My students frequently ask me, "What are the best strategies and remedies for insomnia?"

Herbal Treatments

There are some herbal treatments that have been well-researched that may prove helpful in managing insomnia:

  • Lavender Oil. Can be used as a compress or a massage oil, or added to bath water. Inhaling the scent can also be helpful to promote sleep.
  • St. John’s Wort. Helps prevent waking in the middle of the night; is a natural sedative.
  • Valerian. Enhances the quality of sleep; relaxes and promotes drowsiness.
  • Poppy Seeds. These seeds have tiny (non-addictive, not harmful) amounts of morphine and codeine, which help bring on sleep.
  • Passion Flowers.  A known sedative; most effective taken as a tea.

These natural herbs can be used as tinctures, taken by mouth, placed under the tongue, to help manage insomnia. The tincture is a liquid extract of the herb, usually extracted in alcohol but may also be extracted in apple cider vinegar or glycerine.

Tablets or capsules of the herbs can also be used. It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking any herbal remedies for insomnia to be sure there is no unwanted reaction with other medications you may be taking.

The Role of Melatonin

 Melatonin is a sleep hormone manufactured in the brain's small pineal gland. It is responsible for controlling the cycle of waking and sleeping. Small amounts are present in grains, fruit, vegetables and meat. It is also available as a supplement.

 The internal body clock helps control the amount of melatonin produced--normally, levels rise mid- to late evening, stay elevated at night and drop by morning. Melatonin levels are also affected by the amount of available light, which is why many sleep experts advise sleeping in a totally dark room.

In winter when daylight is diminished, melatonin production by the brain happens either earlier or later in the day than usual, and may in part be responsible for the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD; also known as winter depression).

Older adults may produce only small amounts of melatonin or none at all, as body levels decrease with age.

Supplements Strategies And Remedies For Insomnia

Supplements are often taken as strategies and remedies for insomnia (and may be considered in treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD). They are available online or in health food stores and drug stores without a prescription, in doses ranging from 0.2 mg to 20.0 mg, depending on what it is being used for.

It is best to talk to a doctor to determine the right dosage if you are considering taking it. Only buy supplements derived from natural human sources.

There are a few minor side effects associated with taking melatonin supplements, but they disappear when you discontinue taking the supplements. The most common side effects are:

  • Dizziness; headaches.
  • Sleepiness during the daytime.
  • Body temperature lowers somewhat.
  • Grogginess upon waking.
  • Vivid dreams.
  • Slight blood pressure changes.

 Homeopathic Treatments

These can be very effective for combating insomnia. A well-selected remedy that includes the particular sleep disturbance pattern is the best course of treatment, since there is no one homeopathic sleeping pill.

Homeopathy works with the body's own restorative powers and does not interfere with sleep disturbances or lead to withdrawal symptoms when discontinued. There is no physical dependence or addiction.

Homeopathic practitioners can correct sleep disturbances but each case requires individually tailored selection and application of correct homeopathic principles. Success depends upon the unique identifying characteristics of each individual case, best met by a detailed analysis to get at the determining factors. This will better assure accurate and effective selection of the remedies.

Qualified homeopathic physicians have a thorough knowledge of the system, which has been derived from global experience over the last two hundred years or so.

Behavioral Treatments Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) provides relaxation that leads to sleep.  Research indicates that for all aspects of insomnia, CBT provides moderate to great improvement, and the improvements made utilizing CBT, although not as rapid-acting as conventional medication, do last longer than those made with conventional medication, without the side effects associated with medications.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a trance state of wakefulness with lessened awareness of surrounding sounds or environment, with attention focused, deep relaxation, and heightened suggestibility.

Hypnosis can be an effective treatment for insomnia. It helps promote mental and physical relaxation. Insomnia sufferers often believe they will not be able to fall asleep, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Hypnotherapy can convince the subconscious mind that it will be able to get a good night's rest, releasing the worry and fear, which then makes it possible for the subject to fall asleep much more easily. 

A certified hypnotherapist can administer hypnosis, or self-hypnosis techniques can be employed. Some research indicates self-hypnosis is effective due to the subject's redirecting attention away from anxiety and onto thoughts that foster relaxation.

By the way, do you want to learn about many more strategies and remedies for insomnia? The video will introduce you to a new world of natural ways to treat your insomnia.

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By the way, do you want to learn about many more strategies and remedies for insomnia? The video will introduce you to a new world of natural ways to treat your insomnia.

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