INSOMNIA AND HOMEOPATHY
Dr. Deepak Sharma
BHMS, MD, Ph.D. (Scholar)
Homeopathic Physician and Educator
Founder – Orbit Clinics
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or waking up too early and not being able to go back to sleep. It can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) and can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Here are some common causes, risk factors, and symptoms of insomnia:
- Stress, anxiety, or depression
- Environmental factors such as noise, light, or temperature
- Medical conditions such as chronic pain, asthma, or gastrointestinal problems
- Certain medications or substances like caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine
- Disruptions to regular sleep schedule, such as jet lag or shift work
- Age (insomnia is more common in older adults)
- Gender (women are more likely to experience insomnia)
- Family history of insomnia
- Mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression
- Chronic medical conditions
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Waking up too early and not being able to go back to sleep
- Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating or performing daily tasks
- Irritability or mood disturbances
- Headaches or gastrointestinal problems
Assessment of insomnia:
- How long does it typically take you to fall asleep?
- How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
- How often do you wake up during the night?
- How long do you stay awake when you wake up during the night?
- Do you feel rested and refreshed when you wake up in the morning?
- How often do you feel tired or fatigued during the day?
- How often do you nap during the day?
- Do you feel anxious or stressed before going to bed?
- How often do you consume caffeine or alcohol in the evening?
- How often do you exercise during the day?
- Do you have any physical discomfort that keeps you awake at night?
- Do you have any medical conditions that may be contributing to your insomnia?
- How often do you use electronic devices before going to bed?
- How often do you follow a consistent sleep schedule?
- Have you tried any strategies or treatments to improve your sleep, and have they been effective?
There are no specific blood investigations for insomnia, as insomnia is a symptom rather than a disease. However, there are some blood tests that can be done to check for underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to insomnia. These tests include:
- Thyroid function tests: Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can cause insomnia.
- Complete blood count (CBC): CBC can detect anemia, which can cause insomnia.
- Blood glucose level: High or low blood sugar levels can cause insomnia.
- Liver function tests: Liver disease can cause insomnia.
- Kidney function tests: Kidney disease can cause insomnia.
- C-reactive protein (CRP): Elevated CRP levels may indicate inflammation, which can cause insomnia.
- Vitamin D level: Low vitamin D levels have been associated with insomnia.
Diet can play a role in managing insomnia, and there are several foods and habits that can be incorporated into a healthy sleep-promoting diet.
- Avoid caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with sleep, so it’s best to avoid or limit intake of coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate in the afternoon and evening.
- Incorporate sleep-promoting foods: Foods high in tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep, can be beneficial for those with insomnia. Examples include turkey, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
- Eat a balanced diet: A diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help support overall health, which in turn can promote better sleep.
- Avoid large meals before bedtime: Eating a heavy meal before bed can cause discomfort and indigestion, making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Limit alcohol consumption: While alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it can actually disrupt sleep and cause you to wake up during the night.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water throughout the day can help keep you hydrated and promote healthy sleep.
- Establish a consistent eating schedule: Eating meals at regular intervals can help regulate your body’s internal clock, which can promote better sleep.
Yoga and Exercises:
- Yoga and exercises can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, which are common causes of insomnia.
- Practicing yoga and exercises regularly can improve sleep quality and duration.
- Yoga and exercises can help you relax and calm your mind before bedtime.
- Gentle stretching can help relieve tension and reduce muscle stiffness, making it easier to fall asleep.
- Deep breathing exercises can reduce the heart rate and relax the body, which can lead to better sleep.
- Meditation and mindfulness practices can help you clear your mind and let go of worries, which can help you fall asleep faster.
- Yoga and exercises can increase the production of endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress.
- Regular physical activity can improve overall health, which can contribute to better sleep.
- Yoga and exercises can improve circulation and digestion, which can promote better sleep.
- Practicing yoga and exercises during the day can increase energy levels, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
- Yoga and exercises can reduce pain and discomfort, which can interfere with sleep.
- Practicing yoga and exercises in the evening can signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
- Yoga and exercises can improve flexibility and balance, which can help prevent injuries that can disrupt sleep.
- Some yoga poses, such as forward bends and inversions, can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can promote relaxation.
- Gentle yoga poses, such as Child’s Pose and Legs Up the Wall, can help you relax and reduce tension.
- Breathing exercises, such as alternate nostril breathing and ujjayi breathing, can help calm the mind and reduce stress.
- Progressive muscle relaxation can help you release tension and relax your body before sleep.
- Yoga nidra, also known as yogic sleep, can help you enter a deep state of relaxation and promote restful sleep.
- Regular exercise can help regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promote a regular sleep schedule.
- Yoga and exercises can provide a healthy outlet for stress and tension, which can help you manage insomnia and improve overall well-being.
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that uses highly diluted substances to treat various ailments, including insomnia. There are several homeopathic remedies that are commonly used to treat insomnia. Here are a few of them:
- Coffea Cruda: This remedy is often used for insomnia due to over-excitement or a racing mind.
- Nux Vomica: This remedy is useful for insomnia caused by overwork, stress, or too much caffeine.
- Ignatia Amara: This remedy is often used for insomnia caused by emotional stress, grief, or disappointment.
- Arsenicum Album: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by anxiety, fear, or restlessness.
- Passiflora Incarnata: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by exhaustion or nervousness.
- Gelsemium Sempervirens: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by fear, anticipation, or excitement.
- Kali Phosphoricum: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by nervous exhaustion or stress.
- Lycopodium Clavatum: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by digestive problems or indigestion.
- Pulsatilla Nigricans: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by hormonal imbalances or emotional stress.
- Sepia Officinalis: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by hormonal imbalances, depression, or irritability.
- Chamomilla: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by anger, frustration, or teething in children.
- Cocculus Indicus: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by travel or shift work.
- Kalium Carbonicum: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by restlessness, anxiety, or nervousness.
- Nux Moschata: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by exhaustion, weakness, or drowsiness.
- Phosphorus: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by anxiety, restlessness, or nervousness.
- Silicea: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by overthinking, nervousness, or restlessness.
- Sulphur: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by restless legs, hot flashes, or itching.
- Zincum Metallicum: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by restlessness, nervousness, or anxiety.
- Aconitum Napellus: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by fear, anxiety, or shock.
- Belladonna: This remedy is used for insomnia caused by excitement, restlessness, or fever.