By Andy | February 25, 2013 - 1:10 pm - Posted in Insomnia, Sleepy-Foods

Anti-insomnia drugs are medicines that help people fall asleep or stay asleep. Before starting any natural remedies, consult your doctor. Chronic insomnia can itself be a symptom of another condition, such as depression, heart disease, sleep apnea, lung disease, hot flashes, or diabetes, so it’s important to see a doctor if you are having trouble sleeping.

Here a few natural remedies that are used to treat insomnia:

– Melatonin

Melatonin is a popular remedy to help people fall asleep when the sleep/wake cycle has been disturbed; such as in shift workers or people who with jet lag.

Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body. The pineal gland in the brain makes serotonin which is then converted into melatonin at night when exposure to light decreases.

Melatonin is typically taken about 30 minutes before the desired bedtime. Some experts caution that melatonin should not be used by people with depression, schizophrenia, autoimmune diseases, and other serious illness. Pregnant and nursing women should not use melatonin.

– Valerian

Valerian is an herbal extract. It is one of the leading natural supplements for managing anxiety and insomnia. Some limited findings show that valerian may reduce the time needed to fall asleep and may improve sleep quality. Unlike the benzodiazepines, most people feel no morning grogginess after taking valerian. Other findings were not as promising. They showed that when compared to a placebo, valerian didn’t relieve anxiety or insomnia any better than the placebo.

– Kava

Kava kava is an herb that is used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It has been traditionally used on children to who are overactive to calm them somewhat and on people who cannot sleep in order to relax them and give them a feeling of peace. It is a sedative similar to alcohol in some respects and in large doses can cause intoxication. It can also be taken for social anxiety but only as a short term remedy.

– Right Diet

Cut out caffeine

Caffeine can have a pronounced effect on sleep, causing insomnia and restlessness. In addition to coffee, tea, and soft drinks, look for hidden sources of caffeine such as chocolate, cough and cold medicine, and other over-the-counter medicine.

Avoid sweets

Although sugar can give a burst of energy, it’s short-lived and can cause uneven blood sugar levels. This can disrupt sleep in the middle of the night as blood sugar levels fall.

Eat foods that help you sleep

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin. Carbohydrate snacks such whole grain crackers before bedtime may help to promote sleep. Just be sure to stay away from sweets.

Eat magnesium-rich foods

Magnesium is a natural sedative. Deficiency of magnesium can result in difficulty sleeping, constipation, muscle tremors or cramps, anxiety, irritability, and pain. It has also been use for people with restless leg syndrome.

Home Remedies for Insomnia

There are a number of natural remedies that you can find at home which often help with insomnia. Many work very well to induce relaxing sleep. Here are just a few:

A hot bath with lavender oil and a warm drink such as warm milk or horlicks, cocoa or ovaltine

Spray oil of soothing and relaxing lavender on your pillow at night.

Fill pillow covers with herbs such as lavender, peppermint, rose leaves and lemon verbena for a good night’s sleep.

Enjoy a soothing foot bath and massage your feet with aromatic foot or body lotion/cream. Peppermint foot cream is excellent!

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