If you are suffering from lack of sleep or know someone who is, this list of insomnia cures will certainly interest you. Sufficient sleep is just as vital as food to emotional and physical well being. Getting enough sleep is a basic human need. Deprive us of our sleep and we are miserable.
Insomnia is classed into three types, depending on how long you have suffered from lack of sleep. They are:
– Transient insomnia, which lasts for a few days.
– Short-term insomnia, lasting no more than 3 weeks.
– Chronic insomnia, which is when a person has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing refreshing sleep for at least 3 nights a week for a month or more.
When insomnia is the primary complaint, it is known as Primary Chronic Insomnia, however other sleep disorders may cause difficulty in sleeping such as Sleep Apnea (difficulty in breathing while sleep), Restless Leg Syndrome (unpleasant sensations in the legs), or narcolepsy ( excessive daytime sleepiness).
Certain drugs and medications may cause difficulty in sleeping, either while on them or while withdrawal from them. Emotional disturbance can be another cause of sleep deprivation.
You should resort to treatment after you are deprived of sleep for more than a few weeks or it interferees with your normal day to day functioning.
Here are some of the things that can be done to help cure insomnia:
– Sleep Disorder Clinics. If it is determined by your doctor that you should go to a sleep disorder clinic you will spend a night there and technicians (sleep specialists) will evaluate your sleep complaints as well as monitor your blood oxygen level, your heart rate, your muscle tone, and other sleep behavior while you sleep. Based on your disorder, a treatment will be recommended by your doctor.
– Medications. There is significant concern about using medications for treating insomnia. Meditations do not address the root of the problem. Some of the concern is that people using over the counter medications will develop drug dependence on these medications to sleep, turning the medications into a crutch rather than an aid. These medications can cause detrimental physical side effects, and interfere with other medications. Always read the warning labels when using any medications.
– Natural Cures. There are a number of natural cures that you can try to cure your insomnia. Two of the most popular are chamomile tea or lemon balm. Be aware that just because something is labeled 100% natural does not mean it is so. Natural remedies are not regulated, so you must be careful when you buy. Other natural substances used as natural cures for insomnia are:
St. John's Wort – Widely used as a mood stabilizer and to treat mild depression, St John's Wort has also been shown to be effective in treating insomnia. The only known side effect of St. John's Wort is skin rash and sensitivity to light, however other side effects have been reported. Pregnant women should not take St John's Wort. One to two teaspoons of dried St. John's wort can be put into a cup of boiling water and steeped for 10 minutes to make tea. The recommended dosage of tea is one to two cups daily.
Passionflower – This plant is used for it's sedative and soothing properties. It is the herb of choice for treating transient insomnia. It aids the transition into a restful sleep without any narcotic hangover. Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto a teaspoonful of the dried herb and let infuse for l5 minutes. Drink a cup in the evening for sleeplessness.
L-tryptophan-L-tryptophan is an amino acid found many foods including turkey. The effect that tryptophan has on both mood and sleep may be because the body naturally converges tryptophan into both serotonin and melatonin. If you have insomnia, tryptophan may help. Several research studies have confirmed L-tryptophan to be useful in the treatment of chronic insomnia at doses of between one to four grams at bedtime. Further, L-tryptophan is not associated with side effects that are common with prescription drugs, nor does it cause difficulty in waking up the next morning. This makes L-tryptophan an attractive alternative to conventional drug therapies for the treatment of chronic insomnia.
Melatonin – Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. The secretion of melatonin is cued by light; as our eyes register the sunset of darkness, the amount of melatonin produced by the pineal grand steadily increases. Insomnia sufferers new to melatonin are encouraged to begin treatment at a low dose of approximately 1 mg approximately 30 minutes prior to bedtime, and to increase the dose by .5 mg on successful nights if indicated. Increased ability to fall sleep is reported with doses as low as .03 mg, so new users are encouraged to give their melatonin a chance to work. Also, melatonin is often reported to be more effective if taken under the tongue. Sub-lingual melatonin is absorbed more efficiently into the bloodstream than regular oral doses, which are absorbed through the stomach.
Sleep Hygiene. Practice good sleep hygiene. This is the most important thing you can to do promote good sleep. What is good sleep hygiene? Doing things that promote good sleep like not doing anything stimulating and listening to soft music just before bedtime is good sleep hygiene. Here are some more examples of good sleep hygiene:
– A regular bedtime schedule. Put yourself on a schedule for going to bed and getting up. Stick to it, even on weekends.
– Do not spend excess time in bed. Use your bed for sleep and sexual reasons only, do not spend a lot of extra time in bed.
– Avoid naps.
– Exercise before dinner. Do not exercise before bedtime, but do exercise before dinner. You'll find sleep comes more easily.
– A hot bath about 1 1/2 hours before bedtime. This will relax you and prepare you for your bedtime.
– Keep your bedroom relatively cool and well ventilated.
– Eat light meals before bedtime.
– Avoid fluids just before bedtime.
– Avoid caffeine and other stimulants 4-6 hours before bedtime.
– Do not drink alcohol before going to bed.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is about identifying the way you think about sleep and replacing old thoughts with positive ones. The idea is to replace a person's misconceptions about sleep with more positive sleep behaviors, including good sleep hygiene. CBT brings false beliefs about sleep (the cognitive part) and also addresses the behavioral aspect, such as what to do when you are lying in bed and can not fall sleep.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation. First, check with your physician to make sure you have not got a history of serious problems such as a history of injuries, back problems, or muscle problems that might be exacerbated by these exercises. If you proceed and do the exercises against your doctors advice you do so at your own risk. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a two step exercise where you increase muscle tension in your body and then release the muscles for a certain period of time. The end result is that you end up relaxing your entire body, which helps you go to sleep. Search the internet for more information on this technique.
Light For Healing. Some people suffer from circadian rhythm problems. This particular rhythm has to do with the function of light and darkness within a 24 hour period. People with a circadian rhythm disorder have their sleep time overlap their wake time. Their internal clock is set by exposure to bright light such as sunlight. When using this therapy the person sits in front of a fluorescent light at a specified distance for 20-30 minutes to re-set their internal clock.
The bottom line is that if you are experiencing insomnia that is depriving you of restful sleep for more than a few weeks and your normal daily functioning is impaired you should seek help from your physician. The root of your sleep disorder could be any number of things and it should be diagnosed and treated properly so that you get the rest that your body needs and that you deserve. Sweet dreams to you!