Insomnia and Homeopathic Treatment Dr.Vikas Sharma
A few decades ago sleep was thought to be an insignificant activity in our daily life. But with recent advances in medical research, we now know that it is an active process and affects our physical and mental health in many ways.
Sleep is extremely essential for our nervous system to work properly. Some experts believe that sleep is more important for our nervous system. Unlike other organs, the nervous system cannot replace the neurons (nerve cells), so it shuts down during sleep and gives neurons (nerve cells) time to repair and remove the byproducts of their cellular activity.
A good sleep is not only defined by the hours one sleeps but by the quality of sleep too. An individual is said to be suffering from insomnia (sleep disorder characterizing inadequate sleep) when one or more of the following are present: difficulty in falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night with difficulty in returning to sleep, waking up too early in the morning, unrefreshing sleep.
Insomnia can be classified as transient (short term), intermittent (on and off) and chronic (constant). Chronic insomnia can result in a combination of physical and mental disorders. Depression is the most common cause, although physical causes such as night pains caused by arthritis, kidney and heart disease, restless legs syndrome, Parkinson’s disease and hyperthyroidism can also be the causative factors for insomnia. In addition, some other factors also have a role in insomnia: excessive caffeine (tea, coffee) intake, taking of alcohol before bedtime, smoking cigarettes before bedtime, disrupted sleep schedules and excessive sleeping in the afternoon. At times it is the worry of having difficulty in sleeping that causes it. Though insomnia is found in both sexes, it seems to be more pronounced in women after menopause. It is also more in the elderly
Whereas the conventional system treats this disease by giving drugs to induce artificial sleep, which frequently may cause side-effects or addiction, the homoeopathic approach is totally safe and natural. It treats insomnia by giving a tiny dose of a substance that in large doses may cause sleeplessness in a healthy person. This tiny dose helps in optimising the sleep regulatory mechanism in the body.
Coffea Cruda is a homoeopathic medicine that is most often used for treating insomnia of acute origin. As the name suggests, it is made from coffee beans. It is indicated when insomnia is due to the mind being overcharged by an excessive inflow of thoughts and ideas at the time of sleep. Nux Vomica is more suited when insomnia is due to the abuse of stimulants, e.g. alcohol, coffee, smoking, etc.
Chronic insomnia needs to be treated according to the cause and also evaluated on the constitutional scale. The high efficacy homoeo-treatment for depression needs a special mention as it is the most common cause for chronic insomnia.
The underlying cause: The key is to find out what’s causing insomnia so that it can be dealt with directly. Simply making a few changes in the sleep habits helps many people.
Set a schedule: It is important to set a schedule for sleeping. Sleeping and waking according to a set schedule can help in overcoming insomnia.
Relaxation: Make restful activities a part of your bedtime habits. Any activity – such as bathing, reading and music – which relaxes you should be made a bedtime ritual.
Regular exercise: Set a regular exercise schedule, and for maximum benefits exercise 5-6 hours before sleep time.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine: Caffeine drinks – coffee and tea – should be avoided after evening hours. Alcohol and smoking before bedtime should be completely avoided
Wake up with the sun: Make sure that you get up with the sun. Let enough sunlight enter your bedroom in the morning as sunlight helps set the body’s internal biological clock each day.
Don’t lie in the bed awake: If after 30 minutes of lying in the bed you are not able to sleep, it is better that you do something else till you feel sleepy.