Insomnia is as a symptom of a sleep disorder, characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity; it is specifically defined as “difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both” and it may result in inadequate quality or quantity of sleep. Persons that suffer from insomnia will eventually begin to feel less energetic from the lack of sleep which can lead to the inability to function in their normal daily activities; there will also be feeling of fatigue, moodiness, irritability, mental exhaustion, confusion and stress.
Persons that suffer from insomnia will experience one or more of the following
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Waking up several times in the night
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Inadequate rest despite the number of hours slept
Insomnia is categorized as: transient (where the insomnia lasts from a single night to a few weeks), intermittent, or chronic (where the insomnia occurs for a minimum of three nights per week in within a month or more). Chronic insomnia is further broken down into primary insomnia which means the condition is unrelated to any medical problem, and secondary insomnia which results from a medical problem.
Remedies for Insomnia
- Take a warm bath to relax the body just before retiring to bed. Use bath salts, or 1 cup Epsom salts and 1 cup baking soda, read a book or, listen to soft soothing music.
- Use massage
- Drink warm milk. The calcium in milk will help to soothe the nerves.
- Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Do not take naps after 3 p.m.
- Avoid taking naps during the days as the body will feel less tired or sleepy in the nights.
- Sometimes, insomnia is caused by being awakened repeatedly by loud noises. Often, the sleeper is not aware of what awakened them. Try sleeping in a quieter room, or wear earplugs
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and any other substances that work as stimulants once daytime is over.
- Sleep in a quiet, dark and cool room. Use a sleeping mask and earplugs to block out unwanted light and sounds.
- Have meals at least two to three hours before retiring to bed.
- Chamomile is said to have anti-anxiety, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic properties. Chamomile tea has mild sedative properties that will promote sleep.
- Hops herb is known for inducing sleep as well its ability to treat anxiety and indigestion. Prepare a mixture of two teaspoons fresh hops to a cup of boiling water, and let it steep for five minutes.
- Kava is herb that comes from the black pepper family. It is an analgesic, antiseptic, sedative, and mild euphoriant. In the case of insomnia kava relaxes the muscles and acts as a sedative.
- The root of the Valerian herb is used to treat restlessness and anxiety and overcome mild insomnia. Studies have shown that an extract of this herb can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep without changing the normal stages of sleep