Home Remedies for Insomnia

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insomnia home remedies

Your energy level and mood just isn’t the same when you don’t achieve a good night’s sleep. Insomnia has a draining effect on the body and mind, which can affect your performance at the job, relationships with loved ones, and your overall health. The amount of sleep a person gets will vary depending on individual factors, but most adults require seven to eight hours per night. At some point in time, about 10% of the general population will experience extreme trouble sleeping, which makes learning home remedies for insomnia come in pretty handy.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is broken down into two different kinds of cases: primary and secondary. A patient with primary insomnia has difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep [1]. This condition often lasts for at least one month without any known physical or mental obstacles. Secondary insomnia occurs when a medical condition is involved.

Causes and Symptoms

From painful diseases to narcotic substances that hinder your sleep pattern, common causes of insomnia include anxiety, stress, prescription drugs, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, chronic pain, changes in a work schedule, poor sleep habits, and eating too much food right before bedtime.

Insomnia also becomes more widespread in older individuals, as there is an increased use of medications, sleep patterns change, chronic health conditions arise, and the elderly start to experience less physical and social activity. Medical conditions, like sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome can also prevent a person from falling asleep.

If you suffer difficulty falling asleep or periodically awaken in the middle of the night, consider insomnia as a possibility [2]. The signs and symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety
  • Lack of concentration
  • Increased errors or accidents
  • Tension headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Sleep-related worries

Insomnia Home Remedies

It doesn’t matter how old you are, insomnia is a treatable condition. For starters, you must identify the cause of your insomnia and most likely, make lifestyle changes that enhance you chances of sleep-filled nights. From shifting daily routines to going to bed at the same time each night, home remedies for insomnia can also help improve your quality of sleep.

a) Comfortable Pillows:

Pillows often play an important role in whether or not you are able to enjoy a restful sleep. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting rid of pillows that are too hard or too soft.

b) Cover Your Clock:

If you constantly wake up in the middle of the night, it is recommended to keep your bedroom clock covered. The more unaware you are of the time – the better you will sleep.

c) Oats:

If you’ve been experiencing poor sleep patterns, it is suggested to eat oats on a daily basis. Start off the day with a bowl of hot cereal [3].

d) Set Aside Unwind Time:

If your mind seems to race throughout the day, this frantic pace can affect your sleep patterns and cause you to lie awake at night. To encourage a restful night, sit still for about 10 minutes and recap your day. Think about tomorrow and what you’ve accomplished today. Settle down and mentally unwind. The best results come when this practice is performed one to two hours before bedtime.

e) Sleep Schedule:

Avoid erratic sleep schedules that can contribute to insomnia by adhering to consistent bedtime and wake times. For the best results, it is important to include weekends as part of your steady sleep schedule.

f) Know the Role of Your Bed:

Your bed is for sleeping. If you make it the place where you watch TV, hold long conversations on the telephone, check your email, read books, eat meals, and balance the checkbook – it makes it harder for you to focus on falling asleep when the time comes.
ghr-lettuce-insomnia

g) Lettuce:

Did you know that lettuce contains a substance known to induce sleep, called ‘lectucarium?’ The juice of the lettuce plant also causes a sedative effect in some.

h) Skip Naptime:

Perhaps your daily nap is causing you to have trouble sleeping. Naps can make it harder for some people to fall asleep at night. If a nap is absolutely needed, don’t take more than 30 minutes to reboot and avoid catnaps after 3pm.

i) Peppermint and Herbs:

For a natural insomnia treatment that calms the nerves and relaxes the body, mix one tablespoon of sage, two tablespoons of peppermint, and one tablespoon of rosemary. Add one teaspoon of this mix to one cup of boiling water. Cover the brew and allow it to sit for around 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and add honey to sweeten.

j) Room Temperature:

Creating an ideal setting for sleep will decrease your chances of falling victim to insomnia. Before turning in for the night, make sure the bedroom temperature is not too cold or too hot.

k) Avoid Caffeine:

Several hours before bed, avoid drinking coffee, tea, and cola-based sodas, as well as eating chocolate. Caffeine is a natural chemical that affects the central nervous system, keeping your nerves on edge and boosting your thought processes [4].

l) Relaxation:

Thinking too much about getting to sleep can contribute to your insomnia issues. Breathing exercises, yoga, and muscle stretches can help you relax before turning in for the night.
ghr-acne-scars3

m) Honey:

Possessing a hypnotic power, honey can encourage a sound sleep. Before going to bed, take two teaspoons with a large glass of water.

n) Earplugs:

The slightest noise could make it difficult to fall asleep. Consider wearing earplugs to bed when you need to block out unwanted noise.

o) Pull the Blinds:

Close the curtains and pull down the blinds when it’s time to go to bed. Lights and even the glow of the moon can cause a distraction when you’re trying to get to sleep.

p) Sex:

Research suggests that sexual intercourse acts as a trigger for hormonal mechanisms that can contribute to a restful sleep.

q) Chamomile Tea:

Chamomile is an herb found in many different kinds of tea, which possesses an effective sedative quality – thanks to a chemical compound called apigenin. Make a cup of chamomile tea and drink right before your bedtime.

r) Avoid Nightcaps:

A glass of wine with dinner or drinking alcohol at an evening function can add to insomnia by disrupting your sleep. It is not uncommon for the aftereffects of alcoholic beverages to wear off in the middle of night, causing you to wake up with signs of withdrawal.

s) Light Snack:

About one to two hours before hitting the sack, consider a light snack, which helps de-stress and calm the body.

t) Warm Milk:

A glass of warm milk will help settle down your system and prepare you for a sound sleep. To create a tonic with sedating effects, drink a glass of milk sweetened with honey every night before bed.

