Insomnia Home Remedies Causes Symptoms Treatment & Diet
Home Remedies For Insomnia – Insomnia or sleeplessness has assumed alarming proportions in present times, especially among the upper classes in urban areas. This is evident from the wide range of medication for this condition prescribed by physicians and sold by chemists. Instances of persons taking an overdose of sleeping pills with fatal results are quite frequent. Insomnia deprives a person of mental rest and thereby interferes with his activities in the daytime. It constitutes a severe health hazard when it becomes a habit.
Sleep is a periodic state of rest for the body which is absolutely essential for its efficient functioning. Sleep gives relief from tension, rests the brain and body and a person wakes up in the morning fresh and relaxed after sleep. The amount of sleep, however, varies within very wide limits from individual to individual. Normally, seven to eight hours of sleep every night is adequate for most people. Some, however, do well with four to five hours because their sleep is deeper and more refreshing.
Insomnia is common among the elderly for a variety of reasons. The sleep of the elderly is often punctuated by brief periods of wakefulness during the night. IN such cases it is the quality rather than the quantity which is most affected. With age, there is gradual reduction of periods of deep sleep. The older person, therefore, gets roused easier. Sleep requirements also diminish with ageing. From nine hours of sleep per night at the age of 12 the average sleep needs decrease to eight hours at the age of 20 , seven hours at 40 , six and half hours at 60 and six hours at 80.
The signs of pathological insomnia are dramatic changes in the duration and quality of sleep, persistent changes in sleep patterns, lapses of memory and lack of concentration during the day. Other symptoms are emotional instability, loss of coordination, confusion and a lingering feeling of indifference.
The most common cause of sleeplessness is mental tension brought about by anxiety, worries, overwork and overexcitement. Suppressed feelings of resentment, anger and bitterness may also cause insominia. Constipation, dyspepsia, over-eating at night, excessive intake of tea or coffee and going to bed hungry are among the other causes. Smoking is another unsuspected cause of insomnia as it irritates the nervous system, especially the nerves of the digestive system. Often, worrying about falling asleep is enough to keep one awake.
Home Remedies For Insomnia
1- Milk with Honey or Almond – Almond and milk are excellent sources of calcium that helps the brain produce melatonin. Warm milk sparks pleasant and relaxing feeling that induces good sleep. Honey has a sedative effect that gets you to bed more quickly. Add one tablespoon of honey to warm milk for a relaxing pre-sleep drink.
2- If you want better night’s sleep take a bucket and fill it with lukewarm water and dip your both legs inside the water for 15 minutes after that clean your legs and immediately lay down on bed.
3- For Good sleep keep your feet warm at bedtime.
4- Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis): Chamomile is a time-honored sedative herb which can be safely used by children and adults alike. Chamomile tea is commonly used in Europe, South America, and Mexico for insomnia and restlessness combined with irritability, particularly in children. Chamomile oil can also be put in bath water (5-6 drops) to soothe overwrought nerves, diluted to 2% to make an excellent massage oil, or used as an inhalant.
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30 drops 3 x daily.
5- Hops (Humulus lupulus): In the early 1900s, Eclectic physicians used hops as a sedative specifically for insomnia due to worry or nerve weakness (Bell, 1925; Ellingwood, 1983). Hops, a major flavoring component of beer, has a long history of use for sleeplessness, nervousness, and restlessness. Hops pillows are sometimes used for mild insomnia.
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30-40 drops 2-3 x daily.
6- For sound sleep massaged your soles of the feet with mustard oil for 10 minutes and immediately lay down on bed.
7- Fragrances- Put a drop of jasmine oil on each wrist just before you go to bed. It will create a sense of drowsiness. You can also dab some oil on your forehead. The aroma will aid you in getting good night’s sleep.
8- At bedtime drink warm milk for sleep better.
