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Insomnia is a sleep disorder wherein an individual is unable to fall asleep or stay asleep for long. Insomnia can be of two types – primary and secondary. Primary insomnia refers to the actual disorder of sleeplessness which is not associated with any other medical condition. Secondary insomnia, on the other hand, is disturbed sleep or absence of sleep due to the presence of an underlying medical condition. Secondary insomnia could be acute (lasting for less than 6 weeks) or chronic (lasting more than 6 weeks) in nature.

While the exact cause of insomnia is not clear, many risk factors have been associated with sleep problems. Stress continues to be the most common cause of primary insomnia. An individual battling mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or other severe mental illnesses may develop secondary insomnia. Secondary insomnia may also be caused due to respiratory diseases, brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, hormonal issues and as side effects of certain medications. Excessive and regular intake of caffeine, alcohol or tobacco; occurrence of a traumatic event; noise disturbances; and pregnancy are some other factors that may induce insomnia.

The common symptoms of insomnia include sleeping only for short periods of time, waking up too early and abruptly, inability to fall asleep despite tiredness, feeling as if one has not slept at all, and headache on waking up.

Insomnia is usually diagnosed by inquiring about the symptoms and sleep habits. The individual may be asked to note his/her hours of sleep per day. This may involve keeping a sleep journal as well. In some cases, a doctor may do a polysomnogram test to monitor body functions during resting and sleeping.

The homeopathic approach for the treatment of insomnia involves linking the mental health with general symptoms to understand the root cause of the condition and then administering a natural treatment to alleviate it gradually and effectively. Remedies such as nux vomica, silicea and coffea cruda are widely used for treating insomnia. 

  1. Homeopathic medicines for insomnia
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for insomnia patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for insomnia
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for insomnia
  5. Takeaway
Doctors for Homeopathic medicine, treatment and remedies for Insomnia
  • Aconitum Napellus
    Common name: Monkshood                                                                                     
    Symptoms: This remedy works well for individuals who tend to have panic attacks and experience intense fear. It is mostly administered to elderly patients. The following symptoms are usually present in a patient who benefits from aconitum napellus:
    • Fearfulness
    • Persistent anxiety causing palpitations and restlessness
    • Heaviness in the head
    • Burning headache
    • Inflammation and itching of eyes
    • Aversion to bright lights
    • Watery eyes
    • Sensitivity to noises, irritation with music
    • Pain in the ears
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea along with fearfulness
    • A feeling of pressure in the stomach or the left side of chest
    • Tingling sensation in fingers
    • Frequent nightmares which interfere with sleep
    • Anxious dreams
    • Inability to sleep
    • Constant tossing and turning in bed
    • Restlessness while trying to sleep
    • Symptoms get worse in a warm environment and better in a well-ventilated area
  • Arnica Montana
    Common name:
    Leopard’s Bane
    Symptoms: This remedy works well for individuals who suffer from sleeplessness due to physical exertion and prefer solitude. The following symptoms are present in individuals requiring arnica montana:
    • Fear of being touched and fear of heights
    • Persistent nervousness
    • Confusion
    • Pain in the eyes while working
    • Vomiting blood
    • Pain in the left arm and limbs
    • Black-and-blue appearance of skin
    • Itching 
    • Restless while sleeping
    • Persistent dreams of death
    • Involuntary stools during sleep
    • Anxiety-provoking dreams during the night
    • Waking up suddenly from sleep
    • Feeling worse while moving and in a damp or cold environment
    • Symptoms improve on lying down
  • Cocculus
    Common name:
    Indian cockle
    Symptoms: This remedy is often administered to individuals with insomnia due to constant tiredness and who feel that they are too tired to sleep. Indian cokle helps to relieve the following symptoms:
    • Delayed comprehension
    • Profound sadness
    • Rapid speech
    • Vertigo
    • Nausea when sitting up, which gets worse in a moving vehicle
    • A feeling of emptiness in the head
    • Pain in eyes and facial muscles, in arms and shoulders, and while bending limbs
    • Stomach pain after meals along with an aversion to the smell of food
    • Cracking of knees on moving
    • Constant yawning
    • Drowsiness
    • Symptoms worsen with frequent loss of sleep, smoking, riding, during menstrual period or after any emotional disturbance
  • Coffea Cruda
    Common name: Coffee
    Symptoms: This remedy is mostly administered to individuals who are unable to sleep due to overactive thoughts, who constantly feel like weeping and people who have a habit of rapid and hurried eating. The following symptoms can be remedied with the help of coffea cruda:
    • Emotionally oversensitive
    • Intolerance to pain
    • Persistent headaches
    • Heaviness and congestion in the head
    • Buzzing in ears
    • Sensitivity to music
    • Hot flashes
    • Sweating on face
    • Toothache which becomes better with cold water
    • Palpitations
    • Sleeplessness due to overexcitement
    • Sleeplessness from excited imagination
    • Desire to lie down and shut the eyes but unable to asleep

