19 January 2009

Natural Remedy for Insomnia

Nhil / Call Center Gal posted this question:

"I got a question for you. Is there a herbal/ alternative medicine that you can recommend to someone who has insommia?"


Dear Nhil,

Insomnia may be caused by many factors such as stress, hormonal imbalance, habit, etc.

I wouldn't go and state flat out that there is a single cure for your ailment, but I can offer a few suggestions to improve your condition without the aid of drugs:

1. Try and sleep earlier than usual. For some reason, this works for me. I get sleepy early in the evening but tend to brush it aside, being too early. This, for me, brings on a point-of-no-return, where I simply find it hard to fall asleep past a later time. During the times that I did give in to the lure to retire early, I found those to be the most restful and most rejuvenating of sleeps I have had.

2. Take something warm, rather than cold before sleeping. Warm calamansi juice, for example, helps. Chamomile tea, if you can find some, is best.

3. Try not to snack too late in the night. They tend to keep you awake after.

4. Try meditation. Lie down, keep your mind blank of all thoughts, focus on your breathing, give in your entire body to gravity, and you're there...

5. Exercise. Try swimming or biking in the early afternoon, for instance, and keep at it for at least an hour, no matter how leisurely your workout.

6. Try acupuncture. Believe me, no matter what the therapy is for, that night's rest is usually one of the most restful. My friendly neighborhood acupunturist is one of the most reasonably priced. Email me if you're interested, and I can send you contact details.

7. Try the Wet socks therapy. It is not clear to me why this helps in sleeping disorders, but many have claimed that it promotes restful sleep. All you have to do is take some cotton socks, wet them thoroughly, wring them well and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. During these 10 minutes, get yourself a hot foot soak. Immediately after the soak, wear the cotton socks from the freezer and wear another layer of nylon or wool socks over that. Go straight to bed. Do not remove until the following morning. As the body tries hard to warm the feet and dry the socks, it is said to aid in blood circulation. I guess that means you'll sleep quicker and better.

Then, of course, if all of the above fails, try Melatonin. You can get this at either Healthy Options or your neighborhood purveyor of natural remedies. It can be quite expensive, but it is the most natural sleep aid available. The human body actually produces melatonin to aid in the sleep process. You may simply want to augment the body's supply. Again, with all medicine, this included, they may pose unique risks to the person. Take at your own risk.

I hope you finally get the sleep you deserve!

In the Light,

Ang Kuwago

No comments: