Insomnia is a medical condition, characterized with irregularities in sleep. It is a problem faced by thousands of people in the United States, not to mention its global figures. However, there are several natural remedies, where the treatment generally focuses on a holistic approach, which tries to cure the impairment of the whole body of person, both physically and psychologically.

Natural remedies for insomnia try to cure the factors, which results the sleeplessness and induce the triggering factors of sleep. There are mainly two types – sleep onset insomnia and sleep maintenance insomnia  characterized according to the difference in the sleep behavior. The reasons for insomnia will range from psychological disorders to lifestyle factors such as stress, anxiety, hypertension, other psychiatric problems, physical impairments, nutrient deficiency, hormonal imbalance, and environmental factors. Chronic Insomnia will require serious attention and long time treatment whereas intermittent insomnia, are effectively be cured by natural remedies by avoiding the immediate stress and motivating triggering factors. Natural remedies include herbal remedies, behavioral therapies, relaxation techniques, good lifestyle habits, and ideal sleep hygiene.

The practice of an ideal lifestyle is the primary step in the natural remedy. Avoid the use of alcohol and harmful alkaloids such as caffeine, and nicotine, which may disturb sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene that include routine time table for sleep and wake up, well ventilated bed rooms, convenient bedding, and avoidance of noise, light and any such disturbances. The rooms play a vital role in inducing sleep; hence adopt any traditional methods such as Feng Shui, to arrange the room and use pastel colors for accessories, which helps to balance the energy level of the bed room.

Practice a balanced diet, sufficient with all nutrients. It is said that the adequate levels of iron and magnesium is necessary for sleep, since they acts as important co-factors. Vitamins and minerals such as calcium and zinc are also to be essentially included in the diet, or else use their supplements. Avoid heavy meals, just prior to sleep. Try to have supper at least few hours before bedding. Try to have a sleep inducing herbal tea or drinks such as milk, before going to bed.

Herbal remedies play an important role in the natural ways to overcome insomnia. It is proven that herbal remedies contain certain alkaloids, which can trigger the neurotransmitters and hormones, which induce sleep. However, it is advised to seek the opinion of a physician, before practicing herbal drinks since it may alter the endocrine system of a person, having any serious complaints. The common herbal remedies include Hops, Valerian root, Passion flower, Californian Poppy, and Dog wood. Aromatherapy advocates that a bath in water containing the infusions of the herbs, before sleeping will help to avoid insomnia.

Exercises and relaxation therapies such as biofeedback, musclerelaxation therapy, visualization therapy, and yoga are essential to ease out stagnated energy and mental tensions, which may help to induce sleep.

Herbs and Supplements

Melatonin is another alternative used to induce sleep. You may have heard of people using it for jet lag. This hormone is naturally produced in the body. Melatonin is usually ingested within an hour of bedtime. Some contend that melatonin can cause depression and schizophrenia. No typeical side effects have yet been discovered but always consult your practitioner when taking any drug.

Valerian is an over-the-counter herbal treatment for insomnia. The side effects can be indigestion, headache, palpations, dizziness. But the clinical trials as still non-conclusive. Valerian’s odor can be offensive so most people take it in capsule form. Usually it is taken at bedtime. Do not take this herb along with other medications, especially with alcohol and other drugs that depress the system. Consult your practitioner before using any drug, herbal or otherwise.

Kava is another herbal remedy used by many people especially if your insomnia has something to do with anxiety. The FDA issued a warning about Kava that it may cause liver damage if used as a dietary supplement over long periods of time. Always consult your practitioner before using any drug, herbal or otherwise.

I found an online audio that helps me relax. The audio was made by a hypnotist. I listen to the audio regularly for the last two weeks, but I cannot report any change in my insomnia yet. Here is the page of the hypnotist: http://gawain.membrane.com/hypnosis/freehypnosis2.html

Many relaxation techniques are getting good press in relation to curing insomnia. The use of relaxation techniques as a way to treat insomnia is rapidly becoming popular. The current thought says that we must use such a technique for 20-30 minutes before going to be to achieve the best effects.

Yoga, a widely accepted as a very effective calming technique, is wonderful for its breathing and stretching. Yoga will definitely relax you if you do it properly. If one is relaxed sleep should be easier to maintain. The Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique ,invented by Edmund Jacobson. trains groups of muscles to relax. This new system is well worth your time to explore.

Here are some specific things you can DO to cure your insomnia:

  1. Cut out caffeine
  2. Avoid sweets
  3. Eat magnesium-rich foods (legumes and seeds, dark leafy green veggies, wheat bran, almonds, brewer’s yeast, whole grains)

By Jason Rickard & Greg Cryns, originally posted at Healthygenius.com

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