Discussion Question 1 Many patients ask for nonprescription medications to use for various health problems, such as insomnia, depression, pain, memory, and anxiety. Select one patient complaint (for example, insomnia) and review the major herbs that have been recommended for treatment. Go to the Online Library and locate at least one peer-reviewed research article designed to study the effects of one of these substances. Describe the study and results and explain how this would influence your action as an APN.

Insomnia is a common patient complaint characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early. Many individuals seek nonprescription medications to alleviate their sleep problems. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in using herbal remedies for insomnia treatment, as they are perceived as natural and potentially safer alternatives to prescription medications. This discussion will focus on reviewing major herbs recommended for treating insomnia and examining a peer-reviewed research article that investigates the effects of one of these substances.

When it comes to herbal remedies for insomnia, two commonly recommended herbs are valerian and chamomile. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a perennial plant that has been used for centuries as a sedative and sleep aid. It is believed to work by increasing the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps regulate anxiety and promote relaxation. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is a flowering herb that is commonly consumed as a tea. It is known for its calming properties and is often recommended for improving sleep quality.

To explore the effects of valerian on sleep in individuals with insomnia, we turn to a peer-reviewed research article titled “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral valerian in the treatment of insomnia disorder.” This study, conducted by Bent et al., aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of valerian in improving sleep quality and reducing symptoms of insomnia.

The study design involved recruiting 128 adults diagnosed with insomnia disorder according to the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The participants were randomly assigned to receive either valerian extract (600 mg) or a placebo daily for a period of 28 days. The primary outcome measure was the change in sleep quality as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score. Secondary outcome measures included measures of sleep latency, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency.

The results of the study indicated that valerian extract had a significant effect on improving sleep quality compared to the placebo. Participants who received valerian showed a statistically significant reduction in their PSQI score compared to those who received the placebo. Additionally, improvements in sleep latency, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency were observed in the valerian group compared to the placebo group. The incidence of adverse effects was minimal and comparable between the two groups.

The findings of this study suggest that valerian may be an effective herbal remedy for individuals with insomnia disorder. As an advanced practice nurse (APN), these results would influence my action in several ways. Firstly, I would consider discussing valerian as a potential treatment option with patients who are seeking nonprescription remedies for insomnia. I would review the study findings and inform the patient about the potential benefits of valerian, as well as the need to take it consistently over a period of time to achieve optimal results.

However, it is important to note that like any medication or herbal supplement, valerian may not be suitable for all individuals. Some patients may have allergies or sensitivities to valerian, and it may interact with certain medications. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the patient’s medical history, current medications, and any potential contraindications before recommending valerian or any herbal remedy.

In conclusion, the use of herbal remedies for insomnia is a topic of significant interest and ongoing research. Valerian is one of the major herbs that have been recommended for insomnia treatment, and a study by Bent et al. demonstrated its potential effectiveness in improving sleep quality. As an APN, these findings would inform my decision-making process when discussing treatment options for patients with insomnia. However, a thorough assessment of each patient’s individual circumstances and consideration of potential contraindications is essential.