9- WILD LETTUCE (LACTUCA VIROSA) – Wild lettuce is a mild sedative and nervine used for restlessness and insomnia. It may be found in a variety of formulas for the treatment of acute and chronic insomnia. It is used homeopathically for restlessness and insomnia (Boericke, 1927). Because of its safety of use and calming effects, wild lettuce is a good children’s remedy.
Dose: Tincture, 2-3 drpfls 3-4 x daily.
10- Take 1 glass of hot milk and add 1 teaspoon honey and mix it . Drink it every night before bedtime.
11- Cherry Juice – Cherry juice is a natural aid for sleeplessness. It is full of tryptophan. 1 cup of cherry juice is a yummy way to drift off.
12- Take 1 glass of hot water and add 2 teaspoon honey and mix it . Drink it every night before bedtime
13- Herbal Formulas for Insomnia
A CALMING TEA BLEND:
- Linden flowers (1 part)
- Hawthorn flowers & leaves (1 part)Cham
- omile (2 parts)
- Catnip (1 part)
- Lemon balm (1 part)
- Wintergreen (1 part)
- Stevia herb (1/8 part)
- Valerian (30%)
- Linden (20%)
- Kava kava (20%)
- Chamomile (20%)
- Catnip (10%)
For either formula, blend the loose herbs, place in a quart jar for future use, and store out of the direct sunlight in a cool place. Use 1 tsp/cup to make a tea. Make 1 quart at a time, adding 1 extra tsp ‘for the pot.’ Add the herbs to boiled water and cover. Let steep for 20 minutes, strain and store in the quart jar in the refrigerator. This blend will keep for 3 days. Pour out 1 cup, warm it, and drink several times daily or before bedtime as needed.
A few drops of essential oil of lavender added to a foot bath or regular bath can have a nice, calming effect. Finally, sleep pillows made of equal parts of hops, lavender, and chamomile and bath salts containing relaxing essential oils both help promote sleep and are available in some health food stores
14- Take 1L of water add 1 tsp of aniseed then heat the mixture for 15 min Strain the mixture. Drink when it’s hot.
15- Bananas contain tryptophan, magnesium, and potassium. Have one banana half an hour before going to bed every night. It will relax your muscles and act as a natural sleep supplement.
16- Take a 1 glass celery juice and add 1 teaspoon honey then mix it properly.Drink it every night before bedtime.
17 – About 15 minutes before bedtime eat some snacks, like bread or cereal, which have a good content of carbohydrates.
18- Poppy Seeds- Consume one teaspoon of poppy seeds before hitting the hay. Or else, add one teaspoon each of coconut powder and poppy seeds in some water. Melt some clarified butter in a frying pan. Add turmeric and cumin (a pinch) to it. Remove it from the heat immediately and mix poppy seed paste in it. Add salt to taste. Have it 1 hour before going to bed.
19. Take a pulp of ripe banana and some cumin seeds, fried cumin seeds then grind it in form of fine powder then mix it properly.Eat it every night before bedtime.
20- ST. JOHN’S WORT (HYPERICUM PERFORATUM):
This common yellow-flowered weedy herb from Europe is quickly becoming an important part of modern herbal therapeutics. It has a long history of use dating back to ancient Greek times. Modern scientific studies show that it can help relieve chronic insomnia and mild depression when related to certain brain chemistry imbalances. Because this herb can sensitize the skin to sunlight, if you are taking a full dose, avoid direct skin exposure to bright sunlight.
Dose: Tincture, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon 2-3 x daily; powdered extract, 1-2 tablets or capsules 2-3 x daily. Allow 2-3 weeks for the full therapeutic effect to develop. If you experience light sensitivity or other unpleasant symptoms, reduce or discontinue the St. John’s wort and consult a qualified herbalist for a total program.
21- Eat bottle-gourd vegetable in any form ,It cures insomnia.
22- Saffron – The sedative properties of saffron induce sound sleep. All you need to do is soak saffron (4-5 strands) in a cup of warm milk and drink it.
24- Take some seasame oil and 1 tablespoon bottle-gourd juice mix it.Rub your scalp daily with this mixture every night before bedtime.
25- Rub one tablespoon curd on your forehead ,every night before bedtime.
26- CALIFORNIA POPPY (ESCHSCHOLZIA CALIFORNICA) – California poppy is my favorite sedative and sleep-promoting herb which can currently be found in a variety of herbal remedies sold in the United States for promoting sleep, helping one to relax, and easing mild anxiety. Because of its mild sedative and analgesic properties, it can be given safely to children. Clinical and laboratory work on California poppy has clearly demonstrated the plant’s sedative and anti-anxiety properties; it has been shown to improve both sleep latency and quality .
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30-40 drops 2-3 x daily.
Note: Since the tea is mild, a tincture is recommended when a stronger dose is desired.
27- Aromatic Bath – A hot bath taken two hours before hibernating will give you a sound sleep. Add five drops of lavender oil and three drops of ylang-ylang oil to warm water and enjoy a relaxing bath.
28- Take balance diet rich in Vitamin B,Zinc,Magnesium,Vitamin C,Calcium,Vitamin D.They cure insomina and sleeplessness.
29- Valerian – Take some valerian roots and put them in a mug. Pour hot water over them. Cover and leave for 15 minutes. Then uncover, strain and have the drink. Valerian increases the amount of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which helps regulate the nerve cells and promote better sleep.
30- Don’t Take excess Tea and coffee,it leads to insomnia.
31- Do yoga and meditation regularly.
32- Do not take sleeping pills.They are not good for your body and reduce your mental strength and intelligence.
33- Eat food like Banana,yoghurt,salad and green vegetables it help to cure insomnia.
34- Lemon Balm – Take two tablespoons of dried lemon balm or 8 tablespoons of fresh lemon balm. Mix it with two teaspoons of chamomile. Place these herbs in a mug and then add 8 ounces of boiling water over it. Leave for 5 minutes, strain and drink 30 minutes before going to bed.
35- Make a tea using ingredients like 1 teaspoon honey,milk and half teaspoon aniseeds.
36- Sleeping pills are no remedy for sleeplessness. They are habit forming and become less effective when taken continuously. They lower the I.Q., dull the brain and can prove fatal if taken in excess or before or after alcohol. The side-effects of sleeping pills include indigestion, skin rashes, lowered resistance to infection, circulatory and respiratory problems, poor appetite, high blood pressure, kidney and liver problems and mental confusion.
37- Passionflower – Add one tablespoon of dried passionflower herb to one cup of boiling water. Leave it for 15 minutes. Drink it half an hour before going to bed.
38- To overcome the problem, one should adhere to a regular sleeping schedule, going to bed at a fixed time each night and getting up at a fixed time each morning. Early to bed and early to rise is a good rule. Two hours of sleep before midnight are more beneficial than four after. It is sheer folly for students, at examination times, to keep awake till long after midnight, drinking one cup of tea after another, as that is only apt to cause blackness and inability to concentrate in the examination hall.
40- Research has shown that people with chronic insomnia almost invariably marked deficiencies of such key nutrients as B-complex vitamins, and vitamin C and D as also calcium,magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. The sleep mechanism is unable to function efficiently unless each of these nutrients is present in adequate amounts in the diet.
41- Catnip – Catnip is a plant of the mint family. It has sedative effects on humans. Just take catnip in a mug and cover it with boiling water. Leave for 10 minutes. Drink it 30 minutes before the bedtime.
42- A balanced diet with simple modifications in the eating pattern will go a long way in the treatment and cure of insominia. Such a diet should exclude white flour products, sugar and its products, tea ,coffee, chocolate, cola drinks, alcohol, fatty foods, fried foods, foods containing additives, that is chemicals for preserving, colouring and flavouring, excessive use of salt and strong condiments.
