Insomnia affects most of us at one point in our lives or another. The inability to fall asleep and to stay asleep can wreak havoc on the rest of our lives. Recurring or extended bouts of insomnia can lead to illness, stress and mood swings. If you suffer from insomnia, no matter how extended, there are alternative remedies that have been proven to work for many users. Before you head off to the doctor, try one of these top six alternative remedies:
Valerian is a safe herb that is taken an hour before you go to bed. Typically found in pill form, the herb may also be used to make a tea. Not believed to be addictive, Valerian can take up to three weeks of continued use to provide insomnia relief. Side effects of Valerian include headache, dizziness and mild indigestion. People who are on sedatives or antihistamines, and those with liver problems, should not take Valerian.
People who work swing shift are especially pleased with the positive effects of melatonin. The hormone melatonin is found naturally in the body and helps to stabilize the sleep/wake cycle. Taken 30 minutes before bed, melatonin can help people fall asleep and stay asleep. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take melatonin. People with depression, autoimmune disease or schizophrenia should avoid the use of melatonin without first consulting their physician.
Kava has proven effective for people who are suffering from insomnia due to anxiety. There have been recent reports of liver problems associated with supplements containing kava. People who are interested in using the herb for insomnia relief are urged to do so under the guidance of a physician.
Diet is considered an alternative therapy because it does not involve the use of prescription medication. People who suffer from insomnia are advised to remove caffeinated products from their diet, avoid sweet and eat foods that are rich in magnesium. Foods containing tryptophan and whole grains may help some people fall asleep more readily and are great pre-bedtime snacks.
Meditation is another great alternative therapy for people who experience bouts of insomnia. There are a great number of guided meditation apps available for all mobile devices. Meditation is a practice of calming the mind and can help sufferers fall asleep more readily. In fact, any relaxation technique, whether it is a warm bath or a hot cup of decaffeinated tea, can help the mind and body reach a state of calm and ready a person for sleep.
People who have insomnia are typically advised to remove all distractions from their bedroom. For some people, white noise, nature sounds or soft music can be helpful sleep aids. People with insomnia should experiment with different types of sounds to find one that soothes them to sleep.
People who suffer from insomnia often experience more illness, depression and anxiety than people who maintain a regular sleep schedule. If you are suffering from insomnia, one or more of the six alternative remedies above may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Consult a medical professional before taking any over-the-counter remedy to make sure that it is safe to consume in your current state of health.
Sisily West is a full-time writer and blogger living in the Bay Area. She recommends visiting www.fallingasleep.net if you are having trouble Falling Asleep.