Natural and Safe Ways to Combat Insomnia
Insomnia is one of the most prevalent and pernicious psychopathological conditions around today. Insomnia is reported to billions in lost national revenue every year in the United States. The condition affects over fifty percent of adults according to the National Sleep Foundation’s study from ten years ago. This National Sleep Foundation study defined insomnia as the marked inability to fall asleep one or more nights per week. In the most general sense, however, insomnia is defined as sleeping difficulties. Importantly insomnia is viewed by experts as both an effect and a cause of many other psychiatric conditions. If left untreated, insomnia may lead to cognitive and memory problems, depression and irritability, and increased risk of cardiac issues. With these detrimental outcomes in mind, perhaps natural remedies offer a welcome and safe remedy to sleep disorders and insomnia.
Recent reports actually demonstrate that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is more effective than soporific pharmaceutical medication (e.g., benzodiazepines) long-term in controlling insomnia. The core lessons imparted within CBT for insomnia involve bolstering helpful sleep habits and eliminating false assumptions about sleep. For example, a therapist subscribing to the CBT model might suggest to her insomniac patient that performance anxiety about not being able to fall asleep is actually counterproductive to getting a good night’s rest. The therapist may then try to ameliorate the client’s problem by informing him about good sleep habits and ways to lessen performance anxiety.
Nature’s Cure: Melatonin!
Melatonin is actually a naturally occurring hormone that is released into the blood after being secreted by the pineal gland. In many ways, melatonin regulates circadian rhythms. That being said, poor somatic regulation of melatonin release can relate to circadian rhythm imbalances and sleep disturbances. Some people with sleep issues actually turn to over the counter forms of melatonin to help them achieve that full eight hours of rest. In clinical trials melatonin has shown equal effectiveness in forestalling sleep problems as prescription medications like zopiclone. Over time taking melatonin actually assists in resetting one’s circadian rhythms. In this way, melatonin could actually be a short-term treatment towards a long-term cure! Daily doses of melatonin normally range from one to three milligrams. Melatonin is ly non-toxic but a health care professional should be consulted before taking any supplement or medication.
An herb that’s received an increasing amount of attention is valerian root. Valerian root has been used for thousands of years and has demonstrated anxiolytic, pain reliever, sedative, and insomnialessening potential. Modern neuroscience research suggests that valerian root’s mode of action is through acting on GABA receptors in the brain. GABA receptors are ly relaxing, inhibitory neuronal sites. Interestingly Valerian also stimulates adenosine receptors. If there was one neurotransmitter associated with sleep it would be adenosine. Adenosine receptors, like GABA receptors, are inhibitory in nature and build up throughout the day to facilitate sleep at the day’s end. Because valerian works on both the GABA and adenosine system, and because of its non-toxic profile, it can be used by insomniacs looking to get back on the proper sleep schedule.
This article has outlined many ways to naturally combat insomnia and sleep difficulties. All of the herbs presented in this article have proven safety profiles. For those with more serious sleep problems, a combination of therapy and herbs may prove most helpful.
Jessica Jorgensen runs a sleep clinic and enjoys sharing tips on helping others conquer their sleep disorders. She recommends taking part in a sleep study to find out what your sleeping behaviors and problems are so you can come up with a solution. She also advices her clients to have a good health care program by logging onto www.healthinsurancequotes.org to keep health care affordable.