If you tell your doctor you're having trouble sleeping, the first thing he'll do is reach for his prescription pad -- especially if you're a woman going through menopause.

Feel free to visit the drugstore -- but don't head for the pharmacy, and don't fill that prescription.

Make a beeline for the supplements aisle instead, and reach for an inexpensive remedy that's been used for centuries by men and women alike to help ease anxiety and get better rest.

It's valerian root -- and a new clinical trial finds that it can help beat the sleep problems that often accompany menopause.

Iranian researchers randomly assigned 100 women to either 530 milligrams of valerian root twice a day, or a placebo, for a month and found that 30 percent of the women who got the supplement had better sleep.

Thirty percent may not sound impressive -- but it's a dramatic improvement compared to the 4 percent of women on the placebo who reported relief.

What's more, the women who took the supplement reported no side effects -- unlike the sleep meds that can not only leave you groggy in the morning, but can also cause addiction as well as bizarre and often dangerous behavior.

If valerian doesn't work for you, there's still no reason to fill that prescription: Other studies have found that yoga, tai chi, acupressure, and cognitive behavioral therapy can all help men and women alike overcome sleep problems.

In some cases, you may need to experiment a little until you find a natural treatment that works best for you. In others, you may need to combine two or more.

For more tips on how to get better sleep – whether you're a man or woman of any age – explore the Web site of the Health Sciences Institute. Enter "sleep" into the "find a cure" box and then find a comfortable spot to finally get the rest you need.