Are you one of those people who either can’t fall asleep or can’t stay asleep?
Well you are not alone! There is an estimated about 35% to 45% of the general population affected by insomnia at a certain times in their lives. It is very frustrating spending night after night, tossing and turning, looking at the time and thinking if you are ever going to get to sleep. If you looking for natural cures to treat your insomnia then this article is for you!
What steps do people who suffer from insomnia normally take?
- You can’t take the tossing and turning anymore.
- You make a doctor’s appointment.
- Doctor prescribes you with prescription medicine for sleep.
- You are happy, thinking you will be able to sleep through the night. Alas, no tossing and turning at night. Finally you can have “Dreams Sweet Dreams”.
- “The END”
Well if you think this is the end to all your troubles, you cannot be further from the truth. Your troubles are only beginning.
Prescription Sleeping Pills Side Effects:
Researchers have found that taking sleeping pill can make insomnia worse.
- Physiological or physical dependency or addiction on these drugs
- Rebound insomnia
- Next day drowsiness
- Head-aches and dizziness
- Dry mouth
- Alters testosterone level which effects other hormones
- Mental confusion
- Stomach disorders
- Causes sleep eating due to spike in blood sugar while sleeping.
- Becomes less effective if taken for a long time.
- Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms
- Some studies suggest that long-term use of sleeping pills can increase your risk of getting cancer.
- Causes withdrawal symptoms when stopped.
- Sleeping pills interfere with REM sleep.
Importance of REM sleep :
Long term use of sleeping pills have known to cause a disruption in the REM sleep cycle also known as Rapid Eye Movement. A sleep cycle is divided into non REM which is 4 stages of sleep and REM where most of the dreaming occurs. During REM sleep our body releases HGH hormone also known as human growth hormone which is very important for our body. Deficiency of this HGH hormone can accelerate aging process and cause weight gain, fatigue, mood disorders and hormonal imbalances. Thus sleeping pills might create the illusion of getting more hours of sleep, but because you will not have deep sleep or REM sleep, you might feel groggy and irritable during the day. Quality of sleep is equally important than quantity of sleep. Remember REM sleep heals your body and mind.
How to Treat Insomnia Naturally
- Create a bedtime ritual.
- Turn off all the electronics and media 1 hour before bedtime.
- Go to bed at the same time everyday.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine before sleeping.
- Do not have any lights including the night-light on at night.
- Avoid exercising up to 3 hours before bed time.
- Keep a journal or a sleep diary
- Meditate before going to sleep
- Listen to light music or relaxation CD
- Eat a protein snack before bedtime to avoid low sugar which can awaken you in the middle of the night
- Avoid drinking water 2 to 3 hours before bed time
- Take a hot shower before bedtime
- Maintain room temperature of not more than 70 degrees.
- Do not eat heavy meals at dinner as they can give you acid reflux which can disturb your sleep.
- Doing High intensity workout at least 3 times a week, stimulates the production of growth hormone and helps you sleep better.
- Some prescription medicines or certain NSAIDS, anti-histamines, cold medicines can make you alert and cause insomnia.
- Taking diuretics deplete the levels of magnesium in the body causing insomnia.
- Use CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Light therapy
- EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique
- Deep breathing
Natural Insomnia Remedies:
If your body is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals you might experience sleeplessness. Discuss these vitamins and supplements including their dosage with your physician to find out what you might be deficient in, and which one may be right for you.
Vitamin and Minerals that help with insomnia are:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B especially B6 or pyrodoxine.
- Coenzyme Q-10
Alternative Herbal Remedies that help with insomnia
- Passion flower
- 5- HTP
- Valerian (standardized extract)
- Lemon Balm
- Tart cherry extract
Homeopathy remedies helping with insomnia:
- Aconitum Napellus
- Nux vomica
- Argentum nitricum
Looking for Natural Cures for Insomnia is important but at the same time, it is also very important to know the underlying cause of insomnia. You might have an underlying disease which is contributing to insomnia. Treating underlying conditions can help treat sleeplessness. Some common conditions that cause insomnia are:
- Chronic pain
- Low progesterone levels
- Hormonal imbalance
- Thyroid problems
- Sleep Apnea
- Acid reflux
- Degenerative diseases
- Restless leg syndrome
- Adrenal fatigue
- Food allergens
Book ” Coping with sleep disorders” By Carolyn Simpson
Disclaimer This article is written for informative purposes only. Do not make any changes to your diet, lifestyle, or treatment plan before contacting your physician or health care provider.