These days due to increased stress levels in the job, many persons are suffering from different types of disorders, and one such is insomnia. People, when suffering from insomnia, do not even realize that they have such a disorder. When people realize this in them, they start using over-the-counter pills to have a good sleep. Due to these pills, they again suffer from different types of side effects. There are some effective natural home remedies for insomnia that people should surely try out before starting pills.
But, before going into the home remedies, we will try to understand briefly about insomnia. This is a sleep disorder where the person finds it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep or tends to wake up very often in the middle of the night. The amount of sleep required changes from person to person and also with age. An average adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep every day to stay healthy. But because of varied reasons like stress, work pressure, some individuals find it difficult to fall asleep. The leading causes for insomnia include stress, job pressure, changes in sleep schedule, excessive intake of caffeine, alcohol or tobacco, etc. The symptoms for insomnia include day sleeping, grumpiness, fatigue, lack of concentration and memory, waking up during the night, difficulty in sleeping during nights.
Effective Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes To Overcome Insomnia:
To overcome insomnia, there are some effective home remedies and lifestyle changes that should be tried before getting addicted to sleeping pills.
1. Mindfulness Meditation:
This consists of steady and slow breathing while sitting quietly. We can observe our breath, body, feelings, thoughts arise, and pass. By doing so, the mind gets relaxed and de-stressed, removing any unnecessary thoughts. If the insomnia is acute, this home remedy works excellently provided, meditation has to be done daily for at least 15-20 minutes.
2. Mantram Repetition:
Chanting a mantra will definitely reduce the stress level and increases the peace of mind and thus relieves from insomnia. Choose a positive vibed mantra of any language Sanskrit, Hindi, English or Telugu, etc. and repeat it aloud or inside your mind by just concentrating on the works of the mantra.
3. Lavender Oil Therapy:
During ancient times, lavender oil has been used as a home remedy for insomnia. This oil is one of the essential soothing oils. This is used in different types like putting a sachet under the pillow, spraying 2-3 drops of oil on a handkerchief, adding several drops of this oil in bathing water, etc.
4. Magnesium Intake:
Magnesium is one of the naturally found minerals on the earth. It helps in relaxing the muscles and relieving stress, which encourages healthy sleep. Some of the foods with high magnesium content are spinach, whole wheat, dark chocolate, yogurt, avocado, etc. A 400mg intake of magnesium promotes healthy sleep. These flakes can also be added to the evening bath allowing this mineral to be absorbed by the body.
5. Sleep Hygiene:
Sleep hygiene is one of the natural remedies where in some fundamental lifestyle changes have to be adopted. These changes include limiting caffeine intake, alcohol intake, less smoking, and regular exercise. This also consists of a pleasant sleeping environment present in the bedroom.
6. Relaxed Music:
This is considered one of the best home remedies for insomnia. Smooth, light music calms the mind and acts as a stress buster. It is said that music has the power to heal depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Listening to soft and light music before going to bed gives you sound sleep without any distractions.
7. Eating Just Before Bedtime:
Having dinner just before bedtime can have disturbed and discomforted sleep. This is because of the acid refluxes that may shoot up to the esophagus in the process of digestion, which causes heartburns. Hence it is better to avoid dinner 30 minutes before to bed; this does not mean to skip the meal, rather eat early and sleep 1 hour after your dinner.
8. Limit Caffeine Intake:
Caffeine intake can cause insomnia, and many research scholars have proven this. Caffeine is a stimulant which impedes sleep. 250mg of caffeine is the limit for a person to consume on a daily basis to have a healthy sleep.
9. Limit Day Time Naps:
This is also one of the lifestyle changes that should be incorporated to avoid sleepless nights. Excessive day sleeping will hamper the night’s sleep. A 20-30 minute nap during day time for alertness, increased performance is excellent but not more than 30 minutes.
Yoga, one of the notable home remedies for insomnia, has been proven to have positive effects on the quality of sleep. This will alleviate stress, boost mental focus, and improve physical functioning. There are different types of yoga postures that can be practised, but choose the one which concentrates more on the meditation or breath so as to decrease insomnia.
11. Regular Exercise:
It is said that there is no substitute for physical activity to be fit and healthy. Exercise enhances the mood, helps in weight loss, and also is considered to promote good sleep. Daily exercising maintains the blood pressure, thus allowing a good flow of blood to the brain. This keeps the mind relaxing, thus promoting sound sleep.
12. Adequate Exposure To Natural Light:
Ensuring sufficient exposure to natural light enhances the sleep time. Exposing the body and mind to sunlight during day time and to darkness during the night helps in maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
This natural home remedy for insomnia has been practised for ages. A perfect body massage makes your body very light and mind very refreshing and calm. This reduces the feelings of pain, anxiety, and depression. This massage, before bedtime, will promote healthy sound sleep.
14. Limit Usage Of Electronic Goods:
In this modern and technologically advanced age, usage of electronic products such as mobiles, tablets, and laptops has become inevitable. Try to limit the usage during bedtime because the light from the LED screens makes it harder to fall asleep.
15. Melatonin Supplements:
Melatonin is considered to enhance the quality of sleep and helps in falling asleep more quickly. Almond milk has good calcium content in it, which helps the brain make melatonin. Sipping a glass of warm almond milk will relieve insomnia.
Natural Remedies For Insomnia:
Apart from the home remedies mentioned above, there are some natural remedies that can fight insomnia. A few of them are listed below.
