What is Insomnia?Insomnia is not a sleep disorder but a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Click To Tweet
If you are struggling to fall asleep no matter how tired you are, you might be suffering from a symptom called Insomnia.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 30% to 40% of American adults suffer from insomnia. Although it is a very common problem among adults in the US, sleeplessness can take a serious toll on your body and mind.
Insomnia is defined by ‘how you are feeling after your sleep’ and not by ‘how many hours you’ve slept’. It is defined by the quality and not the quantity of sleep.
Daytime drowsiness and fatigue are also because of insomnia.
Instead of taking prescribed medication, you should find resources to cure insomnia in a natural way. Essentially, with lifestyle changes and altering your sleep environment, you can relieve insomnia without medication.
Insomnia symptoms may include:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Awakening during the night
- Awakening too early
- Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
- Increased errors or accidents
- Tension headaches
- Distress in the stomach and intestines (gastrointestinal tract)
- Ongoing worries about sleep
Someone with insomnia will often take 30 minutes or more to fall asleep and may get only six or fewer hours of sleep for three or more nights a week over a month or more.
Sleep-Deprived? Try These Incredible Natural Ways to Beat Insomnia
Remember that insomnia could be a symptom of something serious, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, malnutrition, and even sleep apnea. Therefore, do not buy any alternative medicine without consulting a health care provider. Try the following natural remedies to stay safe:
Time needed: 30 minutes.
9 Ways to Treat Insomnia Naturally
- Melatonin Supplements
Melatonin is a type of hormone our body produces that regulates sleep. Aging, depression, stress, and jet lag can lower the level of melatonin. Melatonin has been widely used to treat insomnia in people above 55 years. For best results, take melatonin supplement two hours before bedtime.
- Warm Milk
Warm milk is an age-old insomnia therapy, frequently advised by our grandmas. Sipping warm cow’s milk or almond milk just before bedtime can soothe the mind and direct the brain to produce more melatonin. Warm milk also relaxes memories and improves concentration.
Although no studies have found concrete answers about the benefits or effects of aromatherapy for sleep deprivation, English lavender oil has been a long-used folk remedy to help people sleep problems effectively. Lavender oil is a very calming essential oil. You can use ylang-ylang, chamomile, and patchouli oil instead. Put a few drops of oil in a cloth and inhale its scent before you sleep.
- Meditation and Yoga Practice
Regular mediation, such as vipassana, guided meditation, and body scan can promote a healthy sleep cycle. Mediation focuses on increasing our awareness through breathing and sound. Meditation includes imagination, relaxation, and mindfulness. Yoga, on the other hand, is a form of exercise that unites our mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is used as a healing therapy for several ailments, including insomnia.
- Exposure to Light
Light exposure is an effective natural treatment for insomnia. Light exposure guides your body to realize when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Try walking outdoors under bright daylight to increase your melatonin production and improve sleep schedule.
- Change Your Food Habits
A significant change in your eating and food habits can promote good sleep. For instance, junk foods can take a toll on your body severely. Here are a few important diet tips for relieving insomnia naturally:
– Magnesium food: Eat foods that contain magnesium, such as wheat bran, vegetables, almonds, legumes, seeds, whole grains, and cashews.
– Cut back on sugary food and junk. Misbalanced sugar level can disrupt sleep, especially in the middle of the night.
– Include vitamin B6 in your diet. Have bananas, tryptophan, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds.
– Cut back on caffeine, tea, soft drinks, and alcohol post evening.
- Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a natural, herbal supplement and tea that is known to reduce stress levels, soothe the mind, and relieve anxiety. It is also considered as an active, natural sedative. Valerian is another herbal home remedy that proposes similar effects. Both herbs are available in the form of supplements.
- TMC or Traditional Chinese Medicines
TMC works on the idea that any illness or disorder can be cured by our own body, internally without the intervention of English medicines or surgeries. TMC has many herbal formulas and treatments that can effectively cure insomnia. One such is Liu Wei di Huang that regulates internal organs to cure several ailments.
- Indian Ayurveda
Ayurveda is an essential Indian science that was formulated and used by the sages and saints thousands of years ago. In Ayurveda, insomnia is linked with Vata (breath and circulation) imbalance. Irritability, fear, anxiety, and fatigue are common symptoms. The treatment includes application and massaging of oil (room temperature coconut, or warm sesame or warm mustard oil) on the head and feet.
Apart from these indispensable 9 natural ways to beat insomnia, you can also try other effective formulas, such as a warm bath before bedtime, regular exercise, white-noise therapy, chamomile tea, feng-shui, VastuShasta, and putting away off mobile phones and TV one hour before sleep-time.
There is no definitive test for insomnia. Doctors use many different tools to diagnose and measure insomnia symptoms, some of which involve asking you questions in the clinic, having you fill out logs and questionnaires, performing certain blood tests, or doing an overnight sleep study. All of these tests help your doctor understand your personal experience with insomnia and create the right treatment plan.
- Sleep log: A sleep log is a simple diary that keeps track of details about your sleep. In a sleep log, you’ll record details like your bedtime, wake up time, how sleepy you feel at various times during the day, and more. A sleep log can also help your doctor figure out what might be causing insomnia.
- Sleep inventory: A sleep inventory is an extensive questionnaire that gathers information about your personal health, medical history, and sleep patterns.
- Blood tests: Your doctor may perform certain blood tests to rule out medical conditions such as thyroid problems, which can disrupt sleep in some people.
- Sleep study: Your doctor may suggest that you do an overnight sleep study, or polysomnography, to gather information about your nighttime sleep. In this exam, you sleep overnight in a lab set up with a comfortable bed. During the exam, you will be connected to an EEG, which monitors the stages of your sleep. A sleep study also measures things like oxygen levels, body movements, and heart and breathing patterns. A sleep study is a non-invasive test.
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