Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects lots of people; it is characterized by the inability to fall asleep or difficulty staying asleep. It has devastating health effects. Causes lots of health problems and raises the risks of chronic diseases.
The body needs quality to sleep to repair and heal itself; healing and repair happen every day when one is in a deep sleep between the hours of 10 pm to 2 am.
Insomnia is of three types; transient, acute and chronic insomnia. Transient insomnia lasts for at least 3 nights; acute insomnia lasts for several weeks and it is also known as short-term insomnia. Chronic insomnia can last for months and even years; this type is mainly caused by a chronic disease or other primary problems.
This sleep disorder is responsible for daytime drowsiness, sleepiness in the daytime, a sickly feeling, lethargy and weaknesses, fatigue, weak immunity, mental dysfunctions, problems with physical coordination, mood swings, irritability, moodiness, depression, and anxiety.
Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia
In some cases, insomnia can be a sign of a health problem; but in cases where underlying health issues have ruled out, common signs and symptoms of insomnia are:
- Difficulty sleeping at night
- Digestive problems
- Waking up several times at night
- Headaches (a feeling of a tight band tied around the head)
- Worrying about sleeping at night
- Waking up way earlier than supposed
- Difficulty socializing with people
- Waking tired and weak in the morning
- Acting uncoordinated in the daytime
- Inability to focus and concentrate
- Feeling sleeping or drowsy in the daytime
- Depression, moodiness, irritability or anxiety
Natural and Herbal Treatments for Insomnia
Possible causes of insomnia are an unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy eating habit, poor nutrition and nutritional deficiencies, psychological problems, disrupting the circadian rhythm, side effects of medications, underlying medical problems, hormonal imbalance and an uncomfortable sleeping environment. These can be corrected by using the herbs and other natural ways listed below.
Avoid Heavy Meals Before Bed
Eating a heavy meal before bedtime can cause poor sleep; it makes the digestive system works while it is supposed to be resting, it causes indigestion and heartburn and also causes frequent trips to the bathroom at night.
You should take your dinner and stop eating at least three hours to bedtime; this will prevent sleep disturbance and help you sleep well.
The root of this herb is a strong sedative and powerful sleep aid; it helps in the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), this compound calms the body, relieves stress and regulates the functions of the nerve cells and puts the body to sleep.
It is an effective treatment for the symptoms of insomnia like anxiety and depression. The capsules are available but you can take the dried root as tea and drink a cup twice daily.
Increase your Melatonin Level
This is an important compound that aids restful sleep; the body can’t make it so we have to get it through foods eaten. In cases of chronic insomnia; you can take the supplements but it must be prescribed by a doctor.
Natural sources of melatonin are cherries; they contain tryptophan; the body converts this compound into serotonin and then finally converts it to melatonin.
Bananas are another good source of melatonin; they calm the body, they contain potassium and magnesium which helps to relieve stress and relax the body.
They are also rich in tryptophan which the body converts into serotonin and melatonin. Eat a lot of these fruits on a daily basis.
This ancient herb has been used for centuries to treat sleep disorders and relieve its symptoms; it clams the body, it fights moodiness, it promotes the overall health and fights the symptoms of depression and insomnia.
Take lemon balm tea thirty to forty-five minutes before going to bed. A cup is enough; don’t take excess because it can induce anxiety.
This tea relaxes the body and has a strong sedative effect; it relieves stress and helps one sleep off, it has a compound called apigenin which binds to GABA receptors; this has a positive effect on the nervous system and induces sleep.
This herb also contains other compounds that are sedatives; take a cup of chamomile tea before going to bed.
St. John’s Wort
This is an effective remedy for sleep problems and sleep disturbances; its active compound hypercine increases the levels of serotonin in the brain, this then raises the levels of melatonin and induces sleep.
It also treats depression. Take tea made with dried leaves of St. John’s wort 45 minutes before bedtime.
This herb enhances quality sleep and increased energy during the day; it improves the quality of sleep in aged people and people with chronic diseases.
It relaxes and calms the body; inhale lavender essential oil and it can also be used to massage the body before bedtime.
It promotes relaxation of the body and calms the mind. Passionflower relieves mental stress, it makes a running mind slow down and it has long been used to fight sleep disorders.
This herb has a strong sedative property; it is also rich in flavones, GABA, coumarins, and alkaloids, all these help in relaxing the body and inducing sleep.
It is taken in the form of tinctures; take 30 to 60 drops before going to bed.
This herb can induce drowsiness and make one sleepy; it has a very strong sedative effect, take a cup of catnip tea thirty minutes before bedtime.
This is a highly respected herb in Ayurveda medicine; its root is the most potent and reduces chronic stress which is the main cause of insomnia, it relaxes the body, calms the mind and fights insomnia.
It is also employed in the treatment of depression, and anxiety; take this herb according to prescription, you will sleep well and wake up energized.
Please ensure to consult a doctor before trying these herbs; especially if you are undergoing any form of treatment. This will avoid drug-herb interaction and other health complications that can arise.