“Getting a good night’s sleep” – help with insomnia

September 18

“Getting a good night’s sleep” – help with insomnia

Along with laughter, it is said that “sleep is the best medicine”. My husband regularly shares the mantra his mother repeated when he was ill. It was simply, ”early to bed”.  Sleep, and the rest it offers, aids mental and physical recovery, recuperation and repair. Anxiety, stress, medication, and more recently, too much technology too late, can be causes of insomnia. A lack of sleep can significantly affect our ability to function, and long term sleep deprivation can seriously impact our general health and wellbeing. Mood, migraines, decision-making and digestion can all be affected by insomnia.

It is true that some people need less sleep than others. However, if you are experiencing, for no apparent reason, little or interrupted sleep and feel noticeably unrefreshed on waking you may be suffering the effects of sleep deprivation.  The following advice and natural remedies can be a useful aid to sleep.

MILD INSOMNIA:

  • - Lavender: Lavender is a natural sedative.  A vase of lavender sprigs, a lavender cushion, sprays, candles or oil placed around the house, especially bathroom and bedroom can aid relaxation and induce sleep. A hot bath or shower with lavender product can also help.
  • - Milky drinks or herbal teas such as Chamomile before bed can help some people relax into a restful sleep. Avoid alcohol and caffeine where possible. Alcohol may help you fall asleep but will often cause one to wake later, and as caffeine is a stimulant it may prevent one falling asleep.
  • - Protein snacks and some wholefood carbohydrates a few hours before bed produce a sleep-promoting chemical (L-tryptophan). Large meals and/or sugary foods before bed will make sleep difficult.
  • - Avoid Blue Light an hour or more before bed. Mobile phones, ipads and computer screens produce “blue light” which interferes with the brain’s capacity to relax and enter a restful phase.
  • - Relaxing routines. The body and mind respond well to routine and regular habits, and  before bed time is no exception. Bath, deep breathing, relaxation apps and cd’s can all be part of this process indicating that one is preparing for sleep.

MODERATE INSOMNIA

Many people suffer with moderate or temporary insomnia which can generally be attributed to an identifiable cause. The following natural remedies are commonly and successfully used by my clients in cases of moderate sleep difficulties, or as a useful support in more long term cases. They essentially calm the nervous system and induce a feeling of relief and relaxation in preparation for better quality sleep.

ACONITUM NAPELLUS: In cases of restless sleep accompanied by anxiety and fear Aconitum works well. It is also well suited to sleeplessness after a shock event.

AVENA TINCTURE: A herbal preparation made from wild oat. This remedy is especially effective if insomnia is brought on by overwork and/or overexertion. Workaholics and exam students often benefit from this remedy.

KALI PHOS TISSUE SALTS (6X): For use if your sleep is affected by nervous worry, agitation or anxiety. You may feel overwhelmed by circumstances, unable to cope and exhausted as a consequence.

RESCUE REMEDY: Rescue remedy can also be used as a sleep aid as a result of shock, sudden bad news, grief, panic or general anticipation. If you are losing sleep due to imminent exams, a hospital visit, driving test or work challenge Rescue Remedy or Kali Phos work very well to calm the nerves.

CHRONIC INSOMNIA

In my experience chronic insomnia can be more challenging to treat. The best results are achieved over a longer period of time and often as a result of establishing the original cause. There are a range of homeopathic remedies that are regularly turned to which return the client to more natural sleep habits. Most recently clients have received Helonias, Aurum, Ignatia and Pulsatilla with great success. 

For more information and advice contact Daniela Karsten, Registered Homeopath RS.Hom., Dip. Hom. ACH, www.homeopathessex.com

© Daniela Karsten, July 2018

 

 

 

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