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Natural Relief for Insomnia : A Great Way To A Full Night’s Sleep

Updated on July 22, 2010

Natural Relief: A Great Way To A Full Night’s Sleep

 Life in today’s fast paced world can be incredibly demanding, often leading us to feel distressed, overwhelmed, and anxious.  These feelings can interfere with our natural bodily rhythms and induce certain ailments including mental disorders, heart conditions, and insomnia.  Insomnia, though, can be the most quickly deteriorating and detrimental affliction, because sleep is so important to the life cycle.

 For those of us who feel like trying something different before resorting to pharmaceuticals, it’s a good thing there are plenty of natural remedies for insomnia.  One such natural remedy is called Valerian root, which has been used for some time as an aid to insomniacs.  Scientists don’t know exactly how Valerian works in the brain, but they infer that it mimics the effects of prescription sleeping pills by increasing the amount of the calming neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.  You can expect it to take a couple of weeks, usually 2 or 3, before it starts working properly.

 Melatonin is also a popular natural remedy for insomnia, that people often take when their circadian rhythm is off due to things like all-nighters or jet lag.  Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain, where it is made from serotonin as the eyes are exposed to less light into the evening.  It is usually taken within 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime, but doctors say that those with depression, schizophrenia, or autoimmune disease should avoid using Melatonin.

 Along with taking Valerian or Melatonin supplements, relaxation techniques have also proven quite efficacious in aiding those with insomnia.   These techniques range from visualization and meditation to yoga and progressive muscle relaxation.  In meditation, one closes their eyes and focuses on a mantra or other bodily sensation (like the breath) for a period of time, whereas in visualization, the eyes are closed but one pictures themselves falling asleep or relaxing in a peaceful setting.  Yoga, with its combination of stretching, deep breathing, and relaxing effect, has been found to be very helpful in inducing sleep and increasing its length.  Progressive muscle relaxation is the process by which you tense up a group of muscles for a period of time, then release them, and move to another group of muscles, each group feeling more relaxed after its use.

 There is in fact a plethora of natural remedies for insomnia these days.   Valerian root, Melatonin supplements, and Yoga are a great place to start if you don’t feel like prescription drugs or just want to complement the ones you already are taking.  So take control of your life, don’t let something like insomnia rule your life and decrease your happiness, start trying natural remedies for insomnia today so you can sleep better tonight!


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