Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects around 16 million adults in the UK alone. While many people are familiar with insomnia, not many are aware of the devastating consequences this common sleep disorder can have on people’s have and their lives.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is habitual sleeplessness whereby people struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia can be categorized as either acute or chronic. Acute insomnia is not usually something to worry about and is often caused by something happening in your life at the moment. This can be something like struggling to fall asleep the night before a big presentation. It is a short-lived episode that—while frustrating—is not dangerous.
Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, is sleep that is disrupted on an ongoing basis and affects sufferers on average three nights per week and lasts three months or more. There can be many reasons for chronic insomnia, including shift work, other clinical disorders, medications, or changes in the environment. Chronic insomnia can lead to other medical or psychiatric issues that can continue to affect the sufferer negatively.
Whatever type of insomnia you have, you’ll want to have a treatment plan in place to help you get back to long, restful, uninterrupted nights of sleep. Many people with insomnia fear a reliance on sleeping pills
, which can be habit-forming. This is why people are turning to alternative remedies to help ease their insomnia symptoms along with traditional treatments.
Here are three alternative insomnia treatments for insomnia:
Chamomile has long been used as a homeopathic remedy to help soothe people to sleep. German Chamomile
is best taken as a tea and is said to have a calming effect that can help ease people to sleep. This is especially beneficial when combined with a healthy sleep routine that can prepare your body for bed. Chamomile is generally considered safe. However, if you’re allergic to ragweed or chrysanthemums, it should be avoided.
Meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, can be very beneficial for people living with insomnia. A study found that people who practised mindfulness meditation for six weeks had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression symptoms at the end of the study than those who didn’t.
Mindfulness meditation can help people focus who tend to crawl into bed still worrying about everything that happened that day or everything they have to do the following day. Mindfulness meditation produces the opposite of the stress response in the body and allows people who practice it regularly to focus on the moment at hand and to control their body’s stress response.
Valerian root has been shown to help with the onset and maintenance of sleep, which is exceptionally beneficial for people with insomnia. Valerian root is commonly taken as a supplement in a pill form. It can be helpful as an aid to other health sleep habits; however, it can have some unexpected side effects
like headache, dizziness, and stomach pain and it can interfere with some other medications.
Before adding any supplements or alternatives medications to your sleep management program, be sure to talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you.