Insomnia is a sleeping disorder. When a person cannot sleep properly, it results in daytime fatigue, lethargy, emotional instability, impaired memory, dizziness, irritability, poor performance. Insomnia can be of three types – temporary, which lasts for a few days, short-term which lasts for two or three weeks, and chronic insomnia which lasts for more than a month. People with sleep disorder may experience waking in the bed at night, inability to sleep despite being tired, not feeling refreshed even after sleep, waking up too early, etc.
Going to bed hungry, smoking, frequent naps during day, aging, excessive caffeine intake, depression, changes in work shift or sleeping pattern, stress and anxiety, disturbing sleep events like nightmares, sleep walking, restless leg syndrome, arthritis pain, impact of medications, traumatic injury, fear or phobia, and frequent urination due to diabetes are some of the common causes that contribute to insomnia.
Here are some remedies to overcome insomnia.
A glass of lukewarm milk before bedtime gives soporific effect on your body that helps you doze off easily. Additionally, it contains amino acid- tryptophan, which stimulates serotonin production that ultimately provides you with a better sleep.
- You can mix honey in the milk.
- Alternatively, along with honey, mix a dash of cinnamon powder in it.
- Massaging your toes with milk can induce sleep.
2. Bottle Gourd
Bottle gourd is one of the excellent remedies to induce sleep. Take out the bottle gourd juice and add sesame oil in same proportion. Massage with this on your scalp, before going to bed. Alternatively, include bottle gourd in your diet.
3. Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds are a good source of minerals, calcium, carbohydrates and B-complex vitamins. Taking 1 teaspoon of poppy seed/oil before going to bed can actually solve the problem of insomnia.
- Alternatively, get 1 teaspoon each of white poppy seeds and coconut powder and add small amount of water, in order to make a thick paste. Now, take a frying pan and melt some clarified butter in it. Then, add a pinch of cumin and turmeric and remove immediately from heat. After a minute, mix that paste in it and add salt to taste. Chomp this mixture one hour before you sack out.
- Or else, consume 30 grams of poppy seeds’ milk flavored with a little sugar.
Nutmeg effectually heals insomnia. It is loaded with myristicin which works as a tranquilizer and helps you get a natural sleep. You can mix a pinch of nutmeg powder with one teaspoon of fresh Indian gooseberry juice. Consume it 3 times a day. Apart from insomnia, it also resolves the problem of indigestion and depression.
- Alternatively, blend ½ teaspoon of powdered nutmeg with a pinch of cinnamon powder, 1 teaspoon each of raw honey and water to form a paste. Now, boil a cup of milk and pour all the mixture in it. Stir well and sip it before you hit the hay.
- Take one-eighth teaspoon of nutmeg powder and mix it with one cup of lukewarm milk.
- Take a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg powder. Add it in a cup of warm water or any of your favourite juice.
- Don’t consume it more than a pinch, at one time.
- Over doses of nutmeg may cause hallucination and some other psychiatric turmoil.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is full of theanine and amino acid that helps combat anxiety and de-stress a person. Drink a cup of green tea 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Banana contains melatonin, tryptophan, magnesium and serotonin, which work as body relaxants. The high amount of carbohydrate in bananas will make you sleepy. Simply eat a banana before going to bed.
- A blend of mashed banana and roasted cumin seeds can be consumed after dinner.
- Alternatively, you can also have a banana smoothie one hour before your bedtime.
- You can also try banana with some toast and peanut butter.
Take one teaspoon of aniseeds and add it to 375ml of boiling water. Simmer this concoction for 15 minutes. Filter this solution and add honey and milk to it. Sip this tea every day before bedtime.
Oats are rich in melatonin which makes it a sleep inducing meal. Simply eat oatmeal regularly to get rid of this problem. You can also sprinkle two tablespoons of flaxseeds in your oatmeal. Chomp it at night.
Curd enables the body to absorb essential minerals and nutrients and improves the digestive system as well. A person suffering from insomnia should consume 3 cups of curd daily, in order to get a sound sleep. Besides eating curd, its massage on head is also beneficial.
10. Cumin Tea
Heat 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds for about 5 seconds. Then, add 1 cup of water in it and simmer it to the boiling point. Remove it from heat and cover it with a lid. Strain the solution after 5 minutes. Drink this tea before you hit the sack.
Saffron contains mild sedative properties that help treat the problem of insomnia. Take 3-4 strands of saffron and soak them in a cup of warm milk. Sip this warm drink every day before you sack out.
12. Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
Apple cider vinegar is loaded with amino acids that relieve body from fatigue, thereby help you get natural sleep. On the other side, honey raises the insulin levels that release serotonin, thus, promotes sleep. Take a glass of warm water and mix two tsp each of honey and organic apple cider vinegar to it. Drink it before you hit the hay.
Otherwise, blend 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a cup of honey. Take one tbsp of this mixture with or without water.
13. Hot Bath
Have a hot shower about two hours before going to sleep. It will soothe the nerves and relax your body. You can also add a few drops of essential oils like chamomile, lemon balm, lavender or rosemary to the bath water, as it soothes your body in an effective way.
