Valerian for sleep aid/antidepressant?
I'm in college, and I've been extremely stressed due to work overload and lack of sleep. I have trouble sleeping because I am stressed, and I can't stop thinking at night, and my chronic stress/lack of sleep has been making me feel very depressed and overwhelmed with school. I've tried meditating, and relaxing and all sort of things in my head to clear my mind but I just can't stop thinking to let myself fall asleep. I'm physically exhausted but still can't sleep.
I'm hesitant to take conventional medicines, and I'm considering taking valerian capsules before bed to help me fall asleep. I haven't tried it yet.
I read on another site not to take it for more than 2 weeks at a time. I'm wanting to take it until mid may, when this semester is over. Could I take it for two weeks, then stop for a week or a few days or something, and then resume for another two weeks and go like that? Or would two weeks of it would be enough to catch up on my sleep and get back on a regular schedule so I wouldn't need it after that? If I took it until mid may would I become dependent on it?
Are there side effects such as grogginess the next morning or cotton mouth or anything like that? would it even help me since my problem is that I can't stop thinking when I try to go to bed?