- Natural Cure for Insomnia
- Cognitive and Behavioral measures
- Change in lifestyle for curing Insomnia
- Home Remedies for Insomnia
- Dietary Recommendation for curing Insomnia
- Insomnia: Foods to avoid
Natural cure for Insomnia tries to address the root cause without any adverse side effects. While barbiturates to benzodiazepines provide temporary relief from insomnia, they fail to address the root causes of Insomnia and carry several adverse side effects including high degree of drug dependence.
As with any other disease, natural treatment of Insomnia begins with a proper diagnosis of the underlying cause of Insomnia. This should be done by conducting a complete physical, psychiatric and medical history check-up.
Acute Insomnia generally gets cured in due course of time without resorting to drug based treatment. Drugs are prescribed for insomnia, only if, it is chronic or it shows some predictable trends of occurrence.
Cognitive and Behavioural measures
In general any therapy which addresses mental tension, worries, resentment, anger, bitterness, anxiety and overwork should be tried as the first course to treat insomnia.
Meditation and stress eliminating hobbies are a good way to get rid of insomnia and should be the first course of action against insomnia.
Relax before going to bed. Leave aside worries and indulge in activities like massage, spa, deep breathing exercises, light inspirational reading, meditation and listening to soothing music.
Build regular sleeping habits to regulate your body’s biological clock. Maintain discipline as regards to time of sleeping and waking up.
Change in lifestyle for curing Insomnia
Many a times, small lifestyle changes might be enough to get rid of insomnia. To begin with the following measures must be ensured:
Light Dinner: Review your food eating habits. Indigestion and constipation are the two most common causes of Insomnia. A digestive system that is active at night interferes with sleep. Take light dinner and avoid eating late at night. Dinner can be slightly spicy but should not be oily. Spice promotes sound sleep while oil interferes with it.
Clean Bed: Clean the bed before going to sleep. Choose mattress covers which are comfortable. (Cotton bed sheet is generally comfortable)
Optimal room temperature: Keep the bedroom temperature cool and comfortable. Ensure proper room ventilation.
Room lighting: Keep the bed room dark by using curtains or blinds to cut the rays of outside light. Light acts on the pituitary gland, which alters our body’s biological clock.
Noiseproof environment: Ensure a noise proof surrounding before going to bed. This can be done by soundproofing walls of the room or by simply using earplugs.
Exercises for Insomnia: Regular exercise, even in moderate quantity is effective in treatment of insomnia. Exercise improves blood circulation, soothes the nervous system and improves quality of sleep. In general, any exercise like walking, running, swimming, playing tennis or any exercise, which one enjoys and one which gets the blood pumping can be done.
Yoga for Insomnia: Yoga is also very effective in treatment and cure of Insomnia. Asanas like sarvangasan, paschimottanasana, shirshasana, shavasana, uttanasana and viparit karni are very relaxing and beneficial for overcoming symptoms of insomnia.
Home Remedies for Insomnia
The following are some of the effective home remedies for insomnia:
Cumin seeds: Cumin seeds are very useful for insomnia.Cumin seeds are rich in iron and manganese. They are proven to stimulate secretion of several vital pancreatic enzymes which are required for proper digestion and assimilation of vital nutrients. One teaspoon of fried powder of cumin seeds mixed with the pulp of one ripe banana can be taken in the night to induce sleep.
Celery: Celery is a rich source of phthalides, which help relax muscular and nervous systems in the body. Phthalides are also proven to reduce secretion of stress inducing hormones. This attributes make celery an excellent home cure for Insomnia. Celery juice mixed with a tablespoon of honey is very useful for this purpose. This should be taken in the night before going to bed.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg is a very effective natural cure for insomnia. Nutmeg is a rich source of myristicin which inhibits secretion of stress inducing enzynes and is a natural sedative. These attributes make it a potent cure for Insomnia. Powder of nutmeg mixed with fresh amla juice is very effective for insomnia, irritability and depression. Nutmeg should however not be taken more than a pich a time. Large doses of nutmeg can cause hallucination and other psychiatric disorders.
