Natural Remedies For Anxiety And Insomnia
Discover the limitations of conventional treatments for anxiety and insomnia, and uncover the nutraceuticals that are proven to help patient recovery, with insights from Will Van Derveer, MD on
The rising prevalence of anxiety and insomnia in modern society
Statistics highlighting where the limitations of conventional treatment exist
How an integrative approach addresses the root causes of anxiety and insomnia
A go-to list of nutraceuticals to treat anxiety and insomnia
Dosing, side effects and contraindications of nutraceutical interventions
Case studies and research detailing the benefits of integrative methods
Natural Remedies To Cure Insomnia And Depression
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder faced by millions of people worldwide. So my friend Sound Sleep / Dreaming is important, jokes apart. It sounds like a minor sleeping disorder but it takes a toll on the health of a person.
Insomnia can affect your lifestyle. Deprivation of sleep makes you feel fatigued or low on energy throughout the day.
It can also affect your mood, and focus on your desired task. This is not all, insomnia can lead you to diseases like depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
The sleeping hours varies from person to person. Most adults require seven to nine sleeping hours per night. Rather than the number of hours you sleep, the important is the quality of your sleep per night. Your sleep needs also change as per your age. Many a time you have seen grandparents waking early or mostly you will find them wide awake at night that is because of aging.
Staying Active And Getting Physical Exercise
The mind and the rest of the body are not separate entities. Exercise and getting active is therefore one of the best things that anyone can do for their wellbeing.
A few hours a week of physical activity can make a difference. Staying active, by the way, doesnt mean hitting the gym four times a week or training for a half-marathon. Even a 20-mintue walk can help clear your mind and provide a new perspective on an otherwise stressful situation.
Staying physically active or going outside for a walk is one of the most natural and beneficial things anyone can do for a mental health condition. Its free and, best of all, you can set your own pace.
Don’t Miss: How To Snap Out Of Depression Fast
Spend Time Outside During The Day
Spending time in natural light during the day can help regulate your circadian rhythm. The internal biological clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle is influenced by light when theres less light at night, your body releases melatonin.
In the morning, the sun cues your brain and body to wake up. If youre spending all your time indoors in the dark, you might suffer from sleep problems. Regular exercise can also help with sleep issues, as well as depression, provided its not done immediately before bed.
Are Natural Sleep Aids And Remedies Safe
Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. Pre-market evaluation and approval by the FDA are not required for OTC aids, dietary supplements, or herbal products. The particular brand you buy may have inappropriate dosing. You may get less or more of the herb than intended, which could make it dangerous to use in treatments, especially for children or the elderly,
It’s important that you understand all about the natural sleep remedies you take. Know what you’re putting into your body and how to discern which natural remedies will enhance your health and which ones might increase your chance of illness. In addition, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of natural sleep remedies.
Also Check: Mood Disorder With Depressive Features
But The Benefits Of Morning Workout May Be Greater
Exercising in the morning may help you sleep better than working out in the afternoon or evening. In an unpublished study presented at the 58th meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, researchers at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, found that people spent 85 percent more time in light sleep and 75 percent more time in deep sleep when they worked out at 7 a.m. compared with working out later in the day. The authors arent sure why, but they believe early-bird workouts affect levels of stress hormones in a way that leads to better sleep quality later on. More research is needed to confirm these finding.
Treating Insomnia With A Better Sleep Environment And Routine
Two powerful weapons in the fight against insomnia are a quiet, comfortable bedroom and a relaxing bedtime routine. Both can make a big difference in improving the quality of your sleep.
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Noise, light, a bedroom thats too hot or cold, or an uncomfortable mattress or pillow can all interfere with sleep. Try using a sound machine or earplugs to mask outside noise, an open window or fan to keep the room cool, and blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light. Experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide the support you need to sleep comfortably.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends. Get up at your usual time in the morning even if youre tired. This will help you get back in a regular sleep rhythm.
Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. Electronic screens emit a blue light that disrupts your bodys production of melatonin and combats sleepiness. So instead of watching TV or spending time on your phone, tablet, or computer, choose another relaxing activity, such as reading a book or listening to soft music.
Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime. This includes checking messages on social media, big discussions or arguments with your spouse or family, or catching up on work. Postpone these things until the morning.
You May Like: How To Deal With Someone With Depression And Anxiety
The Best Foods And Drinks To Boost Your Brain Power
Medications used for depression and anxiety, for example, often work through serotonin receptors, most of which are found in the gut. Thats why Naidoo who is a prescribing psychiatrist, a nutritionist and a trained chef also gives her patients mental health advice from a food perspective.
Im not opposed to medications, I just think that nutrition is like having an additional piece of armor that you can fend off depression, anxiety and other symptoms, she told TODAY.
