Although sleepless nights are common, especially when you’ve got newborns or young kids, insomnia is diagnosed as a reduced amount of sleep on a regular basis. If you think you’re having trouble sleeping for no reason, it’s always best to consult your doctor before trying any natural remedies. Not only can chronic insomnia lead on to other conditions, but it may also be a sign of lung disease, depression and diabetes.

Natural remedies have been used for hundreds of years to alleviate pain and suffering, and many of the medicines we use today stem from the tried and tested methods of these remedies. Insomnia is a condition that affects millions of people every year, and although there are a variety of treatments to reduce the symptoms, there is no known cure. Take a look at some of the most popular remedies that are used to treat insomnia.

Valerian

Valeriana officinalis, or valerian, is a herb that has been used to treat insomnia for hundreds of years. These days, it can be bought over the counter in pharmacies everywhere, however how valerian works is still not understood by medical professionals. According to some studies, valerian may work just like sleeping pills, affecting the GABA levels within the body.

red valerian sleep promoting qualities

Valerian is not known to cause drowsiness and neither is it addictive, however it does not work for everyone. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for valerian to work, and it should be taken an hour before you go to bed. Clinical trials remain inconclusive, meaning lab testing will continue until the reasons behind the benefits of valerian can be found.  Side effects can consist of headaches and dizziness. Read more on valerian here.

Melatonin

This natural remedy is one of the most popular ways to battle insomnia, and has produced very positive results for shift workers and people with jet lag. Experts have warned that melatonin could harm those battling depression or schizophrenia, and especially women who are pregnant. Melatonin naturally occurs in the body, and the hormone is activated when exposure to light is limited.  The long term effects are relatively unknown.

Kava

Mainly used as an anti-anxiety treatment, kava has also been proven to reduce the symptoms of insomnia. Dietary supplements that contain the kava herb have been known to cause liver damage, and a number of people have had to get liver transplants as a result.

Relaxation Techniques

One of the most effective ways to combat insomnia is relaxation, and there are a number of techniques you can try in order to help you sleep better. Firstly, if you visualise yourself sleeping in a relaxing and calm atmosphere, then your stress levels will decrease helping you to drift into REM. Transcendental meditation is another great way to help you relax and sleep, and techniques focus on the mind instead of the body.

Yoga helps sleep

Yoga helps sleep

Yoga is probably the most effective way to relax your body and help you sleep. Undertaken by millions of people all over the world, this form of meditation combines stretching and deep breathing to help reduce sleeping problems. Harvard studies confirm that practicing yoga for eight-week blocks improves total sleep time.

About The Author

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I've worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years dealing with physical and mental health patients, both in hospitals and the community. Living a healthy, well balanced life with a good diet, regular exercise and a taking a positive outlook are crucial to becoming a very well being indeed - sometimes easier said than done!

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