Poppy seeds: Poppy seeds are a natural opiate that induces sleep. Poppy seeds relives nervous tension and are effective in treatment of insomnia. About 30 grams of milk of poppy seeds mixed with a little sugar. One teaspoon of poppy seeds oil taken in night, daily is also effective for insomnia.
Milk: A glass of milk mixed with little honey can be taken every night before going to bed. This acts as a tranquiliser. Massaging milk on the toes of the foot is also an effective way to treat insomnia.
Aniseed: Aniseed is very helpful in treating insomnia. Make tea with one teaspoon of aniseeds in 375ml of water. Simmer this mixture for about 15 minutes. Add honey and milk to it before drinking. Drink this tea before bedtime everyday.
Sesame oil: Sesame seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fat, which relieves nervous and muscular tension from the body and promotes sound sleep.Regular intake of sesame oil reduces anxiety, improves blood circulation and prevents digestive disorders.Massage the sole of the feet with sesame oil every night before going to bed. This is very helpful in treating insomnia.
Curd: Curd improves the digestive system and helps in absorbtion of vital minerals and nutrients. Besides eating curd, Massaging curd on head is very helpful in treating insomnia as this induces sleep.
Thiamine: Thiamine is very good for treating insomnia. Thiamine promotes good health and strong nerves. Deficiency of thiamine results in strained nerves which results in insomnia. Foods rich in thiamine or vitamin B1 like wholegrain cereals, nuts and pulses help in relaxing the body.
Rauwolfia: Rauwolfia has sedative properties which make it effective in naturally curing insomnia. Take about 0.60 to 1.25 grams of the powder of the root and mix with some scented vehicle. This can be administered to the patient in doses of 0.25 grams before bedtime. A chronic insomnia patient can take this dosage, twice a day, morning and in the night before bedtime.
Honey: Honey is an excellent home remedy for insomnia. Honey has hypnotic effect and it induces sound sleep. Take two tablespoons of honey mixed in a large cup of water before going to bed.
Lettuce: A decoction made by boiling lettuce seeds is very useful in treatment of insomnia. One tablespoon of the seeds should be boiled in half a litre of water till it is reduced to one third.
Fenugreek leaves: Juice of fenugreek leaves mixed with honey induces sleep and is effective in treatment of insomnia.
Lemon balm tea: Mix two to three teaspoons of the herb in a cup of boiling water and make a tea and drink this before bed time for better results.
Bottle gourd: Equal mixture of bottle gourd juice and sesame oil is very effective home cure for insomnia. This should be massaged over the scalp every night. Bottle gourd leaves cooked as a vegetable is also beneficial for this purpose.
Indian sorrel: Juice of Indian sorrel leaves is very useful in treating insomnia. The juice should be mixed with castor oil, in equal quantity and heated to remove the water content. Cool and store it in a bottle. Massage the scalp with this oil before going to bed. This provides cool sensation near the eyes and induces sound sleep.
Small changes in eating pattern and taking a well balanced diet are very helpful in treating insomnia. In general, food that are difficult to be digested should be avoided at night. Take fresh fruits and vegetables regularly to naturally cure insomnia.
Food rich in carbohydrates stimulates secretion of serotonin and melatonin which induces sleep. Food rich in carbohydrate include apple, bagel, banana, barley, beans, black eye peas, blueberry, bran, brown rice, buckwheat, chickpeas, corn, cornmeal, dates, fig, garbanzo beans, grains, grapes, lentils, macaroni, maize, muesli, muffins, navy beans, oatmeal, orange, pasta, pear, peas, pineapple, potato, raisins, refried beans, rice, shredded wheat, spaghetti, strawberry, watermelon, white, white beans, white bread, white flour, whole wheat bread, wholegrain cereals, yam, apricot, cereals and corn syrup. Liberal intakes of these foods are beneficial in the treatment of insomnia
Insomnia: Foods to avoid
- Avoid eating oily food or heavy food at night before sleeping
- Avoid sugar and refined products, coffee, tea, chocolates and alcohols
- Salt interferes with sleep. Person suffering from Insomnia should avoid high salt diet
- Avoid stimulants, few hours before bedtime. This includes alcohol, cigarettes, cola, tea, coffee, chocolate and other nicotine food.
- Avoid drugs and medications which contain any form of stimulants. Consult your doctor if you take any such medicine.