Insomnia

Insomnia affects around 15% of the population at any one time.

The causes are many, from temporary stress and anxiety to ongoing chronic problems or a bad mattress or uncomfortable bedroom.

It takes 3 forms, difficulty falling asleep, inability to stay asleep and waking too early.


Some medications are known to increase the chances of sleeplessness, Zoloft, an antidepressant, is a common one.

Discovering the basic cause of your insomnia goes some way to selecting the appropriate treatment.

Herbal remedies are ideal as few of them interfere with medication that you may already be on but if you are taking any medication, then speak to your doctor before taking any of these herbal supplements.

In Germany, health authorities recognise herbal sedatives as medication - things such as chamomile and valerian are prescribed as a matter of course.

The supplements listed should provide relief from insomnia. Take them 45 minutes before going to bed and try one at a time to see which one suits you.

Valerian
250 - 500 mg of extract. Start low and build up over a couple of weeks.

Chamomile
2 teaspoons of dried herb in a tea (click for instructions).

Take the two together for good effect, they promote relaxation and ease stress.

A lack of nutrients can sometimes cause insomnia. These are most likely to be Calcium, magnesium and vitamin B6 and niacin.

Calcium
Take 500 mg with food before going to bed.

Magnesium
250 mg with food before going to bed.

Take the Calcium and Magnesium together - they are sometimes sold as a single supplement.

Vitamin B6 and niacin
50 mg B6 and 500 mg niacin taken together before going to bed.


What Else Can You Do?
Stick to a regular sleep schedule - go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, irrespective of the day of the week or whether you've slept.

Use your bedroom only for sleeping - no reading, surfing the internet on your phone or watching television.

Exercise regularly - try 40 minutes walking four times a week.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco.

Have a leisurely bath with 10 drops of lavender oil before going to bed.

Put a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow or fill a small bag with lavender flowers and put it under your pillow.

Have a bedtime drink of hot milk and honey.

Do not take commercial sleeping remedies at the same time as herbal remedies.

Avoid stimulating herbs, such as ginseng, kola nut and ginger.

See your doctor if your insmonia lasts over a month, if you feel tired most of the time or frequently fall asleep during the day.

If you have a medical condition which is being treated by your doctor, then you must consult him/her before you take any supplements.

These pages will be of interest to you

› Insomnia

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