1. Use Of Chamomile Tea:
One of the leading causes of insomnia is anxiety. Anxious persons find it very difficult to sleep or stay asleep due to various tensions and thoughts running through their minds. Chamomile is a natural herb used to reduce muscle tension, soothe digestion and reduce anxiety, thus enhancing sleep. A small cup of this hot tea after dinner has the capability of reducing insomnia. Drink this tea at least one hour before bedtime.
2. St.John’s Wort Flower:
Depression is also one of the reasons for insomnia. St John’s wort is a plant that has star-shaped yellow flowers that have been used as an antidepressant medicine for thousands of years. The flower extracts are used to make tea, liquid, and pills, and this herbal therapy is often used to reduce symptoms of depression, elevate the mood, and reduce trouble sleeping. This flower consists of a chemical called hyperforin, which acts as a messenger in the nervous system that regulates mood. This herb is often taken in the form of the capsule, but the dried herbs may also be used as a tea. 300mg of this herb three times a day is recommended. Excessive intake of this herb can cause allergic reactions on the body. Consult your doctor before taking this herb.
Valerian is a natural herbal remedy commonly used to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, and acts as a sedative. And, Valerian herb is said to affect levels of one of the calming neurotransmitters in the body called Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA). This herb also relieves muscle spasms. Valerian herb is taken in the form of tea or as a supplement pill. Valerian results in drowsiness if taken during the day time. The recommended dosage per day is 450mg.
4. Kava Kava:
Kava kava is a herbal plant mostly found in the South Pacific Islands. For hundreds of years, this herbal drink as a ceremonial drink for relaxation. This herb is known to relieve stress and anxiety and boost sleep because of its euphoric effect. This herb helps in inducing sleep due to its anxiolytic effects and hence can be used for those who have insomnia. This can be taken in the form of tea or pills. The optimum usage of this herb is 250mg per day. Excessive intake causes serious liver problems.
5. Passion Flower:
Passionflower or Passiflora incarnata is a herbal supplement used to treat restlessness, agitation, and anxiety. It has been proven that this herbal tea calms your mind, thus relieving insomnia and anxiety, which is because this herb boosts the level of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) in the bain, the compound which lowers brain activity, in turn, helps in relaxing and sleeping better. Passionflower can be consumed in the form of tea and capsules. The limit of this herb is 4-8 gms per day in the form of tea. An excessive dosage of this herb can cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and mental slowing.
Foods To Take And Avoid For Insomnia:
Foods That Improves Sleep Quality:
Having a balanced diet will definitely improve and enhance the quality of sleep. Listed below are some of the foods that enhance sleep quality.
1. Magnesium Rich Foods:
Magnesium, a natural mineral, acts as a sedative and can fight insomnia. Some of the magnesium-rich foods are leafy vegetables, mainly spinach, almonds, molasses, legumes and seeds, cashews, brewer’s yeast, bananas.
This food is rich in protein and has limited quantities of vitamins and minerals. Turkey contains amino acid tryptophan, which increases melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone.
3. White Rice:
White rice is a grain that is mostly consumed across the world, mainly in southern India. It has a high glycemic index because it is rich in carbohydrates. Study says that eating foods with a high glycemic index before bedtime can improve sleep quality.
4. Warm Milk With Almonds:
Drinking warm milk before going to bed can enhance the quality of sleep. It is believed that warm milk is associated with some chemicals that stimulate the effects of tryptophan on the brain. Serotonin, which is converted to melatonin, is formed from tryptophan. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone.
5. Kiwi Fruit:
Eating kiwi fruit before going to bed is also believed to promote sleep. This is because kiwi fruit contains serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate the sleep cycle.
Foods That Are Harmful To Insomnia Patients:
While knowing which foods are beneficial for good sleep, it is also essential to know which foods are harmful to good sleep.
Excessive consumption of caffeine can cause insomnia because it stimulates the brain cells, thereby making it active all the time.
2. Spicy Foods:
Avoid eating spicy foods before going to sleep, as these may cause severe acid refluxes into the esophagus.
3. Fatty Foods:
These fatty foods containing a high amount of oil takes more time for digestion. Eating such foods before sleep makes you discomfort and harms your sleep.
4. Raw Onions:
Onions can cause gas that affects pressure in your stomach. As a result, the sphincter will be opened, which allows the acids to shoot into your food pipe, causing potential heartburn.
Insomnia can be of two types acute and chronic. Acute insomnia lasts from 1 night to a few weeks. But the chronic one happens at least three nights a week for more than three months. Chronic insomnia is a serious condition that seeks medical attention immediately.
The sleepless disorder called insomnia can become a severe and chronic condition if not treated at the right time, which can be well managed and prevented naturally at home by following a healthy balanced diet with some regular exercises. Do not start any medications or consume over the counter pills to encounter insomnia without consulting a physician. There might be possible side effects with the medicines. Finally, try out the above home remedies if you have insomnia and share with us your feedback for us to improve better.
Disclaimer: The information provided in the article is solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your doctor if the condition is severe.
1. Can Drinking Tea Develop Insomnia?
Ans: Excessive drinking of tea can cause insomnia as tea contains caffeine in it. Hence limit your consumption of tea.
2. What Are The Symptoms Of Insomnia?
Ans: Sleeping during day and tiredness, depression, anxiety, lack of concentration, and memory are some of the symptoms of insomnia.