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Natural Sleep Aid For Insomniacs

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Understanding Insomnia:

In simple terms, insomnia occurs when a person experiences frequent sleepless nights.

It can be due to the following reasons:

  • Diseases: cancer, chronic cough, acidity etc.
  • Mental problems: depression, stress or any psychiatric problem etc.

Herbs Used as natural sleep aid:

Valerian:

This herb has been used in treatment of insomnia since ancient times. It is internationally accepted, and it is prescribed for treatment in countries such as Italy, France and Germany.

It directly acts on central nervous system and increases the levels of GABA neurotransmitter, which has a calming effect on our brain, hence induces sleep. It is not addictive in nature and does not cause hangover in morning.

This herb is available in market as liquid extract, valerian tea and in form of capsules, but it takes 2-3 weeks dose to start its action and has to be taken 1 hour prior going to sleep.

Side effects:

  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness

Melatonin:

It is a hormone which is normally found in our body. Pineal gland, which is situated in brain, secretes serotonin, which is converted to melatonin at night.

It has to be taken 30 minutes before going to bed.

This drug should not be prescribed in following condition:

  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing women

It is a safe drug, as side effects are not yet seen in any patients consuming this drug.

Kava:

It is useful particularly for treatment of anxiety related insomnia, but has a severe adverse effect of liver injury.

Treating insomnia through diet:

Insomnia can be treated by restricting some types of foods in our diet.

  • Any beverage containing caffeine should be restricted past 3 p.m.
  • Sweets should not be consumed in anytime of the day, as it contains a lot amount of sugar, which acts as energy source for our body and disrupts sleep.
  • Whole grain diet should be consumed.
  • Magnesium induces sleep, thus foods which are magnesium should be consumed, e.g. cashew, green vegetables, almonds etc.

Other ways to treat insomnia:

Daily Workout:

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Exercise is the best natural sleep aid.

Daily exercise or yoga for 30 minutes can assure you a better sleep in night, as it helps to maintain mental and hormone balances in our body.

Aromatherapy:

English lavender has been used since ancient times as a natural sleep aid.

It can be applied to pillow before going to bed. It induces sleep and also increases the time of deep sleep during night.

Ayurveda:

This is a simple natural sleep aid. Just applying oil to head, hand and feet before going to bed can induce good sleep. Coconut, sesame or mustard oil can be used to treat insomnia.

Light Music:

Listing to slow or light instrumental music can also help, this has been proved that music stabilizes mind and thought process is slowed down which makes mind calm, and hence, induces sleep.

Acupuncture:

It has been experimented and proved, that acupuncture induces secretion of melatonin, and helps inducing sleep.

Conclusion:

Insomnia has become a global problem now, due to the life style we all have adapted to, and to treat it natural sleep aid is the best therapy, as side effects are very less as compared to allopathy treatment.

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