ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Overcome Insomnia, Naturally

Updated on March 21, 2013
Many of us suffer from occassional insomnia. A few simple and natural remedies can remedy the occasional episodes.
Many of us suffer from occassional insomnia. A few simple and natural remedies can remedy the occasional episodes. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

It's not uncommon to have a sleepless or restless night from time to time. Tossing and turning. Checking the clock every 20 or 30 minutes. Mind racing. Just flat out unable to relax and fall asleep. Then, getting up the next morning feeling exhausted. Insomnia is a common malady, with many sufferers unable to function well the next day. The symptoms are few and the causes can fall into one of three categories: physical, psychological, or temporary due to events or outside factors. While sleeping pills are available with a prescription, these drugs are not the only means for getting a good night's sleep. There are some natural remedies that are fairly effective.

Symptoms of Insomnia

The symptoms for insomnia vary from person to person and may also fluctuate in severity from one episode to the next. Symptoms usually include one or more of the following:

  • · Difficulty falling asleep which may involve lying bed for one or more hours, tossing and turning, and delays between the time you lay down and the time you finally fall asleep.
  • · Waking up (bad dream, need to go to the restroom, noise) and having difficulty falling back to sleep.
  • · Waking up too early, before the alarm clock goes off, or earlier than you intended to wake up.
  • · Feeling tired or exhausted upon waking, as though you didn't get enough sleep during the night.
  • · Getting up the next day feeling, sleepy, anxious, cranky, or feeling as though you can't accomplish the tasks that you need to take care of during the day.

Causes of Insomnia

The causes of Insomnia may be physical, psychological, or due to temporary events or factors.

Physical Causes:

  • Hormonal Changes in Women. Hormonal changes include PMS, menstruation pregnancy, pre-menopause, and peri-menopause.
  • Decreased Melatonin Levels. Melatonin is produced naturally in the body, and tend to decrease with age until, by the time we reach 60 years, our body is producing very little of this chemical.

  • Medical Conditions. Medical conditions that interfere with sleep include allergies, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, and Parkinson's

  • Pain and Discomfort. Illness and injuries can cause pain or discomfort which can disturb sleep.
  • Genetics. Sometimes insomnia runs in families, though the role genetics plays has yet to be fully identified.
  • Sleep Disorders. The main sleep disorder is Sleep Apnea, a condition in which the sufferer has episodes where he or she stops breathing while sleeping. Another condition involves periodic and involuntary leg and arm movements in a twitching or jerking motion.

Psychological causes

  • Anxiety. This condition makes people feel increased levels of tension and apprehension. They may feel helpless or vulnerable, or they may feel afraid or worried. These feelings may be caused by or influenced by situations at work, relationships with family or friends, or financial problems, to name a few.
  • Stress. Stress involves a person's inability to cope effectively with factors (emotional, physical, social, economic) that necessitate a response or a change on their part.
  • Depression. This psychological condition is a mood disturbance which causes the sufferer to exhibit feelings of sadness, despair or loss of hope, and discouragement or a pessimistic viewpoint

Temporary events or factors

  • · Adjustment Problems. Making adjustments to events that have disrupted your life can cause insomnia. These events include: illness, death of a loved one, weather changes, and arguments with others.
  • · Jet Lag. Travelling across time zones - whether by air, train, or auto, can cause temporary episodes of insomnia as the body tries to adjust to a different schedule.
  • · Working Night Shifts or Long Shifts. People who work night shifts - and aren't naturally night people - or who work shifts that are longer than the usual 8 hours, may find that they are physically too tired to fall asleep.
  • · Medications. Some medications, or medication interactions, interfere with sleep patterns.
  • · Too Much Caffeine and Alcohol. Caffeine is a stimulant that interferes with sleep. Alcohol in moderation sometimes help people relax enough to fall asleep, but too much often leads to ragged sleep patterns. It may also cause a person to sleep soundly for a brief period then wake up and be unable to get back to sleep after the alcohol has worn off.
  • · Environmental Factors. Thesefactors include unfamiliar and unexpected noises, extreme temperatures (too hot or too cold), or being in a strange and unfamiliar environment (hotel, travelling, someone else's home).

Natural Insomnia Remedies

Occasionally, prescription sleeping pills may be used to conquer insomnia. But long term use is dangerous as these sleep aids tend to be addictive. There are a number of natural remedies that are non-addictive.

  • · Herbal teas such as chamomile.
  • · Valerian Root or Melatonin, over-the-counter herbal remedies.
  • · Relaxation techniques
  • · Meditation
  • · Visualizations
  • · Yoga
  • · Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • · Avoiding caffeine or cutting it off altogether.
  • · Avoiding or cutting off alcohol
  • · Cutting down on sweets which increases energy levels.
  • · Eating foods that aid in sleep like foods with tryptophan, carbohydrate snacks like whole grain crackers, and foods high in magnesium.
  • · Replacing worn mattresses with something more comfortable.
  • · Wearing sleep wear that won't tangle up around the legs, feel binding, or make you feel too hot or too cold.
  • · Keeping the room cool enough or warm enough.
  • · Adding or removing blankets as necessary.
  • · Keep a regular schedule for going to bed.
  • · Set up a routine for activities in preparation for going to bed - shower, brushing teeth, going to the restroom, reading a book for 30 minutes.
  • · Keep a sleep journal and write down all the things that have helped you get to sleep and all the things that interfered with your sleep patterns.


eHealth MD. What Causes Insomnia?

Sleeping Herbal. Sweet Siesta.

Wong, Cathy. Sleep Aids.

Discovery Fit and Health.10 Remedies for Insomnia.

Web MD. Insomnia Symptoms.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      nanang khoerudin 

      5 years ago from indonesia

      nice article about insomnia..,i agree with your article.first we have to use herbal medication..and also fixed our sleep behaviour

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You have mentioned very helpful points on insomnia thanks for the informative Hub

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 

      5 years ago

      My biggest problem with sleep is having too many things to do and too many things I want to do. I go to bed with my head spinning over all these ideas and excitement over all sorts of stuff... there just isn't enough time in a day. wonderful tips on relaxing... I will try some of them ^_^ voted up!

    • mecheshier profile image


      5 years ago

      Very nice Hub, informative and easy to read. There is some great information here. Thank you for sharing. Voted up for useful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)