Acupuncture is somewhat similar to acupressure. It heals the problem by putting a thin needle in your skin, at some specific points. It works wonders for insomnia.
Note- Get this therapy done from an experienced practitioner.
Almonds relax your muscles, as it contains magnesium as well as tryptophan. Simply eat a handful of almonds throughout the day, in order to treat the problem of insomnia.
Honey works tremendously great for treating insomnia. Due to its hypnotic and sedative effects, it induces sound sleep. It also promotes relaxation. Simply mix 2 tbsp of honey in a cup of water. Stir well and drink it before you sack out.
- Alternatively, intake a spoon full of honey before you hit the hay. This is one of the best remedies, for children suffering from insomnia.
17. Sesame Oil
Sesame seeds are affluent in polyunsaturated fat that helps relieve the nervous and muscular tension and gives a sound sleep. Regular consumption of sesame oil improves blood circulation, prevents digestive disorders and reduces anxiety. Massage your feet with this oil daily before you hit the sack.
Celery is rich in phthalides that decreases the secretion of stress inducing hormones and, ultimately, relax the muscular and nervous systems. This feature of celery makes it an excellent home cure for insomnia. Crush celery leaves along with their stalk, in order to extract their juice. Mix a tablespoon of honey with it. One should consume it at night before catching some zzz’s.
Note- Honey and celery should be taken in equal proportion.
Herbal Remedies to Cure Insomnia
19. Indian Sorrel
Juice of Indian sorrel leaves is very useful in healing insomnia. Extract some juice of these leaves and mix it with castor oil, in equal amount. Now, boil down the water content. Store it in a bottle when it cools down. Massage the scalp with this oil before bedtime. It gives cool sensation near the eyes which induces sound sleep.
20. Lavender Oil
This oil works as a tranquilizer and helps you get a good sleep. Take a few drops of this herbal oil and apply it on the forehead and temple. The fragrance of this oil induces sleep. So, use it before catching some zzz’s.
21. Jasmine Essential Oil
Take a few drops of this oil and apply it on your wrist. Perform this before you hit the sack and you will certainly have a better sleep.
Rauwolfia is loaded with sedative properties, which cures insomnia. Take around 0.25 to 0.5 grams of its root powder and mix it with cardamom. A patient of chronic insomnia can take it two times a day- in the morning and at night.
A person suffering from sleep disorder should be given a leaf of basil for chomping. Alternatively, spread some basil leaves beneath the patient’s pillow and around the corners of the bed throw. The aroma of the leaves will strike the person's nostril which will make him/her feel sleepy.
24. Fenugreek Juice
Fenugreek juice acts as a tranquilizer that induces sleep and effectively prevents insomnia. Extract 2 tsp of fresh fenugreek juice from its leaves. Add one tsp of honey to it. Take it on a daily basis before catching some zzz’s.
Valerian is a very popular herb that is commonly used to treat sleep disorders. It gives sedative effect and relaxes body muscles. Combine ½ teaspoon of grated valerian root and nutmeg. Add this mixture in 2 cups of hot water. After 15 minutes, strain the solution and drink it.
- Alternatively, boil a cup of water and remove it from heat. Add one tsp of valerian herb to it. Stir well. After a few minutes, strain this decoction and then, drink.
- Or else, use valerian tincture. Dilute half tsp of its tincture in a glass of water. Drink it two times a day.
Note- This herb should not be consumed by children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
26. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a good herbal remedy to get a sound sleep. It contains apigenin that gives sedative effect to the body. Brew 1 tsp of chamomile herb in one cup of water for a few minutes. Stir well and filter this solution. You can add a dash of cinnamon and a little bit of honey to it.
27. Lemon Balm
Mix 2-3 teaspoons of lemon balm to a cup of boiling water. Steep it for a few minutes. For effective results, drink this herbal tea before bedtime.
Lettuce contains a sleep stimulating substance called lectucarium, which has tranquilizing properties and give effects similar to the opium poppy. Take 2 lettuce leaves and boil them in two cups of water for 5 minutes. Add either honey or sugar to the solution. Wait until it cools down. Then, strain it. Drink a cup of lettuce tea at least half an hour before you sack out. It will definitely give you a sound sleep.
- Alternatively, lettuce juice can also be consumed.
- Moreover, take one tsp of lettuce seeds and boil them in half liter water until it reduces to 1/3. Strain this infusion and drink it throughout the day.
- Perform deep breathing exercises, meditation and yoga.
- Sleep in a peaceful, dark, comfortable room.
- Have dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- If you need to stay up late at night, then snack only on those stuffs that are low in protein and high in carbohydrates.
- Listen to soft music around 45 minutes before catching some zzz’s.
- Consume raw onion salad.
- Take ample calcium, potassium and iron to cope up with sleep disorders.
- Blue wavelengths of your phones reduce the secretion of melatonin which, in turn, affects your sleep. So, stay away from laptop, iPod, and smart phones at night.
- Avoid watching TV before bedtime.
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
- Avoid naps during the day time.
- Don’t take excessive liquids half an hour before you hit the sack, in order to avoid urination.
Alice grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in California, though she likes to visit home frequently. She graduated from a marketing specialist degree and worked at the core of outreach teams for more than 5 years.