Food

10 Home Remedies for Insomnia

6.      Warm Milk Milk is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It’s been consumed by people throughout the ages, and is an ingredient… Elizabeth Lilian - April 12, 2017

6.      Warm Milk

Milk is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It’s been consumed by people throughout the ages, and is an ingredient in a wide variety of different foods like butter, cheese, cream, and yogurt. Milk is rich in high-quality proteins that can be separated into two different kinds, depending on their water solubility. Milk protein that is insoluble is called casein, and protein that is soluble is called whey.

Both casein and whey are high-quality proteins and contain large amounts of essential amino acids. Milk is full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B2 and B12, calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, iodine and potassium. Modern milk is often fortified with other nutrients like vitamin D and vitamin A. Milk also contains a sugar known as lactose, which can be problematic for people who are unable to properly digest it.

Thanks to the vitamins and minerals found in milk, it can support strong, healthy bones, reduce the risk of osteoarthritis, aid weight loss, build muscle, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve symptoms of depression, support healthy teeth, boost the immune system and prevent hypertension. Milk also contains L-tryptophan, the sleep-inducing amino acid also found in bananas.

L-tryptophan supplements are also available in order to provide an extra dose to counteract insomnia, however it’s best to get them straight from food and drink sources. To promote healthy sleep, just warm up some milk and drink it one hour before bed. For added flavor, mix a teaspoon of cinnamon, honey, vanilla or nutmeg in.

7.      Fenugreek Juice

Fenugreek, also known as methi, Greek clover, Greek hay, and bird’s foot, is a plant native to Southwest Asia, frequently used for medicinal and culinary purposes. The entire plant, known botanically as Trigonella foenum-graecum, can be used for different purposes: the seeds are used for spices, and the leaves can be either dried and used as herb, or used fresh like a vegetable.

Fenugreek is a common ingredient in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurveda, it’s used to induce labor and increase breastmilk supply. It’s also an effective treatment for indigestion, diabetes, respiratory disorders, fever, inflammation, wounds and ulcers. Fenugreek has antioxidant, carminative, expectorant and laxative properties, and contains a wide variety of essential nutrients like iron, copper, magnesium and manganese.

Fenugreek can aid detoxification of the body by cleansing the blood and stimulating the lymphatic system, and help relieve congestion. It’s also believed to have protective effects against some cancers, though more research is necessary. Fenugreek contains powerful phytonutrients like choline, niacin, thiamine, folic acid, trigonelline and diosgenin. It also contains L-tryptophan, making it an effective sleep aid.

Fenugreek can be ingested in many different ways, but the easiest way to use it to induce sleep is by juicing the leaves and drinking it. This can be done by thoroughly washing fresh fenugreek leaves in warm water and removing any roots, stems and flowers. Feed handfuls of leaves into a juicer until you have at least half a glass of juice. Fenugreek can taste quite bitter, so add some sweet fruit like berries, apples or bananas to make it more palatable.

8.      Valerian

Valerian, botanically known as Valeriana officinalis, is a perennial flower that has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. Native to Europe, valerian has been used to treat a variety of health issues like menstrual cramps, high blood pressure, anxiety, stomach problems and restless leg syndrome. It is also thought to reduce stress and even manage obsessive compulsive disorder.

The oil and root of valerian is most commonly used in treatment, and both are believed to hold sedative qualities. Acids found in valerian root are thought to be able to translate into gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a neurotransmitter that regulates and inhibits the activity of neurons in the central nervous system. Added GABA in your system is believed to lower stress levels and encourage relaxation, which can induce sleep.

Studies have found that valerian was able to reduce the time it took to fall asleep. It was also found that valerian has similar effects to prescription benzodiazepine medication, which is commonly used as a mild sedative, though more research is necessary before the full effects can be discovered. Valerian is generally thought to be a safe herbal remedy, but side effects can include apathy, drowsiness, dizziness, depression and stomach pain. It should be avoided if you are pregnant or nursing, as the risks of valerian during pregnancy and infancy has not been investigated.

To enjoy the sleep-inducing effects of valerian, you can grate a valerian root and mix a half teaspoon with another half teaspoon of nutmeg before adding to boiling water. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes or more before straining it out and drinking the water. Valerian supplements are also available.

9.      Hot Baths

For thousands of years, baths have been a very popular way to relax. They’ve been a common activity throughout many cultures, however they’re done in different ways. In Scandinavia, they take a quick dip in an ice-cold plunge pool after saunas, and in Japan, they frequent bath houses to wash away stress and fatigue, and calm the nervous system.

Taking a bath for therapeutic benefits is known as hydrotherapy, and it has many different health benefits like improving blood circulation, relieves sore muscles and stiff joints, lowers blood pressure, cleanses the skin, relieves headaches, and alleviates symptoms of flue and the common cold. It can also improve metabolism, elevate the mood, relieve skin conditions and calm arthritic pain.

Having a warm bath 60-90 minutes before bed can help induce sleep by raising your inner temperature and kick-starting the production of melatonin, which acts as a signal to the body to begin winding down, getting ready for sleep. To make it even more relaxing, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to further promote sleepiness.

Avoid taking baths that are too hot as it can bring on hyperthermia, a heat-related illness that happens when the body heats up to a dangerous degree. Always take a drink in with you so you remain hydrated, don’t soak for more than 20 minutes, and if you’ve got cardiovascular issues, it’s best to consult with your doctor beforehand.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples and has been thought of as a ‘cure-all’ for centuries, dating all the way back to Hippocrates, who was known to use it as a health tonic. It’s a popular treatment for a wide variety of things, like diabetes, heartburn, sore throat, weight loss and digestive health. It’s also a common ingredient in household cooking and cleaning.

Apple cider vinegar is believed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce dandruff, treat acne and balance the pH levels in the body. Organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar contains a ‘mother’, which is strands of protein, good bacteria and enzymes that look like cloudy pieces of jelly, but are hugely beneficial.

Drinking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before bed can trigger the release of L-tryptophan, and mixing it with honey can both enhance the taste and promote relaxation, as honey contains sugars that naturally produce serotonin, the hormone that can help relax us and improve mood.

Insomnia can be hugely detrimental to your health and wellbeing, and reduce the quality of life. However, it can be treated effectively in many different ways. It’s important to follow a sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day. This can help regulate your sleep cycle. Create a comfortable bedtime routine, avoid napping, especially in the afternoon, and try to stay away from caffeinated beverages from 2pm onwards.

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