Insomnia: Exploring Effective Natural Solutions

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Are you struggling with insomnia?

This common sleep disorder affects a significant portion of the population, and it can be a frustrating challenge.

In this article, we’ll delve into the causes of insomnia, various types of this sleep disorder, and explore both medical treatments and natural remedies to help you achieve better sleep.

Unlock the secrets to better sleep with insights into insomnia causes, types, and effective treatments. Explore natural remedies for a good night’s rest.


Understanding sleep cycles


Before we dive into insomnia, let’s briefly understand the natural cycles of sleep.

Sleep consists of three phases:

  • Light slow sleep
  • Deep slow sleep
  • REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement)

Individuals progress through these phases during the night, with the period of REM sleep becoming longer with each cycle.

Deep sleep is usually more prevalent at the beginning of the night, while REM sleep dominates the later stages, contributing to physical recovery.


Age-related changes in sleep


As we age, our sleep patterns change.

Around the age of 40-50, there is a noticeable reduction in REM sleep, accompanied by an increase in phase 1 light slow sleep.

These changes persist until the 60-90 age group.

Despite these shifts, the body becomes more resilient to sleep deprivation.


What is insomnia?


According to a study, we know that 14% of 18-34-year-olds, 15% of 35-49-year-olds, 20% of 50-64-year-olds, and 25% of 65-79-year-olds suffer from insomnia.

We understand then that a quarter of the retired population suffers from insomnia.

And the term insomnia is vague.

We know that 19% of these people get up too early, 19% have difficulty falling asleep, 25% take a nap during the day and 29% suffer from insomnia.

But that’s not just a problem at a certain age.

We also know that people who are young or in their forties have problems falling asleep or waking up frequently.

herbal remedies for sleep


Common causes of insomnia


The causes of insomnia can be diverse and include factors such as excessive caffeine consumption, psychiatric illnesses (particularly depression), psychophysiological insomnia (resulting from performance anxiety), addictive disorders (e.g., alcohol or drug dependency), restless legs syndrome, circadian rhythm disorders, and even misperception of sleep quality.


Exploring different types of insomnia


Insomnia can manifest in various forms:

  • Genetic factor
    Some individuals may carry a genetic predisposition to insomnia.
  • Acute insomnia
    This type is often triggered by major stressors such as travel, life changes, or upcoming events.
  • Initial or precocious insomnia
    Individuals with this type of insomnia struggle to fall asleep and anticipate sleep problems even before bedtime.
  • Chronic insomnia
    When insomnia occurs more than three times per week over an extended period, it’s considered chronic and can involve difficulty falling asleep or early morning awakenings.

Sleep hygiene and stimulus control


Improving sleep quality often requires adopting good sleep hygiene practices, which include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding excessive sleep during the day, reducing caffeine intake in the afternoon, abstaining from alcohol and smoking before bedtime, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment with dimmed lighting.

Stimulus control techniques, like going to bed only when sleepy, can also be beneficial.

natural treatment for insomnia


Medical treatment options


In addition to behavioral therapies, medical treatments can be considered to alleviate insomnia symptoms.

Some commonly prescribed medications include:

  • Benzodiazepines
    These sedatives, like triazolam and lorazepam, help improve sleep by reducing anxiety.

    However, they can have side effects such as amnesia and drowsiness and may be addictive.
  • Hypnotics
    Zolpidem, a well-known hypnotic, induces rapid sleep and has fewer side effects compared to benzodiazepines.
  • Melatonin
    Melatonin receptor agonists are effective in improving sleep quality, particularly in individuals over 40, as melatonin levels decline with age.

    They have minimal side effects and are non-addictive.
  • Antidepressants
    These are preferred for individuals with insomnia related to depression or underlying diseases.

Natural remedies for insomnia


Some natural supplements can also help stave off insomnia and it is sometimes worth trying to determine whether they are working on you.

Here are the 6 best supplements to improve sleep:

 

  • Melatonin

Melatonin is a natural sleeping pill but it seems that it is particularly effective for forties people and over because the levels of this hormone are low as soon as we pass this age group.

The recommended dose of melatonin (ad) is 3 to 5mg for an adult.
For children from 6 years old, a bedtime dose of 1 to 2 mg is sufficient.

Melatonin does not present serious side effects when the dosage is respected.
On the other hand, excessive consumption disrupts the circadian cycle and hormonal secretions thus aggravating insomnia.

 

  • Methylcobalamin

This is the active form of vitamin B12.

It significantly increases the effectiveness of melatonin and is beneficial for people 40 years of age and over.

It is particularly interesting for subjects suffering from a sleep-wake disorder, daytime sleepiness, restless nights, and nocturnal awakenings.

