By Dr. Jasraj Jaswal, ND
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder experienced by two-thirds of all adults in a given year. Inability to stay asleep, taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep or waking up feeling unrested, is characterized as insomnia.
Insomnia can affect social functioning, physical health and mental health.
Many people have to take sleep medication daily to get a few hours of sleep at night. They still feel fatigued the next morning. In this case, the root cause of the insomnia is not being addressed. By treating only the symptom, the patient might rely on sleep medication for the rest of his or her life.
There are many things that can be done naturally to improve insomnia.
#1 - Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene routines are foundational for good sleep and requires commitment to follow everyday. Here are some sleep hygiene suggestions:
Try sleeping in a completely dark room using room darkening curtains or an eye cover
Keep the bedroom temperature cool between 15-20°C
Have a light snack with protein before bed
Be consistent with a fixed bedtime and waking time
Avoid alcohol and caffeine at least 4-6 hours before bed
Read, meditate or take a warm bath before bed
#2 - Melatonin
Melatonin is a popular supplement to aid with sleep. It is naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain and it regulates and establishes circadian rhythms. Melatonin production can decrease with age but it can also be found to be low in younger people. Supplementing with melatonin at the right dose may help insomnia in certain cases.
#3 - Acupuncture & Herbal Remedies
Acupuncture and herbal remedies such as valerian and passionflower have also been shown to be effective in some cases of insomnia. A thorough case history is important to identify the root cause of your insomnia.
Naturopathic Doctors look at the "Big Picture" affecting your health.
There are many root causes for insomnia and it is important to develop a personalized treatment plan to help treat your insomnia and help you get your life back.
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