A clinical study concluded administration of coffea crude is effective in improving mood and reducing tension in anxiety-sensitive subjects with a history of coffee-induced insomnia.

  • Ignatia Amara
    Common name: St. Ignatius bean
    Symptoms: This remedy works well in people who are introspective by nature and are persistently sad. They also avoid conversations. The following symptoms are usually noticed in patients who require ignatia:
    • Frequent mood swings
    • Deep grief and disappointment
    • Heaviness in the head which gets worse on stooping
    • Severe headache (gets worse on smoking)
    • Congestive headache that is triggered by anger
    • Pain in eyes
    • Twitching of facial muscles
    • Feeling a lump in the throat
    • Jerking of limbs on falling asleep
    • Sleeplessness due to sadness and grief
    • Itching in arms while sleeping
    • Constant yawning
    • Long dreams
    • Symptoms get worse with coffee or smoking
    • Symptoms improve by changing positions
    • Biting the inside of cheeks
    • Craving for acidic things
  • Kali Phosphoricum
    Common name: Phosphate of potassium
    Symptoms: This remedy is often recommended to individuals who experience sleep problems due to stress and mental exertion. The following symptoms can be remedied with the help of this medicine:
    • Irritability
    • Lethargy
    • Depression and persistent sadness
    • Memory loss and frequent forgetfulness
    • Restlessness and nervousness
    • Sensitivity to sunlight
    • Headaches in the morning across both temples
    • Inflammation and twitching of the eyes with blurred vision
    • Sensitivity in gums
    • Loss of appetite at the sight of food despite being hungry
    • Excessive craving for ice cold water
    • Sweating during meals
    • Waking up too early
    • Talking and grinding teeth in sleep
    • Tendency to sleep on the back
    • Having dreams which provoke anger
  • Nux Vomica
    Common name: Poison nut
    Symptoms: Patients who benefit from nux vomica may present with the following symptoms:
    • Extreme irritability
    • Aversion to loud noises, strong odours and bright lights
    • Avoidance to touch
    • Headache that is felt over the eyes
    • Intoxicated feeling that gets worse in the morning and with alcohol or coffee
    • Inability to sleep after midnight
    • Feeling drowsy after meals and in the early evenings
    • Having vivid dreams
    • Feeling better after a short nap
    • Skin feels hot to the touch
    • Backache which gets worse while lying down
    • Symptoms get worse after a meal and improve after sleeping
    • Trouble sleeping after 3 am.
  • Silicea
    Common name: Silica
    Symptoms: Silica can be helpful for individuals who report the following symptoms:
    • Lack of stamina
    • Fear of failure even before starting a task
    • Irritability and timidity
    • Children may always seem irritated and agitated
    • Persistent headache accompanied by nausea
    • Pain in the back of the neck which gets worse on exposure to cold air
    • Sensitivity to loud noises and mental exertion
    • Inflammation of the eyelids
    • Abdominal pain on exposure to heat
    • Pressure in the stomach region
    • Waking up suddenly with a hot and surging feeling in the head
    • Sleepwalking (especially noted in children)
    • Having anxious dreams
    • Disturbed or broken sleep with difficulty to go back to sleep after waking up.

