8 Homeopathic remedies to help with insomnia
Insomnia affects about a third of the population in the UK. You might find it difficult to get to sleep initially, have trouble staying asleep, wake up too early, or just awake unrefreshed from a night of tossing and turning. It is often difficult to pinpoint an exact cause and there are likely to be several contributing factors, such as:
- Anxiety, work-related stress, depression, loss of purpose, strong emotions.
- Lifestyle (e.g. too many stimulants like coffee, alcohol or recreational/ prescription drugs). These can interfere with our circadian rhythms, and give the liver too much work to do overnight in terms of detoxifying.
- Artificial lighting (you can set electronic devices to night mode, and make a cutoff point for screen-time in the evenings).
- Noise and light pollution. Make sure you have good blinds/ curtains, especially if you live near street lamps. Wear ear-plugs or an eye mask if you need.
- Too much time indoors, not enough fresh air and/ or exercise (unfortunately, modern lifestyles tend to be very sedentary and involve long hours, plus commuting time).
- Eating late (especially rich, fatty food). This gives the digestive system a lot of work to do at the time of day when it is least active. The best times to eat a large meal is in the morning, up to midday.
Relaxing music or an audio book are great ways to help switch off your mind, especially if you have woken up and are finding it hard to get back to sleep. It can help to have something neutral to listen to; it will distract you from repetitive thoughts. With some Apps, you can set the audio book to switch itself off after 15 minutes, by which time you might just find yourself sound asleep again...
Why sleep is so important! The rest and repair mode of the nervous system (the parasympathetic branch) becomes active during sleep, giving mind and body a chance to switch off and recuperate from the stresses of the day.
How can homeopathy help?
You can try using these well-known natural remedies to help you get to sleep more easily, or to help getting back to sleep after waking too early. For a more long-term approach, it is best to consult with a professional homeopath to find an individual remedy for you (this is called a constitutional remedy).
Homeopathic Remedies that can help with sleep problems
Whilst a strong dose of coffee in the morning will certainly wake most people up, the Homepathic use of the remedy (when potentized) is quite the opposite. It can calm a restless mind, slow down over-flowing thoughts and help promote a restful night's sleep. Use this remedy for insomnia stemming from restless anxiety, excited imagination, flow of ideas, and basically too many thoughts rushing around your head. There is great tiredness, with a desire to lie down and shut the eyes, but then finding it impossible to switch off your mind and drift off to sleep. Once finally asleep, there is frequent & sudden starting and waking.
This is a good remedy for insomnia in over-active children who wake up frightened from imaginary fears or visions. They may wake with convulsions and there can be loud moaning with sleep-talking & grinding the teeth. Eventually they become drowsy and fall into a deep sleep.
This remedy is characterised by very restless sleep with fearful dreams of robbers, thieves or stealing. There is a feeling of constant drowsiness in the evening with much yawning followed by insomnia with a great deal of agitation, teeth-grinding, tossing & turning and jerking of the limbs on the point of going to sleep. Sleep is very un-refreshing and light; the slightest noise is heard, and there can be extreme temperature fluctuations. Dreams are anxious, horrible, lively and angry and there is great difficulty getting back to sleep after waking.
This remedy is very helpful for insomnia from slight noises, where the bed feels too hot and there is moaning and jerking of limbs in sleep. There is great sleepiness on reading or concentrating, but once lying in bed there is an absolute inability to go to sleep. Once finally asleep it is filled with anxious dreams & nightmares or pleasant and fantastical dreams. Sleep is stupefying, and it is really hard to get up and out of bed in the morning.
In this remedy, there is an aggravation of general symptoms during or after sleep. The quality of sleep is light with frequent and easy waking, tossing & turning, groans & sighs, starts & fright. It may be helpful when sleep is impossible on the left side or disturbed by vivid and constantly changing dreams, or even a sense of suffocation. Drowsiness and insomnia might alternate every two days. There is a feeling of liveliness and talkativeness in the evening with great drowsiness by day, worse after a meal.
Sleepless with nightly itching and muscular spasms from excitement, worse on waking. Disturbed sleep with tossing and anxious and confused dreams.
Insomnia that stems from mental or physical exhaustion or from cares and worries about loved ones or the family. This remedy is well-suited to worn-out people who care for others and work night-shifts. There can be an irresistible inclination to sleep in the morning with spasmodic yawning. Dreams are vivid, anxious and fearful. It may be useful for children who have a fear of ghosts that prevents sleep.
Drowsiness during the day, and early in the evening but then difficulty in falling asleep at night. Sleep is very light indeed; more like dozing than a deep sleep. Graphites may help where it is difficult to fall asleep before midnight on account of a rush of anxious thoughts and digestive problems. Eventually, a deep sleep arrives in the morning just as the alarm is about to go off. There may be dreams of death and fire and constant talking during sleep. It can also be a very good remedy for bed-wetting in children.
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