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Herbs For Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition in which a person finds it difficult to either fall asleep or stay asleep. It is not a disease; it is a symptom that is normally caused by several factors like the use of certain medication, high stress, psychological problems like anxiety or depression and environmental changes. It can also be the result of an excess of caffeine as well as daytime naps. Lack of proper sleep can lead to some serious health problems and can disrupt a person’s social and professional life. Therefore, adopting the right treatments for insomnia at the earliest is very important.
There are several herbs for insomnia that are believed to be as effective as chemical drugs and can help improve the condition, in a natural way. Herbal treatments are also known to have fewer side-effects. The herbal remedies for insomnia can be consumed during the day, preferably about half an hour or so, before bedtime.

The following herbs can help deal with insomnia:

• Lavender: This is a mild strengthening tonic. Lavender can be consumed in the form of tea or used as an essential oil and inhaled and massaged.
• Hops: Hops can be used as a sedative, especially in case of insomnia caused by nerve weakness or worry. Hops pillows are also available as a cure for insomnia.
• Chamomile: Chamomile has been used by adults and children for years, to combat insomnia. It can be consumed as tea or as oil, which is added to bath water.
• Passion flower: This herb can be used as a powerful sedative, especially when the insomnia is caused by stress or overwork.
• Californian poppy: This is a sleep-promoting and a sedative herb, which reduces anxiety and helps a person to relax, thereby improving sleep patterns. Californian poppy can be used by both children and adults.
• Valerian: This herb has the effects of calming one’s nerves and therefore, it can be used as a bedtime herb for insomnia. When combined with other herbs, with sedative properties, this herb shows better effects.
• Wild lettuce: This is a mild sedative and a nervine, which is used to improve insomnia and restlessness. It is used quite commonly in homeopathic remedies and is believed to be safe for children too.
• Kava-kava: This is the national beverage of Fiji and it imparts a feeling of calmness through the body. This is commonly used to cure fatigue and insomnia.

Like most other medical-related problems there are exercises for insomnia too which reduce the levels of stress and promote improved sleeping patterns. However, exercising just before bedtime is not a good idea as it increases the body’s metabolic rate and promotes alertness. A suitable gap between exercise time and bed time needs to be maintained initially, till a proper routine is developed.
Submitted on January 16, 2014