Herbs To Help With Sleep
Herbs To Help With Sleep
In the clinic we use a number of herbs to help with sleep. If you can’t sleep or are having other problems with sleep, then this article may be of interest to you.
A proper night’s sleep is crucial to our health. During sleep the central nervous system is at rest, it is estimated that up to 1/3 of each day should be spent in this recovery mode. The causes of not been able to sleep can be multi-fold. Insomnia can be due to a loss, relationship stress, high stress at work, illness, or pain; the cause may also involve racing thoughts and worries, including worries about the effects of not sleeping.
Recently our overreliance on technology may also be keeping us awake: exposure to the artificial light of televisions, computers, pads and phones before bed or worse again, in bed, enhances alertness and suppresses the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Heightened emotions and menstrual cycles are also factors, which might explain why women are twice as likely to report insomnia than are men.
Other causes maybe low blood glucose levels, excessive tea or coffee before bed, other stimulant drinks or foods, indigestion, feeling too cold or too hot, poor ventilation in the bedroom, medication, shift work, and bad sleeping habits. Feelings of anxiety, worry, depression or stress also can play a part in not been able to sleep.
The Importance Of Sleep
Sleep and rest allow the body to replenish depleted energy reserves and allow us to maintain normal physical and mental functioning. Adequate sleep is essential for good physical and mental health, as it is necessary for the body’s restorative processes. These processes occur in harmony with the body’s sleep cycles, which are dictated by the body’s natural rhythms.
These natural rhythms, known as diurnal rhythms, are slightly more than 24 hours in length and reset each day by light and other time cues. These rhythms dictate our need for periodic rest, so sleep is as important to our biological well-begin as are food, water, warmth and shelter.
While sleeping approx.. 8 hours a night is vital to physical and mental health, dreaming is necessary for psychological health. Most theories on dream function state that dreams enable people to master their environment. In dreams, people integrate new experiences and solve conflicts from their daily waking lives.
The amount of sleep needed various tremendously among people. There is no “normal” amount of sleep. Different people need different amounts of sleep. 7 to 8 hours of sleep is the average required by most, but a good night’s sleep can range from less than 3 hours to more than 10 for some people.
Herbal Treatment Of Insomnia
The key to successful treatment of insomnia is to find the cause and deal with it. And that may not be easy as the cause could be anything from deep grief to constipation. Psychological issues often need attention, but so do health problems that cause pain and discomfort. Dietary indiscretions must be identified, as well as environmental factors. In short, the treatment plan has to treat the person as a whole to be effective.
Certain herbs classifications can help with sleep such as Hypnotics, Nervine Relaxants, Anti-spasmodics, Nervine Tonics and Adaptogens. Which ones are chosen and deemed more effective will depend on the individual and the presenting symptoms. Valerian can work very well for some people but for other it can have the opposite effect.
Often the key to successful treatment lies in focusing upon a weakened or impaired body organ or function. The problem must be identified and the appropriate system herbal tonic or specific herb applied. Hypnotics and Nervines may be used within the context of such treatment.
Selection of which herbs to use should be made on the basis of their secondary actions or system affinities. For example if a person with insomnia has heart palpitations, then Motherwort would be a good choice of Nervine. Hypnotic herbs may also be selected on the bases of their strength, there are mild, moderate and strong Hypnotic herbs. Adapotgen herbs can be used (only in the mornings) to deal with any stress issues. If indigestion is the cause then some Bitters and Caminative herbs may be added to the overall remedy.
A good herbal remedy for sleep would include some of the following herbs, Wild Lettuce, Skullcap, Valerian, Hops, Passion Flowers, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Motherwort and Vervain. A qualified herbalist will know which herbs are best suited to each different individual.
Pillows made with herbs are a long standing remedy to facilitate a good night’s sleep. Traditionally herbs used include Chamomile Flowers, Hops, Lavender, Linden and Lemon Balm. Get a pillow cover and stuff it with the dried herbs, place it beside your head at night. You can add some aromatherapy oil drops like Lavender, Rose or Sweet Orange to help induce sleep.
Some Suggestions For Better Sleep
• Sleep as much as you need to feel refreshed
• Get up at the same time each day
• Do some sort of physical activity each day
• Make sure the bed room is dark, cool and quite
• Sleep on a quality mattress and foundation
• Don’t lie in bed for hours tossing and turning or staring at the walls, if you can’t sleep after 20 mins. Get up, do something and try again
• Do not make bed a place to watch TV, do paperwork or eat.
• Consider earplugs or eye masks
• A very light snack may help just before bed.
• Do not nap during the day, unless prescribed
• Natural sunlight during the day and fresh air can help sleep at night.
• Cut out anything with caffeine in the evening
• Alcohol causes fragmented sleep, you often have to get up to go to the bathroom
• Chronic tobacco use disturbs sleep
• When you go to bed relax your muscles.
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If you would like to contact the clinic then phone 085-2157479