INSOMNIA is commonly known as SLEEPLESSNESS. It is a sleep disorder where a person has difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep.
Clinically speaking, INSOMNIA can be ACUTE (Short term from 1 night till 3 weeks) Or CHRONIC (Lasting more than 3 nights a week for 3 months or more)
Insomnia is generally followed by feeling Sleepy during the daytime, low energy(fatigue), irritability, and depressed mood.
STATISTICS – A population-based study revealed that 30-50% of the worldwide population suffers from Chronic Insomnia. Women suffer from Insomnia more than Men.
83% of people who are suffering from depression, also have symptoms of Insomnia.
CAUSES – ACUTE Insomnia can happen because of STRESS due to a life event like losing a family member, trouble at the job, relocation, jet lag, etc.
CHRONIC Insomnia can happen because of: mental health issues like Depression and Anxiety.
Or When taking Medications of Allergy, cold, Blood Pressure or Asthma.
Or When there is an accompanying Hormonal problem like Hyperthyroidism.
Or with SLEEP DISORDERS like SLEEP APNOEA, RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome).
DIAGNOSIS- If you feel that you might be suffering from Insomnia, the Easiest way to diagnose is by Maintaining a SLEEP DIARY where you can keep a track of your every night “Sleep Patterns” and how you feel during the day.
When you visit a DOCTOR, whether ALLOPATHIC or HOMEOPATHIC, the preferred line of treatment is to Integrate Lifestyle changes Plus Medicine!
CONVENTIONAL/ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT – Allopathic Medicines that are generally prescribed for Insomnia are either
BENZODIAZEPINE SEDATIVES – a type of sleeping pills that are used to induce sleep for a long period of time like Ativan, Valium, Doral.
The side effects of these medicines are generally – Withdrawal symptoms, Daytime Drowsiness, Confusion, Memory impairedness.
NON BENZODIAPINE SEDATIVES – Generally referred to as the “Z drugs” such as Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien, Imovane.
These medicines or sedatives act on the GABA Receptors on brain. (GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of CNS).
The side effects of these drugs can be Increased risk of fractures and falls (https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/47/2/201/4564456) and even early deaths.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40264-015-0362-0.
As the conventional medicines is seen to cause many side effects, a lot of people are now trying Homeopathic remedies to get relief in Insomnia.
HOMEOPATHY believes in treating the person as a whole rather than treating a specific part of the body and so can be quite effective in relieving the Insomnia symptoms.
A few of most Popular Homeopathic Remedies used to treat Insomnia with characteristics and Indications are:
BELLADONNA – This remedy is characterized by Acuteness of all senses, Nervous temperament, flushed face, hyperesthesia of all senses, starting when closing eyes, or during sleep. A great remedy for Kids who are restless, crying out, and grinding of teeth while sleeping. (antidote – camp, Coffea, aconite & comp – calc carb).
COFFEA CRUDA – These people are generally Light sleepers with the unusual activity of mind & body. Nervous palpitations, Irritable, Excited people who have overflow of thoughts. SUITED to people who are tall, lean, stooping with a dark complexion. Sleep patterns are – Wakeful people who are on a constant move, sleeps till 3 am after which only dozing. Sleeplessness on account of mental activity. Great tiredness with a desire to lie down and shut the eyes but impossible to switch off mind & go to sleep.
HYOSCYAMUS NIGER- Suspicious, talkative, and maniac people. It’s a useful remedy for sleeplessness in children who are overactive and talkative. Children who twitch in sleep, cry out, tremble, and wake up frightened from imaginary fears or visions. Might wake up with Convulsions, loud mourning with sleep talking, and grinding the teeth. Eventually, they become drowsy and fall into a deep sleep.
ARSENICUM ALBUM – Disturbed, anxious, and restless sleep with dreams of robbers or being left alone. Sleep is light & unrefreshing. Wakened by the slightest of noise and difficulty going to sleep once awakened. Must have head raised by a pillow, feels suffocative at night & symptoms aggravate after midnight.
IGNATIA- Especially suited to females with nervous temperament, sensitive, easily excited nature, sighing & sobbing. Insomnia aftershocks, grief, and disappointment. Very light sleep, dreams continuing a long time hence not proper sleep. Melancholic & sad person who is non-communicative (Introvert) and tearful. (Incompatible with coffee, nux V , tobacco; antidote – puls, cham, cocc.)
NUX VOMICA – It is pre-eminently a remedy for many conditions due to Modern life (overindulgence in food, tobacco, and alcohol). A Nux V person is thin, sparse, quick, active, nervous & irritable. Can’t bear noises, odor, light, etc. Can’t sleep after 3 am until morning. Drowsy after meals & in the early evening. Relief after a nap but easily aroused. Antidote – Coffea, Ignatia, cocc.
Some other good Homeopathic Remedies for Insomnia are Silicea, Sulphur, Aconite, and Cocculus. Remember to always take advice from a homeopathic physician and avoid self-prescribing.