Methylcobalamin (ad) improves the quality of sleep, increases alertness and concentration during the day, and stabilizes mood.

The recommended dosage is 3 to 5mg taken in the morning.

 

  • Magnesium

Taking magnesium before bedtime allows you to benefit from a relaxing, stress-reducing effect, promoting restful sleep.

Magnesium is of great benefit to older people with insomnia and even helps reverse age-related sleep alterations.

The recommended dosage is 250-300mg at bedtime.

The best choices are citrate, malate, or magnesium bisglycinate powder (ad)

 

  • 5-HTP

5-Hydroxytryptophan is a substance that the brain turns into serotonin.

The 5-HTP (ad) is closer to serotonin than L-tryptophan (not recommended) and gives more consistent results in improving sleep.

It increases REM sleep by around 25% and acts on other phases as well.

The recommended dosage is 50 to 150mg approximately 45 minutes before bedtime starting with the minimum dose for the first 3 days.

 

  • L-theanine

L-theanine (ad) is an amino acid found primarily in green tea.

Studies show it can reduce stress and improve the quality of sleep.

It can help children with trouble sleeping with a dose of 200mg at bedtime.

To obtain a sedative effect in adults, a 600 mg dose at bedtime is recommended.

 

  • Valerian

Valerian is a well-studied sleeping pill.

Studies show that it improves sleep quality, reduces the time to fall asleep, and maintains consistent restful sleep.

It is also free of side effects and shows no residual drowsiness during the day.

To obtain this sedative effect, you must opt ​​for a valerian extract with 0.8% valerenic acids (ad)

The recommended dosage is 150-300mg 30 minutes before bedtime.

problems falling asleep


Homeopathy for insomnia


Homeopathy can be effective but only if it is occasional insomnia.

If stress is the cause:

Gelsemium Sempervirens 30C: 3 pellets 3 times a day
Ignatia Amara 30C: a single dose of 5 pellets

If mental overactivity is keeping you up at night:

Coffea Cruda 30C: 5 pellets in the evening and at night if necessary
Nux Vomica 30C: 5 pellets before each meal

When waking up in the morning:

Kali Phosphoricum 30C: 5 pellets morning and evening
Phosphoricum Acidum 30C: 5 pellets morning and evening


Essential oils for insomnia


Four essential oils are very suitable for tempering insomnia.

  – Lavender
  – Roman chamomile
  – Petitgrain
  – Marjoram

The lavender essential oil has a significant calming effect before bedtime.

Chamomile essential oil promotes sleep.

Petitgrain bigarade essential oil soothes the sympathetic nervous system.

Marjoram essential oil does not act directly against insomnia but for anxiety.

It is strongly recommended to make a synergy of these four sedative essential oils:

– Lavender: 35 drops
– Roman chamomile: 35 drops
– Petitgrain Bigarade: 35 drops
– Marjoram: 35 drops
– Vegetable oil of your choice: 6ml

At bedtime, place a drop on each wrist then breathe in the vapors of the essential oils.
Apply a few drops to the solar plexus.
You can proceed to a new application in case of nocturnal awakening.


A natural cure for insomnia


Insomnia is not inevitable.

It can be treated medically when it is very entrenched.

It can also be curbed by natural means when taken in time.

Sleep disturbances have a very negative impact on quality of life.

It is important to treat them quickly to avoid falling into chronic insomnia.


Frequently Asked Questions


Consequences of insomnia on health

Sleep problems have a negative impact on health.
If insomnia primarily causes daytime sleepiness, irritability, lack of concentration, and fatigue, its impact on general health can be even more damaging.
It can thus generate an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and all metabolic diseases, and certain cardiovascular diseases.
It significantly reduces immune defenses and accelerates the aging process.

 

What is idiopathic insomnia?

Idiopathic insomnia is rare and is characterized by onset in childhood without any detectable cause.
It is manifested by a constant inability to sleep a sufficient number of hours, which leads to permanent daytime fatigue.
It continues into adulthood and is not stress-induced.

 

What is Fatal Familial Insomnia?

Also called sporadic fatal insomnia, this form of insomnia is the consequence of prion disease (degeneration of the central nervous system).
Sleep is so disrupted that cognitive impairment and loss of coordination quickly occur.
This spongiform encephalopathy is a rare disease with a poor prognosis.

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Marie

Natural health is paramount to me, natural remedies have always been part of my life. Whatever the problem, I make sure to find natural solutions that can often be associated with traditional medicine. Everything I write here allows me to share them with you.

Disclaimer
The content of this article is not intended to replace medical advice or any treatment.
Keep in mind that you should contact your doctor or any qualified healthcare professional to determine if you can add a supplement to your treatment or change your diet.

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