Insomnia: I know from personal experience how one can get into a cycle of poor sleep
As insomnia becomes more chronic, there is a feeling each night of apprehension on going to bed as you anticipate how long you’ll be lying there for. Inevitably, thoughts begin meandering around in random circles, retracing events of the day or lingering on something someone said that left an impression on you. This is not to mention the knock-on effects of drowsiness, inability to focus the mind, lethargy and heaviness.
Or maybe you can’t stop thinking about the exciting project you’ve got going on, or the same melody plays itself over and over again- the dreaded “ear-worm”?! Thoughts can be positive or negative and still keep you awake. Eventually you start wandering why you can’t just fall asleep and can’t help but feel envious of everyone else nodding off into peaceful dreams. Well, the reality is; you are not alone!
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Insomnia affects about a third of the population in the UK.
You might find it difficult to get to sleep initially, have trouble staying asleep, wake up too early, or just awake unrefreshed from a night of tossing and turning. It is often difficult to pinpoint an exact cause and there are likely to be several contributing factors, such as:
Eating late (especially rich, fatty food). This gives the digestive system a lot of work to do at the time of day when it is least active. The best times to eat a large meal is in the morning, up to midday.
Relaxing music or an audio book are great ways to help switch off your mind, especially if you have woken up and are finding it hard to get back to sleep. It can help to have something neutral to listen to; it will distract you from repetitive thoughts. I often use this technique, and set the audio book to switch off after 15 minutes. 90% of the time I have usually gotten back to sleep before it turns off.
Why sleep is so important! The rest and repair mode of the nervous system (the parasympathetic branch) becomes active during sleep, giving mind and body a chance to switch off and recuperate from the stresses of the day.
How can homeopathy help?
You can try using these well-known natural remedies to help you get to sleep more easily, or to help getting back to sleep after waking too early. For a more long-term approach, it is best to consult with a professional homeopath to find an individual remedy for you (this is called a constitutional remedy).
Use this remedy for insomnia where there is nervousness & restless anxiety with excitement of the imagination, flow of ideas, and fantastic visions preventing sleep. There is a great desire to lie down and to shut the eyes, without actually being able to sleep. Once finally asleep, there is frequent & sudden starting and waking.
This is a good remedy for insomnia in over-active children who wake up frightened from imaginary fears or visions. They may wake with convulsions and there can be loud moaning with sleep-talking & grinding the teeth. Eventually they become drowsy and fall into a deep sleep.
This remedy is characterised by very restless sleep with fearful dreams of robbers, thieves or stealing. There is a feeling of constant drowsiness in the evening with much yawning followed by insomnia with a great deal of agitation, teeth-grinding, tossing & turning and jerking of the limbs on the point of going to sleep. Sleep is very un-refreshing and light; the slightest noise is heard, and there can be extreme temperature fluctuations. Dreams are anxious, horrible, lively and angry and there is great difficulty getting back to sleep after waking.
Papaver somniferum (opium)
This remedy is very helpful for insomnia from slight noises, where the bed feels too hot and there is moaning and jerking of limbs in sleep. There is great sleepiness on reading or concentrating, but once lying in bed there is an absolute inability to go to sleep. Once finally asleep it is filled with anxious dreams & nightmares or pleasant and fantastical dreams. Sleep is stupefying, and it is really hard to get up and out of bed in the morning.
In this remedy, there is anaggravation of general symptoms during or after sleep.The quality of sleep is lightwith frequent and easy waking, tossing & turning, groans &sighs, starts &fright. It may be helpful when sleep is impossible on the left side ordisturbed by vivid and constantly changing dreams, or even a sense of suffocation. Drowsiness and insomnia might alternate every two days. There is afeeling oflivelinessand talkativenessin the evening with great drowsiness by day, worseafter a meal.
Sleepless with nightly itching and muscular spasms from excitement, worse on waking. Disturbed sleep with tossing and anxious and confused dreams.
Insomnia that stems from mental or physical exhaustion or from cares and worries about loves ones or the family. This remedy is well-suited to worn-out people who care for others and work night-shifts. There can be an irresistible inclination to sleep in the morning with spasmodic yawning. Dreams are vivid, anxious and fearful. It may be useful for children who have a fear of ghosts that prevents sleep.
Drowsiness during the day, and early in the evening but then difficulty in falling asleep at night. Sleep is very light indeed; more like dozing than a deep sleep. Graphites may help where it is difficult to fall asleep before midnight on account of a rush of anxious thoughts and digestive problems. Eventually, a deep sleep arrives in the morning just as the alarm is about to go off. There may be dreams of death and fire and constant talking during sleep. It can also be a very good remedy for bed-wetting in children.
This page also has some good advice about insomnia.
This content was originally published here.