Do’s

  • While taking homeopathic remedies, every attempt should be made to maintain personal and enviornmental hygiene. This is essential for a quick and effective recovery.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle by engaging in brisk exercise or yoga.
  • Wear comfortable clothes which do not stick to the body. This will help in keeping the body well ventilated. Opt for light and breathable fabrics like cotton.
  • Take a healthy and nutritious diet. (Read more: Balanced diet benefits)

Don’ts

  • Avoid processed and ready-to-eat foods. These are not only low in nutrition but also tend to contain high levels of salt and preservatives.
  • Avoid eating spicy foods or stimulating foods such as onions, garlic and asafoetida.
  • Refrain from foods which have high sugar content.
  • Avoid excessive intake of beverages such as coffee and tea.
  • Avoid the use of perfumes and room fresheners.

Homeopathic medications can be very effective in treating insomnia. Homeopathy does not approach insomnia with a definite remedy that will simply allow one to fall asleep. Rather, it focuses on the root cause of insomnia and reduces the underlying risk factors. This brings about a gradual and satisfactory improvement in sleep pattern.

A study conducted on young adults aged between 18 and 31 years found that homeopathic remedies significantly increased the sleep time in individuals battling coffee-induced insomnia.

In order to get the most out of a homeopathic remedy, it is best to be aware of one’s sleep pattern and other factors such as the thoughts one has in the waking state. This helps in picking the right remedy for immediate effect. 

A study conducted on 30 participants having chronic insomnia concluded that individualised homeopathic treatment with a single remedy worked better than placebo over time. Homeopathic medicines, when taken in prescribed doses at the right time were reported to be significantly helpful in improving the number of sleep hours. 

Homeopathic medicines are generally safe to use since they are derived from natural substances. These medicines are carefully and sufficiently diluted to suit individual needs and administered in controlled doses. A homeopathic doctor prescribes a specific remedy on the basis of individual symptoms and miasms. When taken under the guidance of an experienced doctor, these remedies have the least possible side effects can effectively help in alleviating disease symptoms.

Insomnia and sleep disturbances can be particularly frustrating because a restful sleep is crucial for a person to function at his/her best potential. Apart from producing symptoms such as fatigue and headaches, insomnia can affect one’s ability to carry out everyday activities by affecting concentration and thinking skills. Homeopathy offers a holistic and effective set of remedies which not only improve insomnia symptoms but also prevents them from recurring. 

Dr. Ram Kumar

Dr. Ram Kumar

Homeopathy
11 Years of Experience

Dr. Ajit Prasad Singh

Dr. Ajit Prasad Singh

Homeopathy
10 Years of Experience

Priyanka Gupta

Priyanka Gupta

Homeopathy
6 Years of Experience

Dr. Varun Kapadia

Dr. Varun Kapadia

Homeopathy
2 Years of Experience

References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Insomnia.
  2. Office on Women's Health [Internet] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Insomnia.
  3. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Insomnia.
  4. Iris R. Bell. et al. Effects of Homeopathic Medicines on Polysomnographic Sleep of Young Adults with Histories of Coffee-Related Insomnia. Sleep Med. 2011 May; 12(5): 505–511. PMID: 20673648.
  5. British Homeopathic Association. [Internet]. United Kingdom. Insomnia.
  6. Naudé DF. et al. Chronic primary insomnia: efficacy of homeopathic simillimum.. Homeopathy. 2010 Jan;99(1):63-8. PMID: 20129178
  7. National Center for Homeopathy. [Internet]. Mount Laurel NJ. Aconitum napellus.
  8. William Beoricke. Homeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing. Médi-T 2000, Volume 1.
  9. University of Michigan. [Internet]. Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. 1817; For Insomnia, Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Before Medication.
  10. National Center for Homeopathy. [Internet]. Mount Laurel NJ. Coffea cruda.
  11. Brooks AJ. et al. Forsch Komplementmed. 2010 Oct;17(5):250-7. PMID: 20980764
  12. National Center for Homeopathy. [Internet]. Mount Laurel NJ. Kali phosphoricum.
  13. British Homeopathic Association. [Internet]. United Kingdom. Silicea .
  14. Wenda Brewster O’really PhD. Organon of the Medical art. 1st edition 2010 , 3rd impression 2017, pg 227, 228 and 229, aphorisms 259, 261 and 263.

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