|Home Remedies Index
|Insomnia Home Remedies
We need about seven or eight hours of sleep each night to wake up feeling refreshed. But many factors interfere with a good
night rest, including stress, tension, anxiety, and depression. Insomnia, or difficulty falling or staying asleep, can also be
caused by stimulants such as caffeine and environmental factors such as loud noises and bright lights. The hormonal
fluctuations that occur with PMS and menopause are also prime contributors to sleep difficulties.
Over-the counter and prescription sedatives are the most common treatments for insomnia, but although they knock you out
they don't provide restful sleep and, often cause grogginess and fatigue the next day.In addition, prescription sedatives are
powerfully addictive, and even over-the-counter sedatives can be habit forming.
|There are many simple, natural, and effective remedies for relieving insomnia, from diet and lifestyle changes to herbs and
essential oils that will help you to. safely get a restful, healing night's sleep.
Insomnia Home Remedies
What is Insomnia (Inability to Sleep) ?
The term insomnia literally denotes a complete lack of sleep. It is, however, used to indicate a relative inability to sleep that
consists of difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in remaining asleep, early final awakening, or combinations of these complaints.
This disease has assumed alarming proportions in the present times, specially among the upper classes in the urban set-up.
The single symptom that most frequently marks the onset of insomnia is difficulty in falling asleep. There may be changes to
the duration and quality of sleep, persistent changes in sleep patterns, lapses of memory, and lack of concentration during the
day. Other symptoms are emotional instability, loss of coordination, and confusion.
The most common cause of sleeplessness is mental tension brought about by anxiety, worries, overwork, and over excitement
Suppressed feelings of resentment, anger, and bitterness may also cause insomnia. Constipation, dyspepsia, overeating at
night, excessive intake of tea or coffee, smoking, and going to bed hungry are among the other causes. Often, worrying about
falling asleep is enough to keep one awake.
Insomnia Home Remedies - Your Diet and Insomnia
Eliminating all sources of caffeine is essential for preventing and relieving insomnia. Some women are especially sensitive to
the stimulating effects of caffeine, and even one cup of coffee in the morning can interfere with sleep patterns that night. Be
scrupulous about avoiding coffee, black tea, colas and other caffeinated soft drinks, chocolate, cocoa, and coffee-flavored foods
such as ice cream, yogurt, and candies. Even the trace of caffeine found in decaffeinated coffee and tea can be enough to keep
you awake at night. Many over-the-counter drugs contain ingredients that can cause insomnia; for example, some pain
relievers and medications to relieve PMS contain caffeine, and some decongestants contain pseudoephedrine, a powerful
Alcohol also causes sleep problems, because it stimulates the release of adrenaline and inhibits the transport of the amino acid
tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is necessary for the production of serotonin, a compound that enhances sleep. A mug of
warm milk is a time-honored bedtime remedy that can help induce sleep because it contains tryptophan. If you prefer to avoid
dairy products, drink soy milk or almond milk instead. Sweeten your beverage of choice with a bit of honey or maple syrup and
vanilla and add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, an Ayurvedic remedy for insomnia. Milk and almond milk (and
calcium-fortified soy milk) are also rich in calcium, which helps to relax the nervous system and the muscles. For this reason,
many women find that taking supplements of calcium and magnesium at bedtime ensures restful sleep. Take 800 to 1,200
milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 milligrams of magnesium about an hour before bed.
Maintaining stable blood-sugar levels during the night is important, because nighttime drops in blood sugar can cause
awakening. Eating too many refined carbohydrates and sweets can cause blood-sugar instability. If nighttime hypoglycemia is a
problem, have a snack such as a small bowl of whole-grain cereal or a piece of toast about 30 minutes before bedtime. In
addition to helping to maintain stable blood-sugar levels, high-complex carbohydrates may also stimulate the production of the
brain's natural sedative neurotransmitters.