We all have to eat. Why not eat in a way thats going to help our brain?
Here is a sample of food-as-mental-health-medicine that may surprise you:
Can Melatonin Help Me Sleep
Melatonin may improve sleep. Scientific findings show that melatonin decreases the time it takes to fall asleep , increases feelings of “sleepiness,” and may increase the duration of sleep.
Melatonin has been used successfully for sleep enhancement in healthy individuals, as well as to reduce feelings of jet lag during global travels. This natural hormone is also being tested as a sleep aid with the elderly and other populations. In addition, studies are focusing on whether or not melatonin can help improve sleep patterns in individuals with depression.
Also Check: Depression A Teen’s Guide To Survive And Thrive
Stay Connected And Get Out More
Social connection is an almost universal need, yet 5.6 million Australians today are thought to experience loneliness.
Loneliness may well be the next public health crisis, in the same way that the obesity epidemic received public attention in recent decades.
Human connection is vital to our wellbeing. It overwhelmingly influences our outlook and there is strong evidence to suggest that it can affect physical health and even life expectancy.
Social connection is definitely a natural way to address conditions like depression and anxiety. Best of all, it could mean different things to different people: getting out more with a spouse or the kids, reaching out to friends and family, reconnecting with people, making a new friend, keeping up good relationships with neighbours, or even chatting to people while walking the dog at the local park.
Top Natural Remedies For Stress And Insomnia Relief
Struggling to get insomnia relief? Stress is very well at the root of it. Rather than take sleeping pills with various side effects, try these natural remedies for stress and insomnia relief.
- Insomnia is distressing and common.
- Salt therapy eases breathing issues, de-stresses you, and makes sleeping easier.
- Mindfulness meditation calms your mind and body to help you sleep.
- Exercise realigns your circadian rhythm, making winding down more natural.
Are you familiar with this common nighttime scenario? You lay down on your bed, ready to go to sleep after a hard days work. The minutes tick by and you begin stressing that you wont fall asleep anytime soon. You may be suffering insomnia and you are not alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , around 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. Many people out there are looking for insomnia relief. Insomnia can lead to poor concentration, anxiety, irritation, and even depression. These consequences often lead to decreased productivity and a lower quality of life.
Insomnia often leads to higher levels of stress and vice versa. Thankfully, you can get relief from insomnia. Although many resort to medications for insomnia and stress relief, several natural remedies can help you finally start getting a good nights rest. Lets discover three.
Heres a step-by-step guide to mindfulness meditation:
What Foods Help Fight Insomnia
Certain sleep-inducing foods such as walnuts, bananas, basil leaves, tart cherries, and yogurt can help you fight insomnia. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that improve the synthesis of melatonin in your body. Melatonin is the sleep-inducing hormone secreted by the pineal gland in your brain.
Why You Should Steer Clear Of Sleep Meds
Sleeping pills and other sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals can offer a short-term solution to a temporary bout of insomnia. And plenty of people use them. But often, prescription sleep aids come with unpleasant side effects like headaches, sore muscles, constipation, dry mouth, daytime fatigue, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and more. Add them all up, and theyre about as badif not worsethan your garden variety sleep deprivation.
Still, even if youre one of the lucky few who dont experience side effects from taking sleeping pills, you likely wont benefit for long. Most people quickly build up a tolerance to the sedative effects of sleeping meds. This either means that you have to take higher and higher doses to get the same effect, or they stop working altogether.
Taking sleeping pills is a lot like crash dieting. Sure, both might work in the short term. But if you want to up your odds of achieving longer, more restful sleep for a lifetime, youve really got to build healthy, pro-sleep habits.
Either way, it doesnt add up to a healthy sustainable solution. Taking sleeping pills is a lot like crash dieting. Sure, both might work in the short term. But if you want to up your odds of achieving longer, more restful sleep for a lifetime, youve really got to build healthy, pro-sleep habits.
Also Check: Can You Get Disability For Bipolar Depression
How To Use Natural Remedies For Insomnia
Sometimes the root cause of insomnia can be complex and involve hormone imbalances or adrenal dysfunction, and those cases will need to be corrected. But many people just need a little assistance, and thus, trying one of these 3 time-tested natural remedies for insomnia makes a lot of sense.
These natural remedies for insomnia are non-habit forming so youre very unlikely to become dependent or addicted to these therapies: There is little downside to trying one of these approaches and it might be just the thing you need to get a good nights rest.
- Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that helps regulate circadian rhythm. As we age, the amount of melatonin produced in our body decreases so the older we get, we are naturally inclined to sleep less. The use of melatonin supplements enables a person to fall asleep without feeling drugged and to remain awake and alert during the daytime hours, decreasing those excessive fatigue feelings. Melatonin is also helpful for people with jet lag or for those who work night shifts as it helps readjust the bodys sleep cycle. The dosage for melatonin is one 3 mg tablet one hour before bedtime.
