Insomnia is a sleeping problem. It is important to distinguish between habitual sleeplessness, repeated night after night and a temporary problem due perhaps to some worry or anxiety. It is also important not to become obsessed with trying to get a certain amount of sleep. People generally need less sleep as they get older and this is perfectly normal.
Home remedies for Insomnia
Essential oils are a very pleasant and effective means of unwinding and aiding restful sleep - try using them in the bath - or else putting 2-5 drops on to a paper tissue under the pillow at night. Choose from the following, either using a single oil or a blend; do not use the same oil for more than 2 weeks or you will find it becomes less effective.
Chamomile: calming and relaxing in its effects, it is good where indigestion contributes to broken sleep.
clary sage: this has a sedating and almost euphoric action, but do not use if you have had alcohol as you can quickly get drunk, and have nightmares or a hangover feeling later on.
lavender: not only very soothing, but also analgesic, so if any aches or pains contribute to insomnia, this oil is probably the best remedy.
marjoram: relaxing and warming, in large amounts it is quite sedating but can leave you feeling a bit thick-headed the next morning, so do not overdo it.
An infusion of one or more of these relaxing herbs can help a return to a natural sleep pattern if stress has disturbed it. Other ways of using herbs include herb-filled pillows; traditionally hops were used as they are sedating (but not very pleasant- smelling !). Fill a small muslin bag loosely with the appropriate herb and place under your normal pillow.
Another old favourite remedy for insomnia was cowslip wine; this not only tastes better than the infusion but is certainly very relaxing.
chamomile: (Chamomilla recutita): calms the stomach and the brain, settling the digestion and helping sleep.
hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis): a gentle relaxant; also helps to ease nasal congestion and colds, which can cause insomnia.
lemon baem (Melissa officinalis): this helps to restore balance to the nervous system, and can be used safely on children. The fresh herb tastes much nicer, and can be drunk as a tea anytime.
lime blossom (Tilia europaea): mildly analgesic as well as calming; can soothe headache or other pains.
passion flower (Passiflora incarnata): a strong relaxant or sedative, but without any ill-effects. Many commercial herbal tablets for insomnia contain this herb.
Homeopathy - In the short term, look at these remedies.
aconite: for restlessness associated with sudden upset or fear, and resulting in tossing and turning in bed.
Naturopathy - In order to get the proper rhythm of energy through the day, it is useful to get plenty of exercise and get fresh air in the daytime. It may help to get up fairly early in the morning as well to restore this balance.
Do not sleep in a stuffy room or drink coffee, tea or cola at night.
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