- Personal Health Information & Self-Help»
- Self-Help for Sleep Issues & Sleeplessness
Restful Sleep - Gently without drugs and wake alert and refreshed.
Recent research suggests that using sleeping tablets may not result in restful sleep. However, there are circumstances where tablets are essential and advice should be sought from a medical practitioner. Studies into sleep problems have identified around 80 sleep disorders and estimate they affect up to 15% of the adult population. A problem can be described as chronic if it last longer than 3 weeks, If it is only a few days it is just transient. However at least 50% of all chronic insomnia is caused by psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.
Essential oils can help to overcome these problems and reduce stress and you should use the following as a starting point:
Mix using a 60ml bottle added the number of drops shown below
10 drops each:
Roman Camomile. Lavender. Sandalwood
Juniper. Melissa. Ylang ylang
Neroli . Bergamot . Lemon
5 drops each:
Marjoram. Pine. Eucalyptus
Basil. Cypress . Geranium
Petitgrain. Orange. Myrrh
Add 30ml Evening Primrose Oil and shake well to ensure fully mixed.
The above formula is suggested for use in a cassette for essential oil fan.
If a fan is not available then 4 drops can be used on a tissue and placed on the pillow, ensuring it does not come into direct contact with the skin.
It is not recommended for use in an essential oil burner, except during the day, as the oils are flammable and burners should not be left unattended while asleep.
Melatonin – The circadian rhythm (this is what determines when you sleep and wake) is controlled by a hormone melatonin which is released by the pineal gland. As with many hormones the production decreases as you get older. Just taking 3mg at bedtime brings the level back to normal and assists in a good night’s sleep. Reports are that those who take the supplement fall asleep more quickly and awake more alert and refreshed. It is often used by those who travel long distances to overcome jet-lag.
In areas where you cannot buy melatonin you can increase your intake of serotonin by boosting your intake of tryptophan an amino-acid used to manufacture serotonin. To do this you need large amounts of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and you can obtain this from carrots, cheese, avocado, lentils, peas, potatoes, fish, spinach, wholemeal flour and sunflower seeds. Eat more of these foods and reduce your intake of high sugar foods. What you are trying to do is maximise the amount of L-tryptophan used by the brain. Turkey contains large amounts of tryptophan and, for instance your Christmas meal encourages the production of tryptophan hence the reason everyone falls asleep afterwards.
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptopham) – This is used to make serotonin and can be used instead of melatonin.
Calcium – deficiency results in tension and sleep problems hence a glass of warm milk often helps. The Russians grind anise and mix it with warm milk and honey. Milk is high in tryptophan and has a good tranquilising effect.
Herbal remedies are often used in sleep problems and to the fore are Rosemary, Mint, Thyme and Passionflower (often used for chronic insomnia). Chamomile was often planted on graves in old England as it symbolises that the dead would be reborn – it is an excellent herb and safe for children. You can juice the flower and also juice wheat grass to make a nutritional drink.
In the Far East they make up a hot foot bath using Lavender and lemon Balm which will draw the chi or energy from the brain to calm a racing mind.
Lycopodium – Is a homeopathic remedy and often used to calm a busy mind.
Aging often causes sleep problems but a late night snack can help. Research at MIT Boston has shown that a muffin or banana greatly improves sleep.
Stress produces too much adrenaline which overpowers the serotonin. You must bring the stress under control. There is a technique used by pilots and the like called Autogenic Training – contact British Autogenic Association on www.autogenic-therapy.org.uk
Prescription drugs cause many problems and these include oral contraceptives and beta-blockers. I think most people understand about coffee but it is also the amount you drink during the day not just at night. The same goes for cola drinks, biscuits, chocolate, tea and cakes which should be excluded in the hours leading up to bed. In addition do not use alcohol which will only destroy the vitamin B that helps us sleep.
In the event of an allergic or unusual reaction, show the above formulation to a medical practitioner
Snoring and sleep apnoea
- Snoring and Sleep Apnoea - one is an annoyance the other can be serious.
Snoring and Sleep Apnoea can be helped by blend of essential oils massaged into the chest or an essential oil vaporiser. This will allow you and your partner quiet gentle sleep and wake refreshed.
How do you sleep
What is the quality of your sleep
© 2012 Peter Geekie