Alternative Medicine for Sleep
Insomnia is a condition in which a person is not able to sleep during the night hours and is only able to fall asleep when the morning hour comes. A person with insomnia may also be able to fall asleep during the night hours but when sleep comes, they only sleep for a few hours. Insomnia can be a very frustrating condition that causes one to feel extremely tired, have an inability to focus and concentrate, and cause them to withdraw from social and work situations. There are many causes for insomnia. Some are psychological and when that is the case, the psychological cause needs to be treated and that in turn, will treat the insomnia. Other causes may be physical such as the body’s circadian rhythms (or internal clock) being irregular.
There is no conventional medicine for insomnia except for sleeping pills. Sleeping pills are not recommended as these can create a dependency on these drugs as well as cause more damage to the body by being on medication for a prolonged period of time. Instead, there are many alternative medicines for sleep problems and these are very safe and effective to use when treating insomnia.
Toe Wiggling and Stomach Rubbing
This alternative medicine for sleep problems may sound silly but it’s a very effective method for treating insomnia. To get ready for sleep, the body needs to be in a state of relaxation. Toe wiggling can help with this. To begin this process, start by lying on your back. Wiggle the toes of both feet simultaneously by moving them back and forth twelve times. This will help to relax the entire body due to the channels in the feet that contain energy that is connected to the body as a whole. When the toes are wiggled, the energy is sent through the channels to other parts of the body.
Stomach rubbing also helps with relaxation by calming the digestive system. To do this, lie on your back with your hands placed on the navel. Slowly begin to make clockwise circles, making the circles bigger and bigger with every turn. Once you have reached the sides of your stomach, repeat the pattern but going back towards the navel.
Herbs can also be used a powerful tool when used as an alternative medicine for sleep problems. Motherwort is perhaps the most commonly used for this purpose. Motherwort promotes sleep by helping to ease anxiety. St. John’s Wort is a common herb that is known to help calm the nerves. This will lead to the entire body moving into a more relaxed state and the individual being able to sleep better. Kava is another herb that promotes healthy sleep patterns. Kava holds antidepressant and sedative properties. Passion Flower is an herb that has been used for centuries to help with insomnia. Passion Flower relieves stress and the entire plant can be used for medicinal purposes. Valerian also helps to reduce stress and has calming properties that will help one sleep.
Light Therapy is a procedure that helps the individual to sleep by changing the body’s circadian rhythms. These rhythms tell the body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be awake. When the circadian rhythms are off balance, this can cause insomnia. The rhythms need to be “reset” before normal sleep patterns will begin again. Light Therapy involved the individual to be exposed to two hours of extremely bright light during the morning hours. During the evening and nighttime hours, they are then restricted to very low light. Often this will be done in a laboratory to ensure that the individual is receiving the proper amount of light at the proper times. This will restore the circadian rhythms and allow the individual to sleep.