While insomnia has usually been thought of as an inability to fall asleep-it also includes other factors and disorders, for example the inability to stay asleep over any length of time and waking up from sleep continuously and always earlier than planned. Excitement or factors related to stress, may be responsible for the presence of sleep problems that go on for just a couple of nights or those lasting a few weeks at a time. But chronic cases of insomnia can also occur, in such instances these disorders may last for months or even years at a time.
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Some underlying disorder or the symptoms of some hard to define problem is thought to be the actual cause of insomnia-the problem may be acute or chronic in its manifestations. Sleeplessness can result because of bad dietary and lifestyle factors or choices, the presence of physical pain, because of a major illness and the use of certain medications-in some cases even a badly designed mattress can contribute to the inability to sleep. The real cause of insomnia in the majority of people however, tends to have a psychological basis such as persistent emotional tension, deep anxiety, and clinical depression occurring over a long period of time. Some good diagnosis will be required to discover the basic cause or actual causes of sleep problems-however long it takes, this is the ultimate and only effective way to get at a cure from insomnia and other sleep disorders.
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All the herbs and supplements given here may be able to bring immediate relief for the person suffering from insomnia-these supplements must preferably be used one at a time to treat insomnia, unless it is specifically stated for use together, any supplement is to be used by itself. The best way to check the effectiveness of the supplements is to try one at a times and whether it works-thus treatment may be highly individualistic as the cause of insomnia differs from one person to another. To avoid the development of a tolerance to any of the supplements, it is essential to keep rotating them every couple of weeks, and any supplement must be used only as and when needed and never together unless stated as has previously been mentioned.
The herb called the valerian has been found to be a very effective aid for sleep, and numerous studies conducted by many different scientists have supported this claim. The herd is also among the most researched of all herbal supplements and will prove to be a great help in beating back insomnia. Rotate its use for best results with other herbs that have a sedative effect, herbs like the chamomile, the kava, and the passionflower are the best choices in this regard. The herbs can help bring down stress levels and will promote relaxation when taken in the form of pills, as herbal teas, or in an herbal tincture form-a person using them will find it easier to fall asleep and beat back the other symptoms related to insomnia.
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The synthetic version of melatonin, the body's own sleep hormone can be sued instead of valerian to bring relief from insomnia. The use of this synthetic hormone is of particular benefit to insomniac individuals who are not getting sleep due to some chronic pain in the body. Supplements of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which can effectively inhibit nerve impulses within the body, can be rotated with valerian and melatonin to induce sleep. The use of this compound can also prevent stress-related signals arising in the body reaching the brain-this will help reduce stress related sleep disorders. The valerian and melatonin can also be rotated with another compound called 5-HTP -which is a form of the amino acid tryptophan - this compound will raise the levels of the natural sleep-inducing chemical serotonin within the body, effectively aiding sleep.
Deficiencies in important nutrients can also result in sleep disorders in certain instances, this particularly includes the lack essential minerals such as calcium, the mineral magnesium, or the vitamin B6, within the body arising perhaps because of a poor diet-all of these factors can induce sleep disorders in an individual. It is very important to replenish the supplies of these essential minerals within the body and supplements of all these nutrients will prove to be very beneficial to a person suffering from insomnia. Stress related sleep disorders can be helped by supplements of the B vitamin, niacin amide, when this vitamin is used along with the vitamin B6; it helps ease anxiety and promotes sleep. Sleep disorders can also be treated by including supplements of the mineral magnesium or the vitamin B6 along with the 5-HTP.
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Commonly used essential oils for insomnia:
The following homeopathic remedies are most effective against insomnia when taken at a somewhat high potency and dosage strength. Half and hour before going to bed, take a single dose consisting of four pellets each 200c strength of the chosen remedy. A tincture form of the Passiflora, should be preferred in lieu of the other forms-this is in the form of a homeopathic green plant tincture, in contrast to the herbal tinctures of the plant, mix the tincture in 10 to 20 drops in water and drink the mixture.
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Make sure that you follow a regular and even sleep schedule, even on the weekends when there is a chance of staying up. Do not watch television or read on the bed, use it only for sleeping. Make sure that you exercise regularly to beat back stress-though you should avoid exercising in the evenings as it may overexcite you at night. Stimulants should be avoided and must not be taken before sleeping-these include drinks that contain alcohol, all kinds of tobacco products, and caffeine.
Children affected by insomnia must be helped before they go to bed, help the child relax and unwind by giving him or her a cup of herbal chamomile tea. This herbal tea is a relaxant, and should be given to the child an hour before his or her bedtime. To achieve similar results, you can also give children a combination herbal tea, such as Celestial Seasonings' Sleepy time tea. Children over the age of four can also be given an herbal tea made from the passion flower, which is a mild herbal relaxant with no side effects. Dosage of the passion flower tea at bedtime for children can be a single cup of tea. The effective relaxing effects of the skullcap herb can also be utilized to beat back insomnia in children. Dosage of this herbal tea can be a single cup of herbal tea before bed time, alternately this herb can be given to children in the form of a tincture, or it can also be used in the form of capsule, all these forms must preferably be given an hour before the child's bedtime.
For your information: children under six years of age must not be given this herb in any form, even if they suffer from insomnia, other treatments must be sought.
Children aged twelve and above can be treated for insomnia using the root of the valerian herb, this herb is a very effective cure for sleeplessness in children of this age group. Children in this age group can be given a single dose of the herbal extract; it can be given in the form of a capsule, as an herbal tea, or in the form of a tincture just before bedtime. Children older than this age group can be given an herbal combination tea made form equal amounts of the valerian root, and other herbs like the chamomile, the passion flower, and the skullcap, children can be given a cup of this combination tea at bedtime to beat insomnia. Rotating the herbal treatments is the most effective treatment for insomnia in children and should be preferred over the repeated use of a single relaxant herb-as such a use might induce tolerance in the body. As an example, rotate the chamomile tea with passion flower tea-using one tea for several nights and the other tea for several other nights.
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