Resources

[1] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000805.htm
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia/DS00187/DSECTION=symptoms
[3] The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants by Andrew Chevallier; pg. 309
[4] Joy Bauer’s Food Cures by Joy Bauer with Carol Svec; pg. 373

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  • Darlene Forsman

    Take a walk several hours before sleeping. This seems to calm me down. It doesn’t have to be a long one, but a reflective one works the best, so using part (d the “Unwind Time” will work very well. Sometimes just enjoying nature in ALL of it’s elements can relax one into sleep.

  • Katie

    i i have delved deeply into phsyic books, years ago when i began and could hardly ever fall into a physic state what it did do was put me right to sleep, and being quite the insomniac then i welcomed the new help and i found myself instead of trying to find my physic deep state i useed to excersizes for falling asleep and it worked everytime, you could say it is a fun-ified gamelike less boring way to count sheep, all you do is lay in your favorite sleeping position and pick an excersize
    which invovles you pictures or visualizing deep in your head NOT WITH YOUR EYEs, its tricky at first but trying to master it will push you farther into your head and since that is where your mind goes to dream anyways (the subconsious) you will fall asleep without being able to finish the game sometimes
    1. TAKE SEVERAL DEEP BREATHS (this is critical) take them slow breath in all the way count to 123 then let it out long,

    2. CLEAR YOUR HEAD doing this while stressed is hard but if your willing will help relax you. complete darkness is needed and complete slience if you live in the city ear plugs help

    2.then visualize keeping your eyes still (try to take all focus off your eyes and what it see behind the lids you dont see on the back of the eyelids you see in the mind)

    3. they can be anything you want the to be with whatever ever colors you want, i use a ball, visualize a blue ball a red ball and a purple ball, take each one and let it pass from one side to the other out of you vision and back across your vision outta of site on the other side then use the next ball then the other,

    4. then memorize 6 different colored balls, let one cross your vision then one after the other, then cross the back in the same order backwards

    this did not work for me the for awhile, so i tried making mine a little more fun, you can easily make up your own games, it gives you a sense of doing something while relaxing and dropping deeper into your subconsious and to sleep a the same time, also prcaticing a physic skill..it cannot be just imagining memories or things of that nature becuz these thoughts envoke feelings and things that keep the mind awake and the blood moving, it needs to be something you have no feeling about and something that is repetitive enough to bore you without completly annoying you to death, basically you havve to be ready to sleep when you begin…it is somewhat like a self done hypotizism
    i use visualizing a big buddle of balloons of every color and i let one of them go at a time and i watch every one of them float far far far into the sky to where i cannot see them anymore…
    and i take deep breaths the entire time.deep breaths tell your body it is time to relax and automaticly ready your mind for sleep and shutting down
    no this will not work with everyone, and not always the first time,but it will with patience and pratice ..basically with the disiplined mind it will work, i also eat a little peice of bread before bed, and use room tempature settings a pillow to your liking a bad pillow always makes it harder and complete darkness and silence

    i hope this helps at least one insomniac

  • Judith

    A large glass or cup of any liquid (water, milk, tea) right before bed is not good advice, as you’ll soon be awakened by having to go to the bathroom.

  • Delayla

    I have had problems sleeping since I was a little girl. One night when I was at my grandma’s house she told me that sleeping in a very cold room and in a warm bed and warm pajamas helps you sleep. So i=I tied it and it worked!

  • Avrahom

    Ihave been suffering with sleep problems for nearly four months. After seeking out help from the medical and mental fields with limited success I can recommended my own methods. 1) Drink a small cup of hot liquid (milk, decaf herbal tea)to relax. 2) Before bedtime limit your phone conversations to 10 minutes and adjust your phone ringer to mute(don’t forget to reset the volume in the morning),3)Although pets are nice and adorable, they might disturb you requiring the bedroom door being closed. 4) Don’t be ashamed to tell your roommate that the television or stereo is loud and bothersome. 5)Don’t worry about not falling asleep. Eventually, it will come.

  • jeff

    Might sound strange but i bought a magnetic pillow. Avoid the ones with ceramic magnets although they still work, just not as effectively. It takes a few days to start working but i find i get to sleep quicker and sleep longer without waking up. They really worked for me and are relatively inexpensive (mine was around £10/$17).

  • Rod Rayborne

    I’ve had insomnia for decades and nothing seemed to help. Then I noticed last year that the few times of the year when I can hear the crickets outside, I sleep better. Unfortunately the crickets are out here only a very short time of the year. Then I thought perhaps a recording of crickets might have the same effect and I found a few online and put them on a little mp3 player. I connected the player to a small radio and turned the volume low. Amazingly it worked, so I found a few other sounds like ocean waves and morning birds singing and added them to the mp3 player. It’s wonderful! I hope this helps!

  • Rod Rayborne

    Well, I’ve found something that works much better. Melatonin. I tried a prescription sleep aid and it only made me sleepy the next morning. Listening to the sounds of nature is nice but I still had problems falling asleep. Then I tried melatonin. I think you can get it most any store, not really sure., You don’t need a prescription. It does work. I hope this will help anyone suffering from insomnia.