This disease has assumed alarming proportions in the present times, especially among the upper classes in the urban set-up. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or waking in the middle of the night and staying awake, if this problem continues for more then a month is called chronic insomnia. Most of the cases of insomnia are related to normal day to day worries and tension or simply to caffeine consumption and is not a serious condition but it can be very frustrating, and can cause lack of attention and bad temper.
Chronic insomnia is a different matter and it can interfere and disrupt a normal life, it contributes to headaches, dizziness, mental exhaustion, confusion, memory problems, and emotional instability. Insomnia is not a disease but it can be a sign of a more serious disorder, such as, arthritis , asthma , stress , kidney, heart disease, etc.
Insomnia CausesThere are many potential causes of insomnia, although it is usually a sign that something in our life is not right or something is out of balance. It is thought that more than 50% of all cases of insomnia are linked to psychological causes, including depression, anxiety, and stress.
Other causes include:
- Sleep apnea
- Disruptive snoring
- Bladder ailments or prostate problems
- Serotonin deficiency
- Decreased levels of melatonin in the brain (often affects the elderly)
- 'Restless legs' syndrome (RLS) or periodic limb movements (PLM)
- Magnesium or iron deficiency
- Hormonal imbalance
- Shift work
- Jet lag
- Excessive consumption of caffeine or other stimulants
- A side effect of some prescription medication (especially anti-depressant medication)
Tips for InsomniaTry to stick to a sleep time routine. Even adults need some form of sleep routine, and fluctuating sleep patterns can be detrimental to an insomnia sufferer. Try to get to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning.
Reduce sleeping hours. Too much sleep can also cause insomnia. Attempt cutting your time in bed by 1 hour for two weeks and see if this helps.
Get rid of the bedroom clock. Set an alarm so you don’t oversleep, but then hide it so that you are not constantly conscious of how much sleep you are missing. Ticking clocks are especially offensive to the insomniac!
Keep active during the day. Get regular exercise (at least 30 minutes daily), but avoid exercise close to bedtime.
Wind down each day and learn to relax. Find ways to reduce your stress and set aside time each night to unwind and relax from the business of the day. Take a hot bath; drink some herbal tea; do a calming activity that you enjoy such as writing, reading, or working on a puzzle.
Stop trying so hard. The worst possible thing to do when you cannot sleep is to try and force yourself to sleep. Rather, watch a TV program or read until you feel drowsy and then try again.
Stay clear of caffeine and other stimulants. Stop drinking tea and coffee at least 6 hours before you go to sleep. Nicotine, chocolate, and sugar also act as stimulants and should be avoided. Alcohol, even though it does make you feel drowsy initially, prevents proper deep sleep and often results in frequent waking and restless sleep.
Good sleepy time snacks include a glass of warm milk, banana, or a turkey sandwich – all contain L-tryptophan and can help to make you drowsy.
Improve your sleeping environment. Make your bedroom conducive to a good night’s rest by investing in dark curtains to block out all light, earplugs if night noises disturb you, a comfortable mattress. Also ensure that you are neither too hot nor cold at night.
- Massaging foot sole with mustard oil before going to bed helps to overcome Insomnia.
- poppy seeds dipped in water for an hour, grinded to form a paste. Boil this paste with Milk and sugar. Drinking this is very effective to overcome Insomnia.
- Eating Mango and drinking Milk or drinking Mango milkshake regularly in the night helps to overcome Insomnia.
- Eating a raw Onion or roasted Onion in the night also helps to get rid of Insomnia problem.
- Nut meg powder mixed with water taken in the night helps to overcome insomnia.
- consuming lot of Curd or eating Curd with Sugar or sweet Lassi induces sleep and cures Insomnia.
- Drinking hot milk with a spoon of Ghee and sugar in the night helps to get sleep and cures Insomnia.
- Drinking a glass of Carrot juice everyday helps to cure Insomnia.
- Drinking a spoon of lemon juice mixed with a spoon of Honey in the night induces sleep and cures Insomnia.
- Coriander leaves grinded with water and mixed with Sugar and eating this paste helps to get sleep and cures Insomnia.
- Aniseeds (Sauf) boiled in water for 10 minutes, add Milk and Sugar. Drinking this before going to bed helps to get rid of Insomnia problem.
- Cucumber piece rubbed on the foot sole makes a cooling effect on the body and helps to get sleep curing Insomnia.
- Putting Castor oil on the head or body massaged with Castor oil regularly helps in curing Insomnia.
- Sprouted horse gram taken regularly helps to get sleep and cures Insomnia.Hop calms nerves, relieves tension, and helps in cases of insomnia cause by stress, headaches, indigestion. It does not affect the early waking hours of the morning.
