Natural Remedies to Treat Insomnia
Jaime A. Heidel
If you suffer from insomnia, you're not alone. Millions of people toss and turn their way through sleepless nights. Chronic loss of sleep can have a negative effect on your physical, mental and emotional health. Prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids may work to relieve symptoms but often cause side effects, including dependence. Learn some natural remedies to treat insomnia and wake up tomorrow morning feeling refreshed and rejuvenated!
Valerian is a natural herbal sedative that helps to relieve anxiety and relax tense muscles. It can be taken in capsule, tea or tincture form about an hour before bed to induce peaceful, restful sleep. It is important to start with the lowest dose and plan to dedicate at least 7-8 hours to sleep before driving or operating machinery. Most side effects are mild and may include morning grogginess, headache, palpitations and dizziness as the body acclimates to the herb. Valerian should not be used with sedatives or antihistamines, before or after surgery or by those who have liver disease.
Chamomile tea is another great natural remedy that can be used to treat insomnia. The most common way to take chamomile is in a tea brewed from the stems and leaves of the flowering plant. Drink 45 minutes to an hour before retiring to bed to calm anxiety and ease into a peaceful sleep. Those allergic to flowering plants in the chrysanthemum and aster family should not use chamomile as allergic reaction may result.
L-theanine is a natural amino acid found in the leaves of green tea. Unlike valerian or chamomile, l-theanine is a non-sedative natural remedy to treat insomnia. This supplement induces sleep by increasing the brain's natural alpha waves, helping to relieve stress and anxiety without causing drowsiness. Though this amino acid doesn't increase amount of sleep, it leads to better sleep and naturally counteracts the stimulating effects of caffeine. It has also been reported that l-theanine improves memory!
Those who suffer from insomnia connected to chronic illness such as thyroid disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic digestive complaints may benefit from using the natural herbal remedy lemon balm. Lemon balm helps to relax stomach muscles and calm nervous sleeping disorders. Lemon balm helps to regulate thyroid hormone production and its antiviral properties are also helpful in treating chronic fatigue syndrome.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is an effective natural remedy that can be used in a sash under the pillow or in liquid form directly on the skin. The naturally sedative properties in lavender oil make it a great choice for those suffering from anxiety, headaches, tense muscles and insomnia. Lavender oil also helps treat other ailments that may contribute to chronic insomnia. It helps to lower blood pressure, ease digestion, clear sinus congestion and reduce inflammation. Though lavender oil can be used neat (without a dilutant) on the skin, it is important to do a patch test first to check for sensitivity or allergic reaction.
Insomnia isn't good for your health. Thankfully, there are plenty of natural remedies to choose from to stop tossing and turning and start sleeping!
Health Disclaimer. Copyright ©2011-2020. Published with permission. Jaime A. Heidel is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health. She has years of writing experience and has contributed to Natural Awakenings magazine.
Related Reading: See The Blue Light Switch for Improved Sleep by Nathan Zassman.