Dealing with insomnia

A sleepless situation…

Many people experience sleep problems at some point in their lives.

For some, insomnia might be an occasional short-term problem associated with specific events such as an exam or job interview.  The difficulty may be in getting to sleep, waking frequently during the night, or waking in the early hours and not being able to get back to sleep again.

For others, it can be a regular issue they have learned to live with, or perhaps manage with sleeping tablets or other medications. In those who are more prone to sleep problems, there may be a long-term susceptibility without an obvious cause, or there may have been a past event or circumstance that caused the original problem.

Although the event is in the past, insomnia may persist, sometimes for many years. Original causes might include emotional trauma such as relationship breakdown or bereavement, or a stressful job.

Your 7-point checklist for better sleep    

If you suffer from insomnia, it is worth looking at practical measures first, before considering medical solutions, either conventional or homeopathic. The following measures may be beneficial:

1. Light

Even small amounts of light in your bedroom can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, by interfering with the pineal gland’s production of melatonin. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible, and turn off light-emitting technologies (TV, tablet, phone, etc) well before bedtime.

2. Temperature

A cool bedroom is also more conducive to sleep – ideally 60 – 68 degrees, as this mimics the body’s lower internal temp during sleep.

3. Electromagnetic fields

Electromagnetic fields disrupt melatonin production so move alarms and other electrical devices as far away from your head as possible.  Keep mobiles, wireless routers and phone bases out of the bedroom. 

4. Physical factors

Make sure you cut out caffeinated drinks later in the day and consider whether factors such as indigestion, physical pain and side effects of medication may be affecting your sleep.  

5. Exercise

Take some evening fresh air and exercise, especially if you are sedentary during the day.

6. Sleep routine

Decide on a time to go to bed and stick to it.  Take time to wind down – turn off the computer, listen to some music, read a book.

7. Relaxation and worries

Try meditation or relaxation techniques, and if there are things on your mind, keep a note pad by your bed.  Try writing down important thoughts that won’t go away – getting them off your mind and down on paper can really help.

You’re not alone: 1 in 3 people suffer from insomnia

Homeopathic remedies for insomnia

If practical issues don’t resolve the problem, consider homeopathic treatment as an option. 

Self-prescribing can be effective if the problem is short term and has an identifiable trigger.

If your insomnia is more chronic and long term, and with no clear cause, you will benefit from seeing a homeopath looking at the whole history and receive an individualised treatment plan.

The following are some commonly used remedies for insomnia, with the typical features of insomnia it will help. 

Choose the one that best fits your particular insomnia – homeopathy works by matching the symptoms you are experiencing to the symptoms of the remedy. 

1. Coffea

This is a homeopathic remedy made from coffee beans.  In homeopathy we recognise that ‘like cures like’ and the type of insomnia helped by homeopathic coffee is very much like the effect of drinking strong coffee if you are sensitive to it.

Best for:

  • Sleeplessness from an overactive mind
  • Nervous excitement and difficulty switching off
  • Acute senses – every little sound wakes you
  • Tendency to wake at 3am and cannot get back to sleep
2. Kali Phos

This remedy is made from the mineral compound potassium phosphate and has a strong affinity for the nervous system.  It is also one of the twelve substances used in Schuessler’s Tissue Salts (also known as cell salts).

Best for:

  • Sleeplessness from nervous exhaustion
  • Feel completely worn out but cannot sleep
  • Insomnia after a period of intense activity or mental strain, such as childbirth, or studying for important exams
3. Cocculus

This remedy is made from the plant known as Indian Cockle and is a remedy especially suitable for those who are carers or working night shifts and have become mentally and physically depleted.

Best for:

  • Sleeplessness from mental and physical exhaustion, typically brought on by night watching or caring for the sick
  • Sleeplessness with anxiety and restlessness
  • Accompanied by dizziness and twitching of muscles
  • May wake frequently during the night
How to take homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic remedies are safe and non-toxic for everyone to take, including children, with a few basic ground rules. 

As always, if you are concerned, you should seek professional help without delay. Self-prescribing homeopathic remedies is fine when your complaint is:

  • Of recent onset
  • Has a clear cause
  • There is no immediate cause for concern

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days it is advisable to seek help from a professional homeopath, who will be able to take your whole history into account and prescribe a more individualised remedy.

Choosing a remedy involves matching the symptoms you are experiencing to the symptom picture of a remedy.  Allthe listed symptoms need not be present, but what you are looking for is a match for the key features of your complaint to a remedy that shares them.

Take one tablet of the selected remedy in a 30c potency, making sure that only the person taking the remedy touches the tablet. Don’t swallow it down with liquid but allow to dissolve slowly in the mouth. 

For acute insomnia, try one tablet an hour before bed for up to a week.  If there is no improvement stop the dose and consider seeking professional help.

Please note: this is general advice and if you follow it, it’s at your own risk. There is no substitute for a face-to-face visit with an expert practitioner and if the remedies do not help then you should seek advice from a professional homeopath.

This self-care health hack is from Superfied expert in homeopathy, Karen Leadbeater

Find out more about the Superfied Way