43- Magnolia Bark – Magnolia bark possesses sleep promoting properties. Add powdered magnolia bark to a cup of boiling water. Drink it before sleeping.
Note – Pregnant women should avoid this herb.
44- In the modified eating pattern, breakfast should consist of fresh and dried fruits, whole cereals, seeds and yogurt. Of the two main meals, one should consist of a large mixed salad and the other should be protein-based. A cup of milk sweetened with honey at bedtime is helpful as the amino-acid tryptophan contained in milk induces sleep.
45- California Poppy – California poppy contains protopine that is an excellent natural sedative. Steep this herb (2 grams) in a cup of boiling water. Drink this relaxing tea regularly.
46- Sleep is often elusive. Any attempt to force it only drives it further away. It is better to divert the mind with soft music or light reading. While going to bed, visualise a blank black wall occupying the entire field of vision. Turn your thoughts to light and cheerful matters. Use light bed clothes and relax. Do not lie on your back, put on your side with one or both knees brought well up and the head and shoulders slightly forward. During the night, the position of the arms and legs should be changed frequently and a healthy sleeper usually shifts from one side to the other several times in the course of the night.
47- St. John’s Wort – Take 1½ ounce St. John’s wort, 1-ounce lemon balm leaves, and 1-ounce valerian. Use 1 tablespoon of herb mixture per cup of boiling water. Keep it for ten minutes, strain and then drink. Drinking this tea regularly for several weeks before sleeping will calm overwrought nerves and fall you sleep more calmly and easily.
48- Controlled breathing is also a great help in inducing sleep. The method is to lie on your side in bed, and then take three deep breaths expanding the abdomen completely. Then hold your brath as long as you can. Next, take three more breaths and repeat the breath-holding. While you hold your breath, carbon dioxide accumulates in the body and induces natural sleep. Regular, active exercising during the day and mild exercise at bedtime enhances the quantity and the quality of sleep. Exercise stimulates the elimination of lactic acid from the body which correlates with stress and muscular tension. Regular exercise also produces hormonal changes which are beneficial to the body and to the sleep pattern. Walking, jogging, skipping, swimming are all ideal exercises. Vigorous exercise should, however, be avoided at night as this can be over-stimulating.
49- Lavender – Lavender is a good trick as studies proved that it aids in sleep. It is a non-toxic and natural treatment for sleep apnea. Either use lavender sprays on your pillow or buy a lavender-filled pillow.
50- Nutmeg – Mix ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg powder in your favorite juice or warm water. Drink it. Or else, prepare a paste by blending raw honey (1 teaspoon), cinnamon powder (a pinch) and water. Add this paste to a cup of boiling milk and stir well. Sip it every night before going to bed.
51- Hydrotherapy is also effective in treatment of insomnia. Application of hot packs to the spine before retiring, hot fomentation to the spine, hot foot bath or an alternate hot and cold foot bath at bedtime are all time-tested methods. The cold hip bath with the feet in hot water and the prolonged neutral immersion bath (92 o to 96 o F) at bed time, when one’s nerves are usually irritable, are also effective measures.
52- Along with the various measures for the treatment of insomnia, all efforts should be made to eliminate as many stress factors as possible. The steps in this direction should include regular practice of any relaxation method or meditation technique, cultivating the art of doing things slowly (particularly activities like eating, walking and talking) limiting the working day to nine to ten hours and five and a half days weekly, cultivating a creative hobby and spending some time daily on this, avoiding working against unrealistic targets and completing one task before starting another.
Yoga For Insomnia
Yoga helps a majority of cases of insomnia in two ways. Firstly, yoga treatment helps tone up the glandular, respiratory and nervous system. Secondly, yoga also gives physical and mental relaxation as a safety value for one’s disturbing problems. The traditional yogasanas which are effective for insomnia patients are shirsana, sarvangasana, paschimottanasana, uttanasan,viparitakarni and shavasana.
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