Objective: Sleep disturbances reduce the quality of life. About 50% of postmenopausal women experience sleep disturbances such as insomnia. Complementary and alternative medical therapies may be useful for the management of sleep disturbances among postmenopausal women. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of valerian extract taken nightly on the improvement of sleep quality in postmenopausal women experiencing insomnia.
Methods: A randomized, triple-blind, controlled trial design was used for this study. Participants consisted of 100 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 60 years who were experiencing insomnia. A demographic data form and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index were used to collect data. The women were randomly divided into two groups. Each group received either 530 mg of concentrated valerian extract or a placebo twice a day for 4 weeks. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data.
Results: A statistically significant change was reported in the quality of sleep of the intervention group in comparison with the placebo group (P < 0.001). Also, 30% of the participants in the intervention group and 4% in the placebo group showed an improvement in the quality of sleep (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Valerian improves the quality of sleep in women with menopause who are experiencing insomnia. Findings from this study add support to the reported effectiveness of valerian in the clinical management of insomnia.