Combating Insomnia Or Sleeplessness - What Brings On Sleep? Some Natural Home Remedies
Sound sleep of at least 7-8 hours is very important for us to function at our best during our waking hours. At the same time, sound sleep gives the body the much needed rest and time for repair. Though individual sleep requirements vary considerably outside of this time period deemed as average, it is of utmost importance that this sleep be deep and sound.
That said, the practical aspect of falling asleep varies from individual to individual. Many people find it difficult to fall asleep once they hit the bed, others go to sleep almost instantaneously but wake up sometime later and have difficulty going back to sleep again while many others keep tossing and turning the whole night, getting sleepy when it is time to get up.
All such people are said to suffer from insomnia or sleeplessness. Though insomnia strictly speaking is the inability to sleep it is also used to denote various states of difficulty in falling and remaining asleep.
Causes Of Insomnia.
There are innumerable causes for sleeplessness. Some of the common ones are listed below.
- Change of place, timing, mattress, pillows etc.
Some people are very sensitive to such changes.
- Tension, stress and suppressed feelings.
If you take your worries and feelings to bed with you, you are not going to fall asleep. Even if you do, maintaining sound sleep all night will be almost impossible.
- Excessive intake of tea, coffee and other stimulating drinks, like alcohol and overeating.
Though these things cause insomnia, this is a temporary phase and shouldn’t last long, if consumed in moderation.
What Brings On Sleep ?
All the factors that are causing insomnia or sleeplessness are the reasons for not getting either sound sleep or not being able to sleep at all.
Now that you know what affects your sleep it is very easy to find out what brings on sleep. You guessed it right - A reversal of all the factors mentioned above will bring on sound sleep.
However, as a further aid, I have listed some natural remedies a little later, that can be of aid to get you the much elusive sleep.
Insomnia has been classified into 3 types.
- Transient Insomnia which often lasts for about a week. Reasons for this could be change of place, timing, stress, strain, excess of stimulating drinks like tea, coffee etc.
- Acute Insomnia which lasts for less than a month It is usually associated with poor quality sleep either by way of difficulty in falling asleep or remaining asleep or unrefreshing sleep. This affects work during the day and is mostly related to stress.
- Chronic Insomnia which is sleeping disorder existing for more than a month. Physical and mental fatigue, age related factors could be amongst other reasons for this type of insomnia.
A Few Words About Sleeping Pills
First and foremost, it must be understood that sleeping pills are not the solution to insomnia and will not solve this problem rather will exacerbate it in more ways than one. Read this!
They are habit forming. Once you start taking them there is no looking back. You will get hooked on them so firmly that getting sleep without them will be impossible.
Brands like Ativan, Valium etc are anti anxiety drugs. They have Benzodiazepine as the active salt.
Others like Gardenal which contain barbiturates are sedative hypnotics.
Both these drugs are habit forming and addictive.
The possible side effects of the pills include dryness of the mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, weakness, tingling sensation of extremities , uncontrolled trembling of body parts and even hallucinations.
These pills can be dangerous to those suffering from asthma as during sleep they make the breath slower and shallower.
Effects Of Insomnia
Some of them are :
- Listlessness, lack of energy and drowsiness during the day, irritability and reduced work output.
- Increased chances of accidents at work, home or while on the road.
- Double vision.
- Increased risk of heart diseases
Some Practical Tips To Aid Sleeping Soundly
- Choose a calm, quiet, dark room to retire for sleeping. Use ear plugs if needed to keep out unwanted sound.
- Choose a comfortable bed, mattress and pillows.
- Do not take tea or coffee before just before bedtime.
- No alcohol before retiring for the night. Though alcohol makes one drowsy, it invariably leads to waking up later in the night.
- Try to adhere to a fixed time schedule for going to bed and getting up in the morning. The body’s clock soon adjusts to this schedule and falling asleep will get easier.
- Finish off dinner a few hours before bedtime. Taking a sweet snack like cookies will help due to the sedative effect of sugar.
Some Natural Home Remedies For Combating Insomnia
Many natural foods benefit in treating insomnia without the side effects associated with sleeping pills. They should thus be the first choice for getting rid of sleep disorders. Some of them are:
Eat an apple or apple murabba at bedtime to aid in sleeping well.
Recipe For Making Apple Murabba
- 1 kg Fresh apples
- 20 gms Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Saffron
How to make Apple Murabba:
Wash apples properly.
Peel them and cut into pieces.
Poke holes into apple pieces with the help of a needle.
Boil till it turns smooth.
Prepare sugar syrup of one thread consistency.
Now cook the apples in sugar syrup till it turns thick.
Sprinkle saffron on it and keep it for cooling.
Place Apple Murrabba in airtight jar.
Recipe Source : http://www.indobase.com/recipes/details/apple-murabba.php
Eat a mango and drink milk after this. This brings on sound sleep.
Carrot is full of nutrients. It relieves fatigue, strengthens the nerves and aids in getting sleep.
Take a red onion. Take out its juice it and take 4 tsp of this juice for benefit.
You can also cook this onion by covering it with hot ash till done and eating it.
Drink a glass of hot milk to which 1 tsp honey has been added, to induce sleep.
Add ground black pepper, powdered aniseed and sugar to yogurt. Mix well before consuming.
Boil 1 tsp fennel seeds in a cup of water. When half the amount of water remains add double the amount of milk to this. Then add 2 tsp each of clarified butter and sugar. Drink this at bedtime.
This brings on good sleep and also is excellent for clearing bowels in the morning
If you are suffering from excessive sleep and lethargic, try the following :
Take 10 gms fennel seeds and put in 500 ml water. Boil and then simmer this till 1/4th of the original water remains. Strain, add salt to taste and drink. Take twice a day, once in the morning and then in the evening for 5 days.
Rub nutmeg in little water or ghee and apply this liquid on the eyelashes. It brings on sleep fast.
Grind some fresh coriander leaves. Add little sugar & water. Drink this. It brings on sound sleep and relieves headaches and cases of darkness before eyes in weakness.
Chutney made of fresh coriander leaves also aids in sleep.
Add 2 tsp honey to lemon juice and drink at night.
Add 1 tsp honey to a glass of water and drink.
Honey acts like a sedative and brings on sound sleep.
Massage the soles of the feet with mustard oil to benefit. It also strengths the eyesight, cures
cracks in the feet and numbness in feet
Massaging the body helps not only in removal of waste products but also aids in getting a good nights’ sleep.
Massaging the head is also beneficial.
Use coconut oil or mustard oil for massage.
Before going to sleep, keep the legs up to the calves dipped in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
Also, wash feet with hot water in winter & with cold water in summer before going to bed.
What brings on sleep best for you?
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or embarking on a new health regime.
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