- A few hours before bedtime take Kava kava. Reduces stress, tension, anxiety and relaxes muscles. It helps to fall asleep deeper and to rest more. It can be used as a sedative when taking a large dose, as effectively as, benzodiazepines but without the side effects.
- The most popular herb for insomnia is Valerian, It relaxes nerves and muscles, improves sleep quality and makes falling asleep easier. Great for insomnia cause by, mind activity, fear, fatigue, excitement. It’s as good as many barbiturates but has no side effects or addiction.
- Mix the following ingredients: 1 tsp. chamomile flowers. 1 tsp. hops. 1 tsp. valerian root. 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for
- minutes, strain and drink 1 hour before bedtime.
- The herb Kava is a very useful alternative for migraine, its properties allows a very peaceful sedative feeling which helps to achieve a deep state of relaxation these effects reduce insomnia, improve sleep without diminishing concentration or causing drowsiness. Take 180 mg. a day for only threes days in a row. Kava is a very powerful herb; high levels can have adverse effects on the liver. Do not take more than the recommended dosage.
- Most people, when they have trouble sleeping, begin to turn in bed and "seeking the dream." The problem is that the more effort we make to sleep, the more we worry about our inability to sleep and we find it harder to fall asleep / as. Indeed, we have conditioned to have difficulty sleeping.
- For most people the ritual before going to bed that consists of activities such as washing the mouth, remove the covers, turn off the light served as a message to our brain to relax and put us sleepy. In people who have been conditioned to having sleep problems, the contrary prior to bedtime activities are rather a signal that tells the brain to prepare for a long and frustrating battle.
- In these cases, follow these simple tips may be all we need to break this vicious circle and once again enjoy a pleasant dream.
- Go to bed at the same time every day and go to bed only when sleepy.
- Exercise regularly, but do not do it near bedtime. Leave at least five hours between exercise and bedtime.
- Eliminate or reduce caffeine and smoking. Almost everyone knows that caffeine makes it difficult to sleep, what many do not realize is that smoking near bedtime can disrupt sleep and cause us to wake up several times at night . Studies have shown that smokers show a decrease from the deepest stage of sleep, ie one in which delta waves predominate. Smoking also causes congestion in the airways and inflammation on mucous membranes. This makes the air flow is impeded, causing problems similar to those of sleep apnea.
- Avoid turning to alcohol as a remedy for insomnia. Many people use alcohol as a sleep aid. However this may be counterproductive. Alcohol can certainly make us but later we sleep at night, as the body was metabolized, it becomes substances called aldehydes that make the dream become unstable. Even worse alcohol suppresses REM sleep than as we have said is of great importance for the processing and memory consolidation.
- Avoid eating too much before bedtime. The digestive process can interfere with sleep.
- Take your vitamins. Several studies have shown that different sleep problems can are linked to deficiencies in the B complex, calcium, copper, zinc, iron and magnesium.
- Do not sleep on other days you do not have to go to work. Some people use the weekends to sleep or stay in bed until almost noon. The result is an alteration of biological rhythms. On the other hand if you need eight hours sleep and is forced to sleep ten or eleven his sleep will be shallow and wake up with less energy than if he had slept less. The only circumstance under which it is healthy to stretch the period of sleep is when we are recovering from a period of lack of sleep.
- Do not use bedtime to think about their problems.
- If you feel tense use relaxation techniques, deep breathing, yoga, massage or gentle instrumental music for relaxation.
- Try some natural remedies. Valerian root is an excellent mild relaxant that helps many people sleep and that contrary to some commonly prescribed drugs for insomnia, do not interfere with REM sleep and leaves the person in a state of drowsiness upon awakening. However valerian should not be used for more than three weeks running. In some people it can cause headaches or upset stomach. Other natural remedies that can help are the cataria (Catnip), chamomile, and skullcap (skullcap). For these and other natural remedies is advisable to consult a naturopath or naturopathic doctor properly licensed.
- Try melatonin, but carefully. Some people find it helpful to sleep, however there are cases of people who, on the contrary, he disrupts sleep. There is at present considerable confusion as to the usefulness and appropriateness of melatonin. Therefore it is advisable to consult a health professional (naturopath, medical doctor or naturopathic) versed in the subject.
- Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex. This will automatically relax upon entering.
- If after about 20 minutes to fall asleep can not / do not start to roll over in bed. The tossing and turning in bed all that accomplishes is to increase the association between the act of going to bed and sleep problems. Better get up and do something boring. Return to bed only when sleepy.
- Also be careful with sleep medications. Many of these may help temporarily but after a few weeks or at most a few months, lose their effectiveness. Even worse if they continue to use can aggravate insomnia causing what is known as "rebound insomnia". If at this stage seek to suspend the problem is further exacerbated. The solution is to reduce the dose gradually over several weeks. This should be done preferably under medical supervision.