning groggy hangover feeling bc it lasts 3 hours. so is's well done by the time you take up. It' my fav think, better then like zopiclone an other stuff.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I realise this is an old thread but lets remember we shouldn't be giving out treatment advice or promoting the use of a particular product here.

Benedryl is an allergy medicine, not a sleep aid.

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10. Medical Advice: No Posts giving medical advice, medication advice, or psychiatric advice. Do not use the forum to give or ask for professional medical or psychiatric advice. If you are a medical professional, please remember the forums and chat are for peer support only and not to be used for distributing professional medical advice and/or using the forum to represent your professional services. Medical and Psychiatric advice includes giving a diagnosis, treatment plan, medication advice and dosage suggestions, over the counter and natural home remedies that should be approved by medical professionals. Detox can be dangerous and life threatening at times. Please consult with your physician.
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