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Insomnia
If you have insomnia, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Am I taking any medications keeping me awake?
- What changes can I make to sleep better?
- How does cognitive behavioral therapy improve sleep?
- How do I find a therapist?
- Could I have other sleep disorders like sleep apnea?
If you’re suffering from insomnia, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for help. They may offer tips for managing issues that interfere with your sleep. Many people with insomnia rest better after changing their diet, lifestyle and nighttime routines. Or they may also recommend medications or cognitive behavioral therapy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/15/2020.
Also Check: What Is Mixed Anxiety And Depressive Disorder
Move : Shoulder Stretches
Natural Insomnia Aids That Will Give You Sweet Dreams
Here are 11 simple, inexpensive sleep solutions that you may already have at home.
On the rare night when you actually crawl into bed at a decent hour, you stare at the ceiling, eyes wide open, mind racing, with a good night’s sleep feeling more like a distant dream with every passing second.
Youre not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a third of all American adults report experiencing one insomnia symptom a night. And about 10 percent of people suffer from chronic insomnia, which means they find it difficult to get enough shut-eye at least three nights a week, for at least three months.
Although some medications and health issues such as depression and hyperthyroidism can cause insomnia, a person’s anxiety, stress, diet, and age are also factors.
If you experience frequent insomnia, youve probably already tried the basics, like cutting back on caffeine and alcohol. Maybe youve also turned to the medications, luxury mattresses and pillows, white-noise machines, and other remedies that make up the $41 billion Americans spent on sleep aids and remedies in 2015, according to a report from BCC Research. But you might be wary, understandably, of relying on drugs.
But there are natural sleep remedies such as lifestyle changes you can turn to that are safe and effective. And experts say that behavior modifications are the better strategy, even if they may take time to have lasting effects.
Recommended Reading: Depressed No One To Talk To
Lavender For Sleep: One More Natural Insomnia Remedy
Several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of lavender for relieving sleep issues. A randomized controlled trial published in The Journal of Science and Healing noted the effects of lavender on college students with self-reported sleep issues.
The students were divided into two groups. One group received a lavender inhalation patch while the other group received a placebo inhalation patch for five consecutive nights. The results showed the positive impact of the lavender intervention on daytime energy and vibrancy along with improved nighttime sleep.
Another randomized controlled trial published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine compared the effectiveness of lavender and sleep hygiene vs. sleep hygiene alone.
During this study, a Fitbit tracker, sleep diary, and sleep quality were measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the NIH Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System sleep disturbance short form. After two weeks, the lavender group demonstrated better sleep quality. Additionally, the lavender group had a significant finding for waking up feeling refreshed.
After trying one of these natural remedies for insomnia, let us know how it worked for you leave us a note in the Comments section below. Wed love to hear if one or more of these remedies helped you finally catch some Zs!
Originally published in 2012, this post is regularly updated.
Home Remedies For Insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep. This leads to daytime fatigue, poor performance, tension headaches, irritability, depression, and various other problems.
Insomnia is generally of two types: acute and chronic. Acute insomnia is usually more common and lasts for days or weeks. Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, lasts for months or even longer.
There are a variety of causes including stress, anxiety, psychotic disorders, poor sleep habits, disruptions in sleeping environment, life changes, caffeine or other stimulants, chronic pain, breathing difficulties, and certain medical conditions such as arthritis, heart failure, acid reflux, and others.
It can also be a side effect of certain medications such as corticosteroids, alpha-blockers, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and more.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for insomnia.
Don’t Miss: Things To Do To Get Rid Of Depression
How To Use Herbs For Sleep
Though natural herbs are safe and dont usually have side effects, we recommend checking with your doctor before you start using any of them. Here are different ways to use herbs to promote sleep:
- Make some herbal tea by adding 1 tsp of herbs to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 20 mins, then strain and drink it. You can drink two to three cups of herbal tea in a day.
- Add herb-flavored essential oils to your warm water bath at bedtime to feel a calming effect, inducing sleep.
- Put a few drops of herbal oil on your hand and rub your palms together before smelling them.
- Massage herb-infused oil mixed with olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil on certain parts of your body such as your forehead, neck, chest, wrist, chest, hands, or feet. Your skin may be sensitive to an undiluted essential oil, so diluting it reduces the chances of a reaction.
- Add herb-infused essential oils to a pot of boiling hot water and inhale the steam coming out of it.
- Inhale the fragrance of natural herbs through aromatherapy candles.
- Consume herbal extract supplements, available over the counter in pharmacy stores. Read the dosage instructions on the label to know how much to take per day.