Insomnia Home Remedies with Thiamine:
Of the various food elements, thiamine or vitamin B1 is of special significance in the treatment of insomnia. It is vital for strong,
healthy nerves. A body starved of thiamine over a long period will be unable to relax and fall asleep naturally. Valuable sources
of this vitamin are wholegrain cereals, pulses, and nuts.
Insomnia Home Remedies with Lettuce:
Lettuce is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia as it contains a sleep-inducing substance, called 'lectucarium'. The juice of this
plant has been likened in effect to the sedative action of opium without the accompanying excitement Lettuce seeds taken in a
decoction are also useful in insomnia. One tablespoon of seeds should be boiled in half a liter of water, till it is reduced by
Insomnia Home Remedies using Milk:
Milk is very valuable in insomnia. A glass of milk, sweetened with honey, should be taken every night before going to bed in
treating this condition. It acts as a tonic and a tranquillizer. Massaging the milk over the soles of the feet has also been found
Insomnia Home Remedies using Curd:
Curd is also useful in insomnia. The patient should take plenty of curd and massage it on the head. This will induce sleep.
Insomnia Home Remedies with Honey:
Honey is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia. It has a hypnotic action and induces a sound sleep. It should be taken! with
water, before going to bed, in doses of two teaspoons in a large cup of water. Babies generally fall asleep after taking honey.
Insomnia Home Remedies - Exercise to Prevent Insomnia
Regular daily aerobic exercise such as a 30-minute brisk walk helps to relieve stress and promotes physical relaxation, but
avoid strenuous exercise late in the day because it can be overstimulating. A gentle after-dinner walk is fine and can even help
to ensure a restful night's sleep.
Yoga and tai chi are excellent for relieving the physical and emotional tension that can interfere with sleep. Deep-breathing and
relaxation exercises help the body and mind to unwind and create a state of peaceful balance that enhances sleep. Practice
relaxation and deep-breathing exercises just before bed, or even while you are in bed preparing for sleep. Try the following
deeply relaxing yoga pose:
Insomnia Home Remedies - Herbal Cures for Insomnia
Even if you don't suffer from insomnia, you might want to cultivate the habit of drinking a cup of relaxing herbal tea before bed.
For mild insomnia, it might be all you need to ensure a good night's rest. Teas made from lemon balm and passionflower have
been used as sleep aids for centuries. More difficult cases of insomnia may call for more powerful sedative herbs such as
valerian, hops, and kava. These potent sedative herbs are safe, but should not be relied upon night after night for helping you
to sleep. When your life and your body are in balance and your mind is calm and centered, you will naturally sleep in a
peaceful, sound manner. Sedative herbs can be useful to help restore normal sleep patterns, but don't use them to cover up
the problems that are causing the sleep disturbance.
St.john's wort can be helpful for relieving chronic insomnia that is caused by anxiety or depression. St. John's wort does not
provide immediate relief-it usually takes a couple of months of consistent use to begin to feel the effects. If you want to try St.
John's wort, take an extract standardized to contain 0.3 percent hypericin, 300 milligrams three times a day. The following
herbs are some of the most helpful for treating insomnia.
Mild Sleep-Enhancing Herbs for Insomnia
Insomnia Home Remedies - California poppy (Eschscholzia california) is a member of the opium poppy family. It
contains natural chemicals that have a sedative effect similar to that of codeine, but it is much milder and not addictive. It is
effective for nervous tension and anxiety that interfere with sleep. Pour one cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of dried
herb, cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, and sweeten if desired.
Insomnia Home Remedies - Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has been used for centuries as a mild tranquilizer, and in
Germany it is a popular ingredient in herbal sedatives for insomnia. It has a light, lemony flavor and makes a mild sedative
tea. Pour one cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of dried lemon balm. Cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, and
sweeten if desired.
Insomnia Home Remedies - Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) has been used for centuries by Native Americans and
Europeans as a sleep aid and is included in many sleep preparations in Britain and Germany. It has mild tranquilizing and
sedative properties and promotes restful sleep. To make a pleasant-tasting tea, pour one cup of water over two teaspoons of
dried herb, cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, and sweeten if desired.
