A significant proportion of the population has trouble sleeping
at some stage in their life and many experience frequent insomnia. I am often asked 'can you help me sleep?'
Well, I'll certainly try! For those that don't even know how to sleep, check out the General Sleep
Tips page first.
Natural sleep remedies including herbs can be very
effective for sleeplessness from a wide variety of causes and their effects range from very mild relaxants to
effective sleep aids.
What Is Insomnia?
I would define insomnia as the inability to go to sleep naturally, without taking
anything to help you do so, and to stay asleep for an adequate amount of time, and this happens consistently,
ie more than 3-4 times a week.
It can also be defined as poor sleep, where the insomniac wakes up several times at night and so does not get
enough rest despite getting to sleep.
What Causes Insomnia?
The causes of or reasons for insomnia are numerous and include psychological, physical, due to
medication, lifestyle etc. and can be transient or chronic.
This website offers some simple sleep tips and natural sleep remedies to help you with short term insomnia.
Herbs For Insomnia
Although it is not a herb, my favourite insomnia
remedy is Melatonin.
My favourite herbal remedy is Valerian - as with all herbs, you do have to use caution and verify
the Valerian Dosage and be aware of the
Valerian side effects. Corydalis, Passion Flower,
Lemon Balm, and Chamomile are also good. I have included a description, recommended dosages, and possible side
effects of some of the most popular natural sleep remedies.
Herbs for insomnia can be taken internally as tablets or capsules, as infusions or as
tinctures. They can even be used topically as baths or essential oils.
Homeopathy can also be very effecive for short term sleep problems.
Nutrients That Help
Certain nutrients are also helpful for insomnia and these include, vitamin D, calcium,
magnesium and the B vitamins.
L-theanine which is an amino acid found in tea, is an excellent remedy for anxiety and stress
and also helps you sleep. It is one of my personal favourites as a general remedy.
Insomnia or lack of sleep, is the one condition that is often better treated by natural
remedies and herbs.
Drugs can cause side effects, leave you feeling drowsy the day after, and are often addictive.
Hypnosis For Sleep
As the main cause of temporary insomnia is psychological stress and the ensuing worry and
anxiety, hypnosis is increasingly used for insomnia and is proving to help enormously too. More on
hypnosis for insomnia...
Sleep Disorders That Cause
Sometimes insomnia is caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, snoring, night cramps, restless leg syndrome or
bruxism (teeth grinding). In this case the disorder should be treated.
Medical Conditions That Cause
It can also be caused by other medical conditions such as allergies, arthritis, cancer,
fibromyalgia, heart disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hypertension, asthma, emphysema,
rheumatologic conditions, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, and
Medications That Cause
Medications that can cause insomnia include antidepressants (fluoxetine, bupropion),
theophylline, lamotrigine, felbamate, beta-blockers, and beta-agonists.
Approximately 10 - 15% of chronic insomnia cases result from substance abuse, especially
alcohol, cocaine, and sedatives, and shift work can disrupt the wake-sleep cycle.
This is why it is so very important to check with your doctor to rule out any underlying
medical conditions for your insomnia before trying the natural remedies.