If you suffer from insomnia - read on! I am particularly interested in the power of sleep, having given "sleep sleep sleep" as part of my prescription to many patients in clinic. The benefits of sleep are almost beyond our understanding and we really do accumulate symptoms when we 'undersleep'.. in fact, recent studies have shown that sleeplessness causes all kinds of stress factors within the body and eventually will lead to chronic illness. It's the free radical factor, releasing heaps more cortisol into the body and thus doing damage to our cells.
But what if you can't get off to sleep? Insomnia is one of the most frustrating and difficult issues to deal with. Of course, when a patient presented with this as their main symptom I would prescribe their constitutional remedy and give various natural and common sense approaches to adjusting their sleep pattern.
And often - within a couple of weeks the patterns had changed. I do believe that the correctly chosen homeopathic remedy plays a huge part in the readjustment, so in the section below I will give six of the main insomnia remedies for you to try.
What are the problems?
As we get older sometimes our ability to stay asleep can be compromised, we rouse more easily.. we wake earlier, we feel sleepy in the afternoons. These are all natural functions of our aging process. How can we combat them?
EVERY DAY COMMON SENSE SUGGESTIONS
Brain Entrainment is a New Approach and Works Very Well
In 2009 I purchased the full Brain Entrainment set of CD's to help with a course of study I was doing. Since then I would not be without them.. and now the company have produced Sleep Salon especially to beat insomnia. I highly recommend this company to you.. their products have been scientifically designed based on current knowledge of neuroscience. You will find their insomnia product here.. a short CD that you listen to when you want to sleep. It can even be downloaded instantly.Click here to read more and download it. http://tinyurl.com/nj9yfb6
Readjust your circadian rhythm but getting as much exposure to light as you can towards the end of the day. Maybe a daylight lamp will help if its darker in the evenings. If you can - eat your lunch out in the fresh air, go for a walk in the afternoons when you might otherwise be feeling sleepy. By having more exposure to light later in the day you are resetting your body clock.
Routine, Routine, Routine!
When babies are small we are so thankful when we get them into a sleep routine, and its the same for adults. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, every day for a couple of weeks, whether you are asleep or not, and your body - your brain - will relearn the times and start to respond. So , do the same things at the same time.. have a bath or shower, get into your jammies.. a relaxing hot milk drink to get a dose of tryptophan. It helps people feel sleepy.
Dark and Cosy Gives a Signal
Make your room dark and cosy. Darkness is important as its a trigger through the optical nerve for melatonin to be released. Don't have a TV in the room, or even read before sleep.. just try having a room thats only for sleep. Have heavy drapes to cut out the light in the early morning.. even wear ear plugs to keep out the noises of birds. Although I do love hearing the birds in the springtime, they can really make a racket from the first peak of dawn.
Box of Troubles
Often insomnia is aided by trying to keep track of a whole load of worries. Have a box outside the bedroom door where you 'leave your worries'. You have to get into the habit of writing out whatever is on your mind, just a few words will do. Then put the piece of paper in the box and put on the lid. You can make it a kind of ceremony or ritual and it can become an effective way of letting go and also picking up a to-do list in the morning.
Rituals and Ceremonies
I am a big believer in rituals and ceremonies. You'll find several pages devoted to some wonderful letting go rites of passage on this site. Sometimes we have insomnia because we just haven't let go of a grief or disappointment. Check out 'rituals to get by with'.
Cut back on the TV
Don't watch the thriller TV programs late at night , or read books that are full of suspense. Try reading a self help or personal development book. They can be very sleep inducing.
Don't watch the clock
Turn the clock away so that you can't see the shining face if you open your eyes. Sometimes electrical fields affect us. Make sure you don't have a computer on the other side of the wall to where you head is when you sleep.
Audio Books Calm the mind
I personally am a great believer in the audio book and have fallen asleep to many. I have found a couple of readers whose voices I love, and I put the tape or the CD in, get into bed and within a few minutes I have gone. You have to catch up with the story at other times, but I think that just putting the attention onto listening can release us from the worry of 'I am not going to be able to get to sleep again'. Give it a try! Go to the library and find a love story or a biography to sleep to.
MEDICATIONS CAN INTERFERE WITH SLEEP
There are some drugs which older people commonly have prescibed by their physician which can interfere with sleep patterns. For example, some antidepressants such as prozac, some drugs for lung disorders such as prednisone, and diuretics for high blood pressure which make us want to pee during the night. Talk to your physician if you think that any of your meds may be causing insomnia.
Valerian root is an ancient herb that has been used for insomnia for hundreds of years. You can buy it at any good health food shop. Use two to three grams of the root a day, and it also comes in capsules. Don't use it if you are taking other mood regulating drugs, such as valium or amitriptyline. And of course - regulate your own dose. Recent research has shown that as individuals , we each have an individual tolerance for drugs of all kinds, take a little first and see how you react.
Kava is another herb for insomnia. You can't use it with alcohol or barbiturates., and don't drive or operate machinery if you take kava.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine and heavy meals late in the evening.
Exercise - of course - a brisk walk, some yoga or ti chi.. in the evening, will tire out those last vestiges of energy you have stored up during the day.
Homeopathic remedies are useful during episodes of insomnia, and may also help individuals with longer-standing sleep disorders. I have chosen these real jewels for you to try. They are amongst my most reliable and well tested remedies for sleeplessness and insomnia. For dosage, check out the dosage link.
Contact me if you find that they don't help and I will choose an individualised prescription for you.
Avena Sativa: Great for calming down baby at night, a few drops in the water or juice can bring them to a restful sleep.
Cypripedium If your baby or toddler cries out in the night and then wants to laugh and play, give a few drops of this lovely remedy and they will soon settle again.
Cocculus: Do you feel “too tired to sleep”. Young adults with babies have disrupted sleep patterns; older people caring for an elderly relative who is awake often in the night: worry, jet lag, shift work.. all of these situations disrupt sleep and make you feel irritable and dizzy, you can't even think!! Take Cocculus an hour before sleep time, and again just before sleep..
Coffea Cruda: You just can't stop thinking! Thoughts go round and round, you feel stressed and exhausted. If you do sleep, its light and full of dreams .. and you wake from the slightest noise or motion.
Daphnia Indica Just cannot fall asleep! and oif you do.. there are nightmares.. do you dream about black cats for example? Bones are achey. You long for a cigarette? This is, without a doubt, the remedy you need.
Ignatia: If insomnia is caused by emotional upset (grief or loss, a disappointment in love, a shock, or even an argument) this remedy may be helpful. The person is sensitive and nervous, and may often sigh and yawn in the daytime, but find it hard to relax at night. As the person tries to fall asleep, the arms and legs may twitch or itch. If sleep arrives, it is usually light, with jerking of the legs and arms, or long and troubling nightmares.
Passiflora You feel tired, restless, worried and oveworked. Little ones have a nocturnal cough, maybe a history of convulsions. Great for babies and the elderly.
Zincum metallicum: Can't lie still in bed at night, legs move about a lot? Can't sleep because you just can't get comfortable? And when you are asleep, do you sleep walk or cry out in your sleep. Sounds like Zincum would be a big help.
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