Types of Insomnia
Transient (or short-term) insomnia: This lasts for just one or two nights or at the most a month and this is a normal part of life as each of us has or will go thorough this short term insomnia. The cause for this transient insomnia can be anything, may be you have an exam tomorrow, or an important meeting, a minor illness or the excitement of a child's birthday or the excitement of meeting someone etc. As the underlying cause passes, your sleep pattern returns to normal.
Intermittent insomnia: If transient insomnia starts to occur frequently as "on and off", then you are said to be suffering from intermittent insomnia. In a period of time you willfind that insomnia is lasting for slightly longer each time. This is usually a warning sign and should not be ignored.
Chronic insomnia: Here you know that your sleep is being affected on most nights. This is severe insomnia, which is going to impact upon the quality of your life generally and you should look for an insomnia remedy.
However there is nothing to worry about. With proper medication, your problem can be solved. Simple changes in your daily habits can solve insomnia and you don't have to put up with sleepless nights. The easiest remedy is to consult a doctor and take a pill and banish our sleeping problems overnight. But before that it is better to opt for a natural cure for insomnia. So, let's look at home remedies to treat insomnia.
What should you take before going to bed
You can try these diets before preparing to go to bed.
- Honey: Honey is useful in the treatment of insomnia. It has a hypnotic action and induces a sound sleep. Add two teaspoons of honey in a large cup of water and have it before going to bed. Babies generally fall asleep after taking honey.
- Milk: A glass of milk should be taken every night before going to bed in treating this condition. You can add honey also. It acts as a tonic and a tranquilliser.
- Aniseed: A tea made from aniseed is valuable in insomnia. Boil about 375 ml of water in a vessel and add a teaspoon of aniseed. The water should be covered with a lid and allowed to simmer for 15 minutes. It should then be strained and drunk hot or warm. You can add honey to make it sweet or hot milk , whichever you like. This tea should be taken after meals or before going to bed.
- Rauwolfia: This is a valuable medicine, hypnotic action of the herb appears to have been known since ancient times. It has indisputable efficacy as a sedative. The very first dose of rauwolfia will enable a patient with a phlegmatic and gouty nature to go to sleep. Take the root, powder it and mix a quantity of 0.25 gm to 0.5 gm of it with some scented substance like cardamom and give it to the patient The patient will have a sound sleep during the entire night. If there is chronic insomnia, the patient should take O.25 gm twice a day, in the morning as well as at night before sleeping.
- Poppy seed:Extract about 30 grams of the milk from the poppy seeds (Papaver somniferum). Mix with sugar and take this once in a day especially after dinner. This is one of the effective home remedies for insomnia.
- Nutmeg: Take nutmegs and grind it to a fine powder. Take this powder every night before going to sleep.
- Banana: Mash a ripe banana and then put roasted cumin seeds into it. Mix both properly. Take this after dinner. It will induce good sleep.
What should you do before going to bed?
- Take a warm bath or hot foot bath before going to bed.
- Massaging the milk over the soles of the feet has also been found effective.
- Curd is also useful in insomnia. The patient can massage curd on the head. This will induce sleep.
- Mix bottle gourd juice and sesame oil in 50:50 ratio and massage over the scalp every night. This acts as an effective medicine for insomnia.
- Try ear plugs to avoid noise disturbance.
- You can apply hot packs to the spine before going to bed.
What should be your regular diet to have a good night sleep?
- Vitamin B diet: Eat food rich in vitamin b such as wholegrain cereals, pulses, and nuts. Of the various food elements, vitamin B is of special significance in the treatment of insomnia as it is good for strong, healthy nerves.
- Low salt diet: The patient should take a low-salt diet as salt is said to interfere with a restful sleep.
- A balanced diet with increased intake of fruits and vegetables will go a long way in the treatment of insomnia.
- Avoid white flour products, sugar products, tea, coffee, chocolate, cola drinks, alcohol, fatty foods, fried foods, and foods containing additives etc.
Regular active exercise during the day and mild exercise before retiring at night enhances the quantity and the quality of sleep. The exercise stimulates the elimination of lactic acid from the body.
- Yoga provides physical and mental relaxation from one’s disturbing problems. Various yogaasanas that are effective in the treatment of insomnia are shirasana, sarvangasana, paschimottanasana, uttanasan, viparitakarni and shavasana.
- Eliminate stress
- Take up some hobbies
- Controlled breathing is also effective in inducing sleep
- Stick to a regular sleeping schedule like going to bed at a fixed time every night and getting up at a fixed time in the morning.