“What hath night to do with sleep?” (John Milton, Paradise Lost)
People visit me with almost every ailment possible – but one thing comes up again and again, and that is insomnia. It’s rarely the problem people come to see me with but it’s often there, accepted, tolerated and coped with. We are all different and we all function well on different amounts of sleep but one thing is proven and that is, that as our sleep improves, our health improves – so it seems to me that it really is worth improving our sleep.
If you’ve ever had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because of stress and worry, then you’ve experienced the connection between anxiety and insomnia. Stress or anxiety is the number one cause for sleep problems and as we can’t live stress free lives we need to solve the problem without stepping out of life. Ironically of course, a good night’s sleep will doubtless help us deal with whatever stresses or anxieties we have!
Just this past couple of weeks I’ve also seen people with different reasons for being sleep deprived – I’ve seen young mothers who’s baby’s are keeping them up for long hours, older women, woken up by hot flushes, people being woken with pain or breathing problems – and I’m sure there are many other reasons why we may not feel we can get a good night sleep.
If you’ve had chronic sleep problems you will doubtless have heard, and tried out all the excellent advice available such as avoiding caffeinated drinks or alcohol later in the day, avoiding exciting games or TV programmes late at night, sleeping in a darkened room, using lavender, drinking Chamomile tea… and the list goes on. There is so much good information available to us now, and some of these things will help to some extent, but what if you’ve tried them all – and sleep still does just not come?
The good news is that homeopathy can and does help with insomnia – and you can try it yourself at home. If you have other health concerns it really would be better to visit a homeopath and get an individualised remedy to help you all round, but if you just want to try and see if a homeopathic remedy can help your sleep and break the pattern of insomnia these are my favourite ones:
1. Passiflora 30. A good all round remedy for insomnia, especially if you’re worried or overworked.
2. Coffea-cruda 30. Especially helpful if you’re anticipating a big event or performance.
3. Ignatia 30. For any emotional upset, especially grief, the keynote being that you lay awake wondering what to do, where to go, what to say.
4. Kali-phos 30. Especially useful if your mind is at work and you can’t switch off.
5. Aurum 30. This is a remedy associated with severe depression, it might help if pain is behind your insomnia or if you’ve had a devastating medical diagnosis.
6. Calcarea-carbonica 30. A good remedy for children who can’t sleep, especially if they have nightmares of monsters. An adult may be helped by this remedy if their insomnia is caused by going over and over their problems, ‘if only I’d said this’, or ‘if only I’d done that.’
Please do note that a qualified homeopath can prescribe one of these, or a different remedy with a lot more certainty after getting more details from you, and so can prescribe a higher dose; but if you feel that any of those may help you, it really is worth trying one per night for a few nights. If after 3 nights you have not noticed any improvement then the remedy is wrong and you should not repeat.
You can buy some of these remedies over the counter in pharmacies, but others must be obtained from your homeopath or from a homeopathic pharmacy. If you would like any further advice please call me on 01626 201107.