More powerful Sedative Herbs for Insomnia
Insomnia Home Remedies - Hops (Humulus lupulus) is a potent sedative that has a relaxing effect on the central
nervous system (it's one of the primary ingredients used in making beer). Hops is a good alternative for women who find that
valerian causes agitation (see "Valerian," below). However, if you are prone to depression, avoid using hops because it is a
central nervous-system depressant. It can be difficult to find good-quality dried hops because the active ingredients break
down quickly. Buy dried hops that are strongly aromatic and have a rich, golden-green color. Extracts tend to preserve more of
the active ingredients. To make a tea, pour one cup of boiling water over one to two teaspoons of dried hops. Cover, and stee~
for 15 minutes. Strain, and sweeten if desired. Hops has a pleasantly bitter, rich flavor. As an alternative, take one-half
teaspoon of liquid extract in a small amount of warm water.
Insomnia Home Remedies - Kava (Piper methysticum) has a natural tranquilizing effect and is especially helpful for
insomnia that is caused by anxiety. It contains compounds called kavalactones that are central nervous-system depressants
and muscle relaxants. In small doses, kava acts to elevate mood, and in larger doses it acts as a sedative. Kava has a bitter,
unpleasant flavor and is best used as an extract. Take one-half teaspoon of liquid extract or two capsules with warm water one
hour before retiring. If you wish to take a standardized extract of kava, take enough capsules to provide 180 to 210 milligrams
of kavalactones one hour before bed (approximately two to three capsules of an extract standardized for 60 to 75 milligrams of
kavalactones per capsule).
Insomnia Home Remedies - Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has been used for hundreds of years in China, India, and
Europe to treat insomnia and is excellent as a nonaddictive sleep aid. It calms the nervous system and helps to quickly induce
sleep. For a small percentage of women, valerian causes agitation instead of relaxation. If you've never used valerian before
it's best to begin with a small dose and then to increase the amount if you have positive results. If you find it to be stimulating,
try hops or kava instead. Because valerian has a very pungent odor and flavor, most women find it easier to take it as an
extract or in capsules. To use valerian as a sedative for sleep, you need to use a larger amount than if you are using it to
simply relieve anxiety. Take one to two teaspoons of valerian extract or two to three capsules with a small amount of warm
water 30 minutes before bed. If necessary, repeat the dose after 30 minutes.
Insomnia Home Remedies - Lifestyle Suggestions
To help to ensure peaceful sleep, consciously begin slowing down a couple of hours before going to bed. Avoid working or
engaging in any mentally or physically stressful activities in the evening, and spend the evening instead reading a relaxing
book or watching a film, listening to peaceful music, or taking a soothing bath. Let go of the accumulated concerns of the day
through journaling or relaxation exercises. Establish a regular bedtime, and try to stick to it even on the weekends. Your body
responds best to a regular schedule, and you can train yourself to become sleepy at a specific time each evening. Go to bed
early, before 10:00 P.M., to take advantage of your body's natural circadian rhythm of getting drowsy at dark and awakening
Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, peaceful haven for sleep. Even a dim light can disturb sleep, so make your bedroom as
dark as possible. Invest in room-darkening shades if necessary to block out external light. If noise is a problem, you can try
soft earplugs, but they can be uncomfortable to wear. A better solution is an environmental sound machine that creates
soothing background "white noise," such as gentle ocean waves, that blocks out all disturbing noise. You'll sleep better with
plenty of fresh air, so keep your windows open at least a few inches, even in the winter.
