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What is Insomnia?

It is a condition where a person has difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. A person who wants to sleep but not able is sleep will have difficulties in concentration, mood fluctuations, less energy levels and decreased performance.

Acute insomnia

This type of insomnia usually happens when you face or have to face a situation. Like when you have an important meeting or an examination, when you had a bad conversation or when you heard a bad news. This type of insomnia resolves by itself without any treatment.

Chronic insomnia

This type of insomnia occurs when you are put in a new environment, unhealthy sleeping habits, work timing based on shifts, clinical conditions or late night hangouts. This type of sleep disturbance can occur up to 3 times a week and might continue for 3 to 4 months if not given proper attention.

People who suffer from chronic insomnia tend to take medications to regularize the sleep timing. It does benefit them but it is not good for health when it becomes an addiction.

Insomheadache
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Medical causes of insomnia

There are certain medical conditions that might cause insomnia.

  • Nasal/sinus allergies
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux
  • Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Low back pain

Medication taken to cure common cold, nasal allergies, blood pressure, thyroid, birth control, asthma and depression can cause insomnia.

Restless leg syndrome – People who suffer from restless leg syndrome might face insomnia. It is a neurological condition where a person has uncomfortable sensation in their leg and feels the urge to move legs from one position to another during sleep.

Sleep apnea – a person’s airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing and a drop in oxygen levels. This causes the person to wake up briefly but repeatedly throughout the night. People with sleep apnea sometimes report insomnia.

Insomnia may also be caused by unhealthy food habits, anxiety, life style, alcohol, caffeine and depression. The National Institute of Health estimates that roughly 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption, and approximately 10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment because of insomnia.

It is always good to consult a doctor if the problem persists. You can also try our natural remedies to get a good night’s sleep.

Indulge in physical activity

When you seem to have trouble sleeping, you need to get your body tired. Get involved in a physical activity that can help you sweat out. Be it walking, swimming, badminton, tennis, cricket, jogging or running. Practice it regularly for 40 minutes every day. This will make your body tired and give you a good sleep naturally.

Exercise

Yoga

A very effective practice that can help you recover from insomnia without any medication is Yoga. Practicing yoga and meditation will help your body and mind calm down. It reduces the anxiety and stress levels in your body. Regular meditation will make you fall asleep easily and naturally. Make sure you learn the practices from a professional trainer and do what suits you and gradually increase the levels. We recommend you practice yoga every day.

Avoid sleeping during the day time

When you feel very tired during the day, avoid sleeping even for an hour. Divert yourself and indulge in activities that can keep you active. This can help you sleep peacefully at a stretch for 5 – 6 hours in the night.

Drink a cup of chamomile tea

Chamomile tea
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Chamomile is one of the herbs (flower) which has a mild sedative effect on your body whenever consumed. This herb can be consumed in the form of tea. Click here to find how to make chamomile tea and for more information about the herb. When you need good sleep, just drink a cup of freshly made chamomile tea before going to bed. This can soothe your body and help you sleep. Chamomile tea can be served to children too; it is safe. There seem to be no side effects when you consume even 2 cups of chamomile tea per day.

Wild lettuce

Wild lettuce (lactuca virosa) acts as a mild sedative for people who suffer from insomnia and nervousness. This lettuce is available in the market for direct consumption. You can include them in your daily salad or bread. The extract of wild lettuce is also available in natural medicine stores. You can consult a doctor before you take the extract for the required amount of quantity. Since there are no side effects, wild lettuce can be consumed by children too.

Valerian

Valerian is a popular herb in the US which is used to cure insomnia, night walking and restlessness. This herb can be consumed in the form of tea. This tea can be consumed twice a day.

Valerian

How to use

  • Add a small piece of the herb in boiling water.
  • Simmer it down when the color of the water changes.
  • Cool it and strain the water.
  • Consume the tea along with honey for taste.

Milk

Consuming a cup of warm milk along with any of your favorite flavors will help soothe your mind and body. This will help you reduce the restlessness, hence good sleep is easy to achieve.

Milk

You can also have a good hot water bath, soak your feet in hot water or sit in you comfortable sofa. Choose your own way to fall asleep naturally. We suggest that you avoid seeing or working on your digital gadgets before going to bed.

Have a good night !! Sleep tight !!

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.