Those who suffer from chronic insomnia are relieved to discover that home remedies for insomnia are safe, easy to use and, most important, effective. Natural cures and home remedies, however, should be engaged in as part of a holistic solution to better health, overall. An understanding of what insomnia is and what causes its symptoms helps in pinpointing the source of chronic insomnia so that a suitable home remedy can be used.
Chronic Insomnia Definition
Insomnia is a sleep disorder typically characterized by difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep.
There are two types of insomnia, acute and chronic, which millions of people suffer with each year. Acute insomnia is characterized by short-term sleep disruptions, which may occur one or two nights a week for a couple of weeks; while chronic insomnia lasts for longer periods, such as several nights weekly for a month or more.
Chronic Insomnia Causes
The causes of chronic insomnia may vary. For some, stress, depression, or anxiety may keep them awake, while others have difficulties sleeping due to too much caffeine, alcohol abuse, prescription drug use, chronic pain, and a variety of underlying health conditions that can disrupt sleep patterns.
Chronic Insomnia Symptoms
Besides an inability to fall asleep, common symptoms of chronic insomnia include:
- Difficulty staying asleep for a prolonged period of time
- Experiencing difficulty or an inability to go back to sleep once awakened
- Waking up earlier than desired
- Daytime drowsiness
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
Chronic Insomnia Remedies
People who report difficulties sleeping have used the following home remedies for insomnia with success:
- Go to bed each night at the same time and awaken at the same time 7 days per week
- Engage in prayer, meditation or some other quiet, mind-settling routine at least 30 minutes before bedtime
- Do not engage in physical exercise just before going to bed
- Turn off the television, radio, computer, telephone and all other distractions at least 30 minutes before bed time
- Do not consume caffeine less than 6 – 8 hours before you plan to go to bed
- Avoid using alcohol as a sedative, which can become addicting and which can cause sleep to be interrupted when alcohol cravings awaken
- If you are taking a medication that you suspect is keeping you awake at night, inform your doctor immediately
- Try relaxing in a hot bath just before bedtime
- Sex before bed enhances relaxation and triggers hormones that act as a sleep aid
- Do not drink a lot of fluids before bed
- Eat a small, healthy, very light snack just before bedtime
The following nutrition and herbal recommendations are also helpful for relieving insomnia:
- Warm milk and honey at bedtime
- Chamomile tea
- Lemon balm tea
- Valerian root (as a supplement or a tea)
- Gotu Kola
- Drink honey and water just before bedtime
- Eat or drink freshly ground nutmeg powder at bedtime
- Try eating a mashed banana with roasted cumin seeds after dinner
If the above treatments do not relieve chronic insomnia, it may be necessary to consult a physician to rule out the possibility of an underlying illness. It should also be noted that, as the body ages, less sleep is needed. A person should never force himself or herself to sleep when they are not tired and careful attention should be paid to the body’s natural sleep patterns.