Disrupted sleep is often caused by an unhealthful bedroom environment. Most mattresses, pillows, and bed linens are saturated
with chemicals that release toxins such as formaldehyde into the air for years, causing symptoms such as headaches, nausea,
fatigue, throat and eye irritation, and insomnia. When you consider that you spend approximately one-third of your life in bed,
it makes sense to make your bedroom as healthful and comfortable as possible. Buy natural cotton sheets that have not been
treated with chemicals (avoid any that are labeled "no-iron" or "easy care"). Cotton-flannel sheets are also a good option,
especially for cooler months, and are naturally wrinkle-free. Layer your bed with cotton or wool blankets and down comforters,
and instead of synthetic foam mattresses and pillows, choose cotton- or wool-filled mattresses and cotton-, down-, or
wool-filled pillows. For the most refreshing sleep, avoid mattresses that are too soft or too hard. A firm mattress that provides
comfortable support for your back is best.
Avoid any activity in bed except sleep and sex. Don't read in bed, watch television, talk on the phone, or work. If you are
unable to sleep, don't lie there and try to make yourself go to sleep or worry about it. Get up and do something relaxing, but
not something that is too interesting-reading a boring book can be especially good for inducing sleep. As soon as you feel
sleepy, go back to bed. If you again find that you can't sleep, repeat the process, and do it as many times as you need to until
you finally fall asleep. It may take a couple of weeks, but this is a good way to train yourself to go to sleep, because you aren't
fueling your anxiety about not being able to sleep. Avoid napping during the day, especially in the late afternoon, because it
can interfere with nighttime sleep patterns.
Insomnia Home Remedies - Aromatherapy
Essential oils act quickly on the brain and nervous system to induce relaxation and also help to ease muscle tension that can
interfere with sleep. Taking a warm aromatherapy bath at night is a wonderful way to prepare for a restful night's sleep. Sip a
cup of relaxing herbal tea, dim the lights, and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to slip right into bed after your bath-don't
distract yourself with other tasks that might stimulate your nervous system. The following essential oils are especially helpful
for relieving insomnia.
Chamomile has a herbaceous, sweet and slightly tart fragrance that helps to relieve insomnia caused by nervous tension.
Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) tends to have a sweeter fragrance than German chamomile (Matricaria recutita).
Clary sage has potent sedative effects on the nervous system and has a slightly euphoric effect that is helpful for relieving
insomnia. It also has muscle-relaxing properties. Clary sage has a warm, sweet, musty scent.
Lavender has soothing, sedating, and balancing effects on the mind and body. It has a floral, herbaceous fragrance with sweet
or balsamic undertones.
Marjoram eases muscular and nervous tension and has relaxing and sedative effects. It has a sweet, spicy herbaceous
|Insomnia Home Remedies - THE SPONGE
|Insomnia Home Remedies - Insomnia Relief FormuIa
1 ounce valerian root extract
1/2 ounce hops extract
1/2 ounce passionflower extract
Combine herbal extracts in a dark-glass bottle. Store in a cool, dark place and shake well before using.
Take one teaspoon 30 minutes before bedtime with a small amount of warm water, and repeat the
dose if needed. If you are sensitive to valerian, omit it and double the amount of hops extract.
How to Make Herbal Preparation
|Insomnia Home Remedies - Gentle Sleep Tea
1 teaspoon California poppy
1 teaspoon passionflower
1 teaspoon lemon balm
1 cup water
Pour one cup of boiling water over herbs. Cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, sweeten if desired, and
drink 30 minutes before bedtime.
How to Make Herbal Preparation
|Insomnia Home Remedies - Herbal Sleep Pillow for Insomnia
Small pillows stuffed with dried herbs have been used for centuries in Europe to promote restful sleep. Hops is a potent
sedative, and lavender, chamomile, and rose petals all have relaxing, soothing properties.
1/8 cup dried hops
1/8 cup dried lavender
1/8 cup dried chamomile
1/8 cup dried rose petals
5 drops lavender or rose essential oil
2 pieces fabric, each 7 inches square
Mix the herbs together and sprinkle with the essential oil. Make a small pillowcase by sewing the right sides of the fabric
together, leaving a 3-inch opening in the center of one side seam. Turn the pillowcase right side out. Fill the pillow with
the dried herbs, making it fairly flat, and sew the opening closed. Slip the herbal sleep pillow underneath your bed pillow.
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