Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Holistic Cures for Insomnia

Holistic Cures for Insomnia

You Are Not Alone

 Holistic Cures for InsomniaChronic insomnia and other sleep disorders are a serious matter. Insufficient sleep results in slowed thinking, impaired reaction time, and weakened immune system. When one is extremely tired and drives a car or attempts to operate machinery, the chances of having an accident greatly increase. Trying to get through the day in a state of total exhaustion is like wading through molasses – and as the nights of low sleep stack up, the cumulative effect can put one’s whole life on hold.

Sleeping pills (sedatives) can have side effects such as dizziness, headaches, digestive problems, and stomach pain. Someone with chronic insomnia would do well to look into any natural or holistic solutions to the problem. Some recommended remedies include:

  • Walk. Get out; get some fresh air and look around your environment. Many with office jobs do virtually no walking on a daily basis. The point of taking a walk is to get “out of your own head” and put your attention out into the world at large.
  • Exercise. Vital – in fact, indispensable – not just for sleep but overall health. You want to get your cardiovascular and respiratory systems working. If you are lying in bed and cannot sleep, your body may be telling you it has not gotten enough activity and needs a workout. Exercise also releases endorphins – hormones that calm the body and mind.
  • Hydrate. You’ve got to drink plenty of water no matter what.
  • Avoid caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and tobacco. All these can act as stimulant or depressant depending on how much you take and your tolerance. They can affect your sleep/wake cycle – particularly in the 3 hours before you go to bed – and are addictive to one degree or another.    
  • Tryptophan and melatonin. Our bodies operate on 24-hour cycles (some say 25-hour) called circadian rhythms, which are regulated by the hormone melatonin. These rhythms could also be described as your “biological clock.” Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the body ultimately converts to melatonin. Both tryptophan and melatonin are available as supplements and are known for their relaxing effects.
  • Calcium and magnesium. These are available in powder form. You make a hot drink that relaxes muscles and soothes joints.
  • B-Vitamins. In addition to the physiological benefits, the full gamut of B-vitamins is known to reduce such things as anxiety and depression that may be influencing your sleep.  
  • Proper diet. In addition to laying off the java, doughnuts, booze, and cigarettes, try eating right. Avoid fast food, fried food, and heavily processed foods. Eat whole grains, organic meats, fish, poultry, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Overloading your body with chemicals and additives is like powering your car with the lowest grade fuel known to man. Eventually, your engine sputters and stops. This may not immediately affect your sleep, but is an excellent base to cover no matter the circumstance.
  • “Sleep foods.” There are foods known to contain tryptophan and other compounds that induce relaxation. These include bananas, grapefruit, dates, figs, almonds, herbal tea, raw honey, yogurt, oatmeal, rice, flax seeds, tuna, and turkey.Barring allergies, give them a try.    

 Life Outlook

Many people suffering from insomnia lay in bed with their minds racing about all sorts of things. They can’t really relax due to the thoughts rolling around in their heads. To change your mental outlook, a good place to start is to write down all your incomplete tasks. Write them all down – from the smallest job to the most formidable barrier you have yet to overcome. Once you have the list, start getting jobs DONE. You can start with the small easy ones and work your way up. This has the effect of grabbing all those “airborne ideas” and pulling them down into physical form. From there you can pursue all manner of methods to improve your lot in life and go to bed in a better state of mind.

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3 Comments

  • Amanda

    Insomnia is one of the worst things that can occur. I mean sure there are worse, but when you can’t sleep the days are long and more difficult to handle. You also most go crazy and life seems distorted. It can be very bad for a person. But wow look at all these great ways to handle insomnia. I have had so many people that I knew have trouble sleeping or not able to sleep and I knew some of these but not all. It is pretty amazing to me that there are so many available remedies to help someone. I think a lot of times people drink so much caffeine or have so much sugar that they feel that it does not affect them when they cannot sleep. But sure they have been able to sleep before when they had coffee before bed, but that does not mean that it can occur every time or that it would not effect their sleep. I also do understand that if you cannot sleep and you have to work the next day it is hard to not have coffee! This article is great!!

  • Walter

    Insomnia sounds like something that is not a lot of fun to deal with. There is a lot to be said about what sleep depravation has as an effect on the body. It is interesting to think that there can be so much damage to the normal cycles of the body based on diet and exercise. I can see that there are some definite good things in this article to keep in mind if you are suffering or know someone who is suffering from insomnia. What I think I find most interesting is that most people are looking at treating insomnia with drugs that in themselves are very dangerous. I remember hearing about the drug Nuvigil or something like that, I am not sure if the spelling on this. But I remember looking for the different side effects and one of them is insomnia as well as homicidal and suicidal thoughts. This is just appalling that there would be something that would be prescribed to handle this condition with these side effects. I like what is noted about the tryptophan and melatonin. I did not know that these were amino acids that were vital to the body. I thought tryptophan was the stuff in turkey that just made me tired every thanksgiving from eating too much. It makes sense that it directly has to do with the type of things are needed to regulate the body’s sleep cycle. I also know that it is also having to do with the amount of exercise. That is one aspect that I do know makes a huge difference in getting the regulating of the body back into a normal frame of work. There is a lot of different things that can make a difference. In looking at all of the people that are sitting there struggling with this it is a difficult thing to see that there are so many drugs that are out there being used to treat this. They really do not do anything in terms of helping the person. I like that this article gives a lot of different holistic approaches to handling insomnia, it really is a huge problem that needs to be handled for anyone to live with any kind of a quality of life. That definitely is something that is not needing to be handled with a drug. I think that anyone who is struggling with this should read this article as it is very helpful and will do a lot to help them.

  • Amanda

    There is a lot of people that have said that there is no cure for insomnia. There is not a lot that I know about insomnia, but it does not sound like a good condition to be afflicted with. There is not a lot of good that comes from having insomnia, and I think that there is a lot of good information here that has to do with what seems to be effective means of handling this condition. Getting exercise and taking vitamins is a much more effective handling. There is no fast cure for this condition. It takes dedicated work and effort to handle that. This is the angle that I think drug companies go with. They are looking for the pill that can handle everything, when in fact that is not the angle that will be effective, but will just lead to more and more problems. It is something to see that there are ways to holistically handle this condition. I have had times where I was struggling with sleep and I can vouch that exercise does a lot to handle the restlessness. It does not handle everything by itself, but what I have seen is that when there are other conditions affecting the body, then it can cause these types of side effects to go into effect. I think that it is interesting that tobacco products and alcohol can have a negative effect on the body, and in fact that is something that I have experienced. They also have the effect of burning up the naturally occurring vitamins in the body that lead to the regular and healthy function of the body.

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