Citation: Midori. "Curing Insomnia In Excess: An Experience with Valerian - Extract (exp58382)". Erowid.org. Dec 27, 2006. erowid.org/exp/58382
I've had insomnia for a while, and I decided to try taking Valerian to see if it would help me get to sleep. I had taken one type of Valerian extract before (not very potent, 135mg), and found that I had to take an obscene amount to get even mildly sleepy (approximately 10 capsules), so I gave up on it for a while. Then, in college, I decided I had to get some sleep in order to function in my classes, so I decided to give Valerian another shot. I picked up just a regular extract at a drug store, simply little transparent capsules with the plant extract visible within (and they definitely smelled like rotting feet). For a few days I took the recommended dosage of about 2 capsules before bedtime, with no effect. I still could not get to sleep and eventually became very irritated that this was not working. I have shown resistance to painkillers in my lifetime as well, and to this day ibuprofen and acetaminophen have little to no effect on me.
Progression of Events:
I bought a bottle of 60 300mg capsules that day, and I took the Valerian over a time span of about 6 hours. I was in my room in the residence building of my college, and I took 2 capsules well before I planned to go to sleep to give them time to take effect. I spent the evening visiting with my neighbor, periodically going back to my room to grab something or make a phone call. I was very frustrated that evening with not being able to sleep, so every time I went back to my room, I took another 2 or 3 capsules, still irritated with the lack of effects. Around midnight I left my neighbor's room so I could try to sleep. I went back to my room and laid down on my bed, but I didn't feel tired at all. At that point I did not know how many capsules I had taken, and I didn't think about it. I sat on my bed and read for a while, then I had the sudden urge to lay down. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 1:56 am. So I laid down, and then I started to vibrate. I wasn't physically shaking at all, but I felt like my body was almost humming. At first I thought I was just tired and imagining things, so I got up to put on some music to help me sleep. I put on some tunes, and sat down on my bed, confirming to myself that my inner core was, in fact, vibrating. It made me feel slightly light headed, but very much awake and alert. I felt more receptive to sounds in this state too, hearing conversations and music which was taking place in an opposite wing of the building.
After about ten minutes of sitting there understanding why I was 'vibrating', I started to see colours almost glowing off of objects around my room, much like auras. The objects giving off the colour also seemed to be vibrating. I remember having a momentary blackout, then being awake again and looking at my watch which now read 0:56 (12:56 am). I tried to figure out how I had 'misplaced' an hour, and out of habit asked myself if I was dreaming (out loud). No such luck, no dreamsigns or any other indication that I was dreaming presented itself. I made a trek to the bathroom, and walked by a few people on the way. I found that there were halos of light emanating off everyone I saw, and in fact I feel that these were auras that I was seeing. I did my business and headed back to my room, where all the above feelings intensified.
At this point I figured I may have taken too much Valerian, so I asked my neighbor who is very knowledgeable about these things. Because I had just bought the bottle that day, we were able to figure out exactly how many capsules I had taken over the span of those 6 hours. Upon opening the bottle, my neighbor had taken one capsule and I took two. The bottle was then in my room where only I had access to it the entire evening. I ended up taking 17 capsules.
I showed no signs of overdose, and aside from the glowing colours and the vibrating, I felt energetic but at the same time very relaxed. My neighbor recommended I do some meditations and I did so for about a half hour. As I was meditating I reached a point where I saw a haze of swirling colours around me with my eyes open. When I had my eyes closed, I saw the same coloured haze but in an almost grayscale quality, much like elegant smoke. My breathing was very slow and relaxed, but mildly difficult. My chest felt somewhat heavy. I snapped out of the meditation after half an hour, and began to feel dizzy. I got up and my legs almost gave out beneath me. My neighbor checked on me and recommended I try to go to sleep. I laid down and immediately fell asleep.
I experienced some lucid dreams that night, which for me is not unusual. The quality of the dreams however was amazing. They were more intense and vibrant than any other dreams I have ever had (lucid or otherwise). I slept for 13 hours, and when my neighbor woke me up I remembered enough of my dreams to be able to record them. I woke up very groggy but very happy that I had finally had a full night of sleep for the first time in over a year.
When I woke up, I was very groggy, and very thirsty. Aside from being tired I felt fine at first. I didn't bother eating right away. I woke up just after lunch and didn't have much of an appetite. I spent the day just relaxing and visiting with friends. I then tried to eat dinner later on, and found this to be a problem. I was able to get a bit of food down, but I felt nauseous almost immediately afterwards and vomited. I felt nauseous the rest of the evening, and could not eat nor drink anything. I felt better after smoking some marijuana, and enjoyed a few games of chess with my neighbor, as well as helped him demolish a large bag of Hallowe'en candy without feeling ill afterwards.
I managed to fall asleep around 10:00 that evening without taking anything. I slept for about 8 hours uninterrupted, and awoke just fine with no adverse after effects whatsoever. I now keep the capsules in my neighbor's room and he makes sure I don't get careless with them. I now take 4-6 capsules a few hours before I want to go to sleep, and I manage to fall asleep without too much difficulty.
I don't recommend anyone try taking this much Valerian, as I have shown resistance to drugs and herbs that I have never taken in my life, so I believe that may be a factor to consider when questioning why I showed no signs of overdose. The recommended dosage for adults is 1-2 capsules before bedtime. I have to take 4-6 to be able to drift off. And if not for logic, consider your vanity-all your bodily fluids will probably smell like Valerian for about 2 days afterwards-your breath included.
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