INSOMNIA – natural ways to overcome insomnia
Try one or many of these innovative ways to overcome insomnia. Keith Banfield, author of the guide to Sleep Therapy cites quality sleep as necessary f to restore depleted resources, repair damaged cells and brain chemicals; clear away old superfluous information; preserve energy, rest muscles and to dream. Keep a variety of handy solutions in case you are struck by a bout of insomnia.
TINCTURES FOR INSOMNIA
Passion flower, Rhodiola, Valerian. Rhodiola is taken in the morning to help balance the endocrine system.
BREATHING EXERCISES FOR INSOMNIA
Controlled breathing is an aid to relaxation and certain yogic routines bring on drowsiness.
Lie on your back or side, eyes closed. Begin with a few very deep inhalations, fill your lungs as much as possible.
Exhale fully, drawing in your abdomen to expel as much air as you can.
Repeat this three times, at the end of the third exhalation hold your breath as long as you are able.
Repeat this procedure two or three times, or until you feel drowsy.
Or as an alternative try this repeated four or more times.
Exhale completely through your mouth.
Inhale through your nose to a count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight.
PRESSURE POINTS FOR INSOMNIA
Use the practice of Shiatsu to identify the precise points on the body which, when stimulated promote sleep.
Press firmly downwards with both thumbs for 10 to 15 seconds at the centre of the forehead at a point in line with the upper edge of the ears. Or press the thumbs for seven to ten seconds on points situated a finger away from end of each eyebrow just in from the end of the eyebrow and the outer edge of the eye. Another point is on the sole of the foot. Use both thumbs to press hard for 10 to 15 seconds on the sole about a third of the distance from the tip of the middle toe to the heel, between the second and third toe joints.
VISUALISATION FOR INSOMNIA
Remove the unwanted thoughts and worry that insist on trafficking your mind by closing your eyes and imagining yourself drifting into a sea of tranquillity. Use every sense to imagine the natural environment surrounding you. Taste the salt of the sea on your lips, feel yourself enveloped by warm water, hear the sound of the waves lapping on the seashore. Experience the warm sun on your face. Pick a soothing colour in the blue range to filter through the crown of your head and imagine it slowly flowing through each part of your body. Start to breathe deeply and rhythmically and let yourself float as if you were on top of the waves, drifting off to another level of consciousness.
AROMATHERAPY BATH FOR INSOMNIA
Running a bath with a blend of aromatherapy oils will induce a sleepy disposition. Try a combination of 4 drops of chamomile oil, 2 drops of lavender, 4 of neroli and 2 of marjoram. Lavender oil sprinkled on your pillow also helps.
ENGAGE STORIES FOR INSOMNIA
Engage your imagination with fantasy by reading story tales. ‘Once upon a time’ is a magical sentence that automatically relaxes. Avoid riveting thrillers and horrors. Recommended by Exclusive Books is Telling Tales (Jonathan Ball Publishers) or At the Fireside (New Africa Books).
BANISH WORRYING ISSUES
Using pen and paper to write down all thoughts and issues before bedding down helps to empty the mind. Jot down a few words that describe the worry with the knowledge that things can be taken care of in the morning.
USING MUSIC TO COMBAT INSOMNIA
Listen to soothing music to lull you into dreamland. Try Sleep which comes with a full colour guide to sleep therapy or Classics for Relaxation from New World Music.
NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS TO HELP INSOMNIA
Before reaching for addictive sleeping tablets try something natural. Tranquility Vibrational drops, Passion Flower, Hops, Lavender, Valerian and Gamma-amino-butyric acid, all have tranquilising and calming properties. The South African flower essences recommend Morning Glory Essence for troubles both in going to sleep and waking up. This essence is said to bring balance and help establish a harmonius sleep pattern. For nightmares try Orange Pincushion Essence for panic and shock and Forget-Me-Not Essence which is also helpful for sleep-walkers. Loquat Essence is good when sleep is used as a withdrawal to escape dealing with reality. Avoid stimulants like tea or coffee before retiring. Take Magnesium, Ashwaghanda, B complex vitamins or Tryptophan.
TISSUE SALTS FOR INSOMNIA
Nat Mur is identified for encouraging sleep.
CHECK YOUR BED
Get a new mattress at least every ten years especially if it sags, makes noises or you feel bed springs or ridges beneath the surface. Turn your mattress regularly and clean it or leave it in the sun. Make sure your room is the right temperature and has proper ventilation.
ENCOURAGE GOOD DREAMS
Banfield quotes a study conducted by Griffith, Miyago and Tago of College students in America of the twenty most common dreams most of which include some level of stress. These include falling, being attacked or pursued, trying to do something repeatedly, studying or school teachers, sex, arriving late, eating, being frightened, a dead loved one, being locked up, finding money, swimming, snakes, being dressed inappropriately, being smothered, being naked in public, fire, failing an exam, flying, seeing oneself as dead. Before sleep prompt good dreams by focusing on something you love, a beautiful nature scene, an adventure you desire, travel to a favourite destination. Be intentional in inviting in good dreams.
ADJUST YOUR BODY CLOCK
Sleep clinics experience a high degree of success when adjusting the circadean rhythm. This can be done by going to bed one or two hours later than usual and waking up one or two hours later until you have done a full cycle and reach your previous bed time, from then on stick to this time. Another way of doing this is by going to bed four hours before you intend to get up. The next day go to bed five hours before you usually wake up. Each night go to bed one hour earlier.
Use these natural ways to overcome insomnia.