Insomnia or lack of sleep affects millions worldwide. Sleep problems can crop up due to several reasons, the most disturbing reason being stress. The general tendency in treating insomnia is to pop sleeping pills as and when necessary.
However, many people are unaware as to how these habits can cause health problems later on. Insomnia can very well be treated at home with the help of some very beneficial and efficient herbs. These herbs are not only safe on your body, but also prevent the occurrence of any aftermaths as well.
Herbal Remedies for Insomnia
An age old herb with sedative qualities, chamomile soothes and relaxes the nerves and can also help with irritability and insomnia. Insomnia can be caused due to stress, tensions, inflammations of the body etc. and all these can be easily treated with the help of chamomile. Brew a tea with one chamomile tea bag dipped in a cup of water about 95-100 degree Celsius. Steep for ten minutes and take 2 to 3 times a day.
If you are taking chamomile in tincture form, 30 drops can be taken three times daily. Chamomile oil too can come of help when you need a soothing and relaxing bath. Add 6-7 drops to your tub of warm water and soak yourself to glory for half an hour. Inhaling chamomile fumes or using it as a massage oil after diluting it with a carrier oil too are methods that can be adopted for the treatment of insomnia and other inflammatory conditions.
Valerian is extensively used in the United States for treating nervous disorders, insomnia and also for restlessness. Valerian is much preferred as a sedative herb and for aiding in treating insomnia in many sufferers. It is known to reduce sleep latency in people with sleep disorders. It imparts a deep sleep without disturbance.
The herb is known to have much less side effects as compared to valium and other sedatives that are synthetic. One cup of valerian tea can be taken before sleep to aid in sound sleep. If it is a tincture, 2-5 droppers full can be taken twice daily. Valerian is known to work better when combined with other sedative and sleep inducing herbs like passion flower, skull cap, California poppy, hops etc. Due to its sedative properties, the herb must be used with care and should be avoided if you are driving or need to be in positions that require you to be very alert and energetic.
Mental trauma and over exertion, nervous exhaustion etc. can lead to insomnia of the highest order. In such cases passionflower is very beneficial. Passionflower is a common ingredient in many herbal sedative preparations and is known to be very safe for all children who suffer from mild sleep disturbances.
Passionflower is known to cause no side effects even when taken in large dosages. However, it is always good to consult a herbalist before taking these medications as drug interactions and dangers may exist. A tea can be brewed with passionflower and taken thrice a day. 30-60 drops of tincture can be taken four times daily.
Lavender is a mild herb that is extensively used for aromatherapy for treating insomnia and also for soothing frayed nerves. A few drops of lavender oil added to a tub bath will help you attain sleep after soaking for half an hour. Other ways of using lavender is as a tea or as a massage oil, which can be diluted with a vegetable oil and massaged on to the skin. Tea can be taken thrice a day for best results.
For imparting calmness, relaxation and for enhancing your power of communication and the quality of your dreams, kava kava is known to be a great herb. It cures sleeplessness as well as lack of energy due to fatigue. Modes of intake are as a tea or a tincture with 3-4 droppers full of tincture thrice a day and tea taken thrice as well.
St John’s Wort
St John’s wort is an ancient herbal medicine that dates back to the ancient Greek empire. Modern medical science has found that the herb is very beneficial in treating depression and insomnia related to imbalances in the brain chemistry. One teaspoon or less of tincture is recommended three times daily for treating insomnia.
If in capsule form, three capsules a day would suffice. Due to the fact that the herb makes your skin photosensitive, it is important that you do not expose your body to sunlight while taking this herb. It takes up to 4 weeks for the effects to start appearing. Consult a herbalist if you feel light sensitivity after taking St John’s Wort.
Wild lettuce is a mild sedative herb and a nervine that can be safely administered even in children. It is also used for restlessness and nervous disorders that can contribute to sleeplessness. Chronic and acute insomnia is treated with this herb as they can be used long term without any side effects and also have a calming effect on the body that will aid in sleep. Tincture of 2 to 3 drops can be taken two to four times a day according to t age and severity of the insomnia.
Another safe herb that can even be administered on children, California poppy is widely popular in United States for treating anxiety and for promoting sleep and calming the nerves. The herb is also known to have analgesic properties and reduces anxiety, thereby helping the person to get good sleep without worrying about any possible side effects.
California poppy can be taken as a tea or a tincture. Tea can be taken 2-3 times a day. For insomnia that is particularly strong, a tincture will work better with 30-40 drops that can be taken 2 or 3 times daily.
Hops is a herb that can cause insomnia due to worry or weakening of the nerves. Pillows made of this herb is used for treating insomnia effectively. It also helps in curing nervousness, anxiety and restlessness. A tea can be prepared with this herb and taken hot 2 to 3 times a day. 30 to 40 drops of tincture too is sufficient if taken thrice a day.