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    A Natural Sleep Remedy for Better Sleep Tonight...
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A Natural Sleep Remedy
for Better Sleep Tonight!

What Is Insomnia?

Although doctors are able to prescribe a variety of medications for insomnia, people often prefer a natural sleep remedy. There are very good reasons for this. Many of the prescribed medications are habit-forming or have unwanted side effects. They may even lead to tiredness during the day.

Insomnia or sleep disorder

Insomnia or sleep disorder is the condition of not being able to sleep as much as a person needs to. It is normal to suffer a sleepless night from time to time, and to sleep more at some times than others. For example, the body will adjust to the changing seasons by wanting more sleep in the winter and less in summer, when the daylight hours are longer. Insomnia is more serious than this and can be severe enough to disrupt a person's life. Insomniacs may suffer from any or all of the following:

  • being unable to sleep despite feeling very tired
  • waking in the night and having trouble getting back to sleep
  • waking too early
  • feeling unrefreshed after sleep

Causes Of Insomnia

Sleep disorder can be caused by many factors, either physical, physiological or psychological.

Physical causes include pain, e.g. due to arthritis, headache, toothache, etc. In this case the best solution is to treat the pain. Other physical causes may be restless leg syndrome, sickness, itching, etc.

Physiological causes include things that affect the body such as jet lag, light or noise in the bedroom, changes in the environment or temperature.

Psychological causes include anxiety, stress, depression, grief. Anxiety about not being able to fall asleep can make insomnia worse.

Removing Physiological Causes

The first thing to consider before looking in a health store for herbal remedies is your sleeping environment and routine. The bedroom should be completely dark. If your clock has a lit display, cover it or turn it away from the bed. Some ventilation is required although in a cold climate you may not always be able to sleep with a window open.

If your partner disturbs your sleep by moving about at night, having separate mattresses may help. You can find a double bed base that will take two mattresses, and you can each choose the type of mattress that you prefer. If noise is unavoidable, e.g. you live on a busy street or your partner snores, consider earplugs.

Routine is vital to our sleep patterns, which is partly why jet lag is so disruptive. Try getting up at the same time every day, including weekends, and don't take naps. Even if this sounds impossible, just try it for one month. When and how you get up is even more important than when and how you go to bed.

Natural Sleep Remedies

Valerian is a natural tranquilizer that can help many people with psychologically triggered insomnia. Drink valerian tea in the evening or take in capsule form. This can help you sleep longer and more deeply, leaving you feeling more refreshed. It will not make you sleepy during the day but may help you to stop worrying and relax.

Valerian may take a couple of weeks to become effective, and should not be taken for more than three months. Do not take valerian with other medications without consulting your doctor, and do not take with alcohol, before or after an operation, or if you have any liver disease.

Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body. It is produced by the body at night to help us sleep. Supplementing it can be very helpful and melatonin has become one of the most popular natural sleep remedies in recent years. However, it acts as a depressant and therefore should not be taken by people who are already suffering from depression or other psychological problems. Do not take melatonin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Yoga, meditation or relaxation therapy will be useful for anybody suffering from anxiety or stress. They will help both mind and body to calm, so that you can sleep more easily.

Dietary remedies can also help. Cut out caffeine completely, and try to avoid eating sugary foods in the evening, as variations in the blood sugar levels during the night can disrupt sleep patterns. A snack of slow-release carbohydrate food such as bread or cereal (without sugar) will help blood sugar stay up so that our sleep is not disrupted.

Consult a qualified medical practitioner before starting any natural sleep remedy, to check that it is suitable for you.

 
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