Insomnia and Natural Medicine
Are you finding it hard to get to sleep at night?
Do you find yourself tossing and turning in bed at night?
Is the next day hard to get through after having a poor nights sleep?
Typically we can improve both the quality and quantity of sleep for most patients within weeks by combining traditional medicines plus modern scientific testing.
Over 30% of individuals experience insomnia in their life, but only around five per cent have prolonged insomnia. Short-term insomnia is commonly caused by such things as stressful life events, jet lag from international travel, changes in sleeping environments, some acute medical illnesses and stimulants such as coffee or medication. Normal sleep improves once the short-term cause is removed or changed.
If an individual has experienced insomnia for 4 weeks or more, this is called persistent or chronic insomnia. There are many causes of chronic insomnia. These can be grouped into different types.
- Secondary insomnia – due to a disease or medical problems such as muscular skeletal pain as in fibromyalgia. It could also be a result of chronic drug and alcohol use
- Primary sleep disorders – include circadian rhythm disorders (eg SAD), sleep apnoea or restless legs syndromes. These conditions respond well to naturopathic support with amino acids and herbal medicine support to assist neurotransmitter function and replenish nutritional reserves.
- Idiopathic insomnia – sleeplessness without a known cause. Naturopaths would investigate further with functional pathology testing or a comprehensive consultation to attempt to identify the underlying cause.
The Cura clinic helps people with a wide range of conditions and usually there is some component of insomnia. There might just be some poor quality of sleep involved with a patient’s case, but nonetheless, sleep quality is an important component of health.
Insomnia treatment has become a more common in the 21st century with an increase in number of insomnia patients finding it hard to sleep. Insomnia is the condition of sleepless nights and can be termed sleep onset or during sleep. Treatment is important because insomnia can lead to several complications in the physiological and psychological balance of a person as getting rest is important for the well-being of everyone.
Insomnia Support with Herbal or Nutritional Medicine
Insomnia treatment will differ according to the treatment method you choose. Most of the medicinal systems such as conventional medicine, psychotherapies, alternative medicines, traditional medicines, natural remedies and home remedies, suggest effective treatment and a cure for insomnia. The majority of insomnia treatment methods try to identify the underlying reason for insomnia such as work anxiety or neurotransmitter imbalance.
Deficiencies in melatonin or GABA for example can contribute to sleeplessness. Both Herbal medicine and Nutritional medicine can be used to balance these neurotransmitters.
Battling insomnia can be challenging and the more you worry the harder it might be. The more you can avoid thinking about each night, the better. The following tips are essential to a good nights sleep-
- Try to develop a relaxing routine before bed such as a hot bath or time meditating quietly
- Go to bed at the same time each night
- Only go to bed when you are tired
- Avoid naps during the day
- Limit the number of stimulants such as cigarettes or caffeinated drinks during the day and especially evening
- Avoid exercising strenuously before bedtime
- Switch the television and computer off early and avoid use several hours before bed
- Get up at the same time every morning and avoid sleeping in
Herbal remedies are commonly used instead of the pharmaceutical medicines for insomnia. Some common herbal remedies include Californian Poppy, Dogwood, Passion flower, Hops and Valerian root. The scientific studies have proved that many of these herbs contain certain alkaloids that can stimulate the neurotransmitters and hormones, controlling the sleep. In insomnia treatment, herbs can be used in different forms such as decoctions, herbal tea and dry powder.
Contact the clinic for more information or to speak with a naturopath.