Tired Of Being Tired- And Not Being Able To Sleep?

Does this sound like you, or someone you know?
Insomnia is basically having trouble sleeping. It can present in the form of sleep onset insomnia, which means having trouble getting to sleep; or sleep maintenance insomnia, which is where you wake during the night and then have trouble falling back asleep; or non-restorative sleep, where you wake up not feeling refreshed at all, feeling tired or even falling asleep during the day.
Proper and adequate sleep is essential for the body to function properly; as well as contributing to a better mood, a healthy weight, healthy growth and healthy ageing, and better cognitive function. Adults generally need 7-9 hours sleep per night. Children require more, dependant on their age, and older adults require slightly less.
There are a number of reasons that can contribute to insomnia. Stress and diet are major factors. It can be caused by too many stimulants such as caffeine in the form of coffee, chocolate or coke; alcohol, food additives; or side effects from medications.
Worry and stress contribute to insomnia, as does disturbed sleeping patterns such as shift work, as well as physical factors such as being uncomfortable or snoring.
The body’s natural sleep chemical is melatonin. Your body generates and stores melatonin during the day, for secretion during darkness. Other nutrients important to sleep are glycine, L-serine, adenosine, tryptophan, calcium, magnesium, iron, inositol, potassium, folic acid, zinc and vitamins B5 and B12.
Additional factors to look into are supporting your nervous system, modulating your cortisol levels, and regulate your blood sugar levels.
Herbs that can help with insomnia are Chamomile, Passionflower, Lemon balm, Skullcap, Lavender, Valerian. Your naturopath can tailor a herbal formula for you depending on your type of insomnia. Nurturing, supporting herbs for your adrenals are Withania, American Ginseng, Rehmannia and Licorice.
Some more tips to help are to ensure you get adequate exercise during the day and nurture your body and mind with a warm soothing bath before bed, listen to soothing music, do a meditation, have a massage, ensure you eat dinner 2 hours before you go to bed, and ensure you have a comfortable, dark and quiet bedroom. Ensure you are off smartphones, computers etc 2 hours before you go to bed. Address your stressors and ensure a quality and regular bed time routine.
Carmen Lizasoain is a newly graduated Naturopath. The information in this article is provided for general health interest purposes only. Consult your health care professional before embarking on any health care programs or treatments