Insomnia can make falling asleep difficult, wake you up in the middle of the night or awaken you way to early in the morning. Some herbs can aid in getting to sleep and staying asleep. Professional herbalists do not prescribe herbs simply to treat symptoms such as insomnia but aim to correct the imbalances within the body that cause those symptoms.
Numerous plants have sedative action. Plants commonly prescribed as aids in promoting sleep include: passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), hops (Humulus lupulus), valerian (Valeriana officinalis), skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), and chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla).
Passion flower is calming and sleep inducing, relieves pain, and muscular spasms. It is useful for the treatment of general insomnia, insomnia in asthmatics, hysteria, cramps, and nerve pain.
Valerian is relaxing and sleep inducing, relieves spasms, calms the digestion, and lowers blood pressure. It is useful for severe insomnia and insomnia accompanied by pain, cramps, intestinal pain, wind, menstrual pain, tension, anxiety, and over-excitability.
Jamaica dogwood is calming, eases pain and disturbing persistent thoughts. It is good for insomnia caused by nervous tension, pain, or menstrual pain.
St John’s wort is sedative, pain-relieving, improves sleep quality.
Wild lettuce is relaxing and sleep- inducing, relieves pain and destructive feelings.
Herbal baths are a pleasant way to use herbs for the alleviation of steeping difficulties. The relaxing and warming effect of the hot water enhances the sedative properties of the herbs. Herbal baths can be used with herbal infusions.
A number of relaxation techniques such as meditation, visualisation, autogenic training and gentle exercises such as yoga can be tried to help decrease stress and thus decrease the build up of these stress hormones. Physical exercise raises your core body temperature and increases your adrenaline levels.
The actual set-up of your room may also effect your sleeping habits. Avoid bright colors and different patterns in the room and radios and alarm clocks should be kept at least three feet away. Soft calming pastel colours are the best and there should not be a drastic difference in the patterns of your bedspread, curtains and carpets.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have been treating insomnia sufferers for thousands of years. A typical approach may utilize acupuncture, dietary and lifestyle analysis, herbology and other techniques, with the goal of rebalancing the body’s energies to resolve the problem at a subtle level.