Page down for: Natural Treatment Checklist. Factors causing sleeplessness. The sleep-obesity link; Benefits of sleep. Homeopathic Remedies for Insomnia.
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What’s Keeping Us Awake?
Although it seems you are the only person who is NOT asleep, you are not alone, and help is at hand. Researchers and authors talk of an ever increasing “epidemic of sleeplessness”, with 6 out of every 10 UK adults surveyed being found to be ‘sleep deprived’. A key link found was increased exposure to blue light from screens:
“Although any type of light stops you feeling sleepy, research has shown that light towards the blue end of the spectrum is especially effective at keeping you awake because it suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.” link
They suggest, for those who cannot switch off for the two or so hours before bed, amber tinted glasses that filter out blue light along with dimming the screen display.
Other causes of sleeplessness are hormonal imbalances unrelated to light exposure, and conditions that impact on hormonal balance such as stress, anxiety and fear. Individualized, holistic homeopathic treatment may rapidly resolve sleep issues caused by underlying imbalances.
When is it insomnia?
The expectation that we will sleep a straight 8 hours is a modern one. People used to have 2 sleeps and even visit their friends in the night, until late into the 1700’s. In modern times we may be more inclined to interpret natural, regular waking cycles as evidence of ‘sleeplessness’. Everyone wakes, but an inability to return to sleep may be the problem.
My current ‘sleeplessness’ problem is a common one! I sense there are not enough hours in a day. I try to extend them by going to bed later. In reality, I function less well the next day and don’t gain any time in the process. This is not insomnia, but a common thinking pattern that can lead to sleep deprivation & poor sleep habits: We tend to agree with the BFG, that we are wasting so much of our lives in sleeping ….
Sleep’s Great Payoff …
when we sleep our brains shrink back so that the lymph pathways are wider and toxins can be removed from the brain. This is recent research, and it shows why you feel hungover if you don’t get enough sleep. I might also explain why long term sleep deprivation can be deadly..
Lack of sleep is also linked to obesity because light, sleep, hormone production and fat/glucose metabolism are closely interlinked. We convert fat to glycogen to store in our muscles but we tend to do this in the first part of the night, from sundown to about midnight. Being awake late can cause us to lack glycogen supplies, and subsequently lack energy next day. We retain more of the fat that our bodies were expecting to use. We then run on blood sugar supplies more completely and need to raise the blood sugar … leading to sugar/carb craving, and a vicious cycle, potentially descending into insulin resistance.
The links between sleep deprivation, length of life and disease have caused the UK Government to seek to do something about it with a campaign aimed at informing people about the dangers of missing sleep. However, keep in mind that statistics regarding health and sleep are conducted across populations and insomnia is not directly equal to ill health. [This linked article is well worth a read if you need reassurance, and especially if you sleep little but are refreshed, or keep strange hours]. Some adults thrive, without health problems (even long term) on low levels of sleep.
Treat Sleeplessness Naturally … Checklist:
- Take a look at your stimulant intake. Coffee is an obvious candidate. In homeopathy it is used in medicinal form to cure sleeplessness as it can certainly cause it.
- Check your night time ‘blue spectrum light’ intake.
- Be sure that you use your sleeping area for sleeping and rarely for working, so that your brain expects to sleep in that space.
- If you are still struggling with sleeplessness, you probably have a problem that needs treatment. This problem may be stress & anxiety or hormone related. They can be one and the same thing as stress and anxiety impact on hormone balance also.
Homeopathy is used for rebalancing the body to enhance sleep. I’ve directly experienced it after losing sleep rhythms with my baby (who had sleep apnoea and wore an alarm at night). I was surprised and relieved by how fast it worked!
Remedies that are particularly suited to sleeplessness:
If you would like advice or homeopathic treatment, please contact me for a free 15 minute consultation to find out if homeopathy can help with your sleep disorder.
Arsenicum Album: Lying awake with restlessness, tossing and turning. Cannot lie still in bed – has to get up and wander around from restlessness. Can only sleep with head raised. Hard to fall asleep after waking. Anxiety, fear, or worry prevents sleep. Frequent starting or jumping which wakens from sleep. Sleeplessness from physical exertion. Worse after midnight. Better for: warmth; warm drinks.
Coffea: sleeplessness from rapid thoughts, active mind, physical restlessness, nervous energy, excitement, bad news. Very acute senses & wake with every sound, frequent startling. Palpitation. It is also a superb remedy for pain, particularly tooth pain.
Gelsemium Sempervirens: sleepless due to anticipatory anxiety or exhaustion. Dull and drowsy. Hard to get fully asleep. Worse for bad news or thinking about problems. Yawning.
Ignatia Amara: Intense, repeated yawning or frequent sighing. Sleeplessness from a recent disappointment or grief. Waking easily. Waking from the jerking of a limb. Itching of arms with yawning. Yawning produces tears in the eyes or threatens to dislocate jaw. Worse for: Coffee.
Lycopodium clavatum: Waking from hunger – must get up and eat. Restless sleep and anxious dreams with frequent waking. Feeling unrefreshed in morning. Unable to get comfortable in any position. Sleepy all day and sleepless at night from an active mind. Children who sleep all day and cry all night. Child wakes terrified with screaming – seems not to recognise anyone (sleep terrors).
Nux Vomica: Frequent yawning. Irritability from loss of sleep. Falling asleep before normal bedtime and then waking at 3–4am with alert and active mind and then falling asleep as daylight approaches, then waking with difficulty, feeling tired, weak, and not wanting to get up. Worse for: stimulants and narcotics. Sleeplessness from the excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol, or drugs (therapeutic or recreational). Sleeplessness from mental strain and stress or excessive study. Weeping and talking in sleep.
Passiflora Incarnata:Restlessness, exhaustion, and sleeplessness, from excessive work. Insomnia of infants and the aged. Convulsions with sleeplessness.
Phosphorus: Short naps with frequent waking. Frequent waking from feeling too hot. Sleeplessness from excitement or anxiety. Worse before midnight. Sleepy all day and sleepless/restless at night. Sensation of bubbling in blood. Worse lying on left side. Tend to be fearful.
Sulphur: Sudden waking, 2 – 5am unable to go back to sleep. Rush of blood to the head awakes. Difficulty in falling asleep from itchiness of skin or perspiration, constant flow of thoughts, headache, etc. Drowsy by day and sleepless at night. Worse for: becoming hot; atmospheric changes. Better for dry, warm weather.