Can’t get to sleep? Waking up often, or too early?
While getting a good night’s sleep feels like a rare thing these days, there’s a chance you could be suffering from insomnia.
About one-third of Australians experience insomnia at some point in their lives but only 5% will get professional help.
You could be suffering from insomnia if you:
- have difficulty falling asleep
- wake up often during the night and have trouble going back to sleep
- wake too early in the morning
- feel tired when you wake up
The good news is you don’t need to reach for the sleeping pills to get a good night’s sleep. Nature’s medicine cabinet has a range of potent herbs which can help you relax, drift off and get a good night’s rest.
These are the 3 herbs you need to help you sleep:
This beautiful, bright orange flower also has many medicinal benefits for sleep and anxiety. California Poppy (Exchscholzia californica) acts as a mild sedative – promoting a calm state and inducing sleep.
While California Poppy does contain some sedative alkaloids, it contains no real opium like the traditional Poppy plant. In fact, it’s very gentle and can safely be used to help children with sleep issues. It also helps with pain relief, anxiety and involuntary muscle spasms.
Valerian is often called nature’s valium and is widely used to treat insomnia. Studies have shown that it improves sleep quality, increases the speed of falling asleep and encourages deep sleep. But what about its Mexican cousin?
Valeriana edulis or Mexican Valerian has been used traditionally in Mexico for most of the applicattions where we would normally consider the traditional Valerian plant including insomnia, anxiety and emotional stress.
Prominent practitioners report that Mexican Valerian does not appear to have the unpredictable stimulatory effect that sometimes occurs in susceptible individuals with traditional Valerian.
A native American plant from the mint family, skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is a powerful medicinal herb used for the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions including insomnia, anxiety and stress.
Skullcap extracts contain large amounts of flavonoids including scutellarin and baicalin, which give the herb its sedative and antispasmodic properties. It is helpful for inducing sleep and reducing nervous headaches without side effects.
Causes of insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by many things, so it’s important to look at your lifestyle holistically.
Causes may include:
- stress – including work, job loss or change, death of a loved one, moving, family issues
- illness or a contributing condition
- sleep environment – including light, heat or cold, noise. See my top 5 natural tips for better sleep.
- changes to normal sleep schedule – including jet lag, shift work
- depression or anxiety
- too much caffeine – try and stick to one coffee a day in the morning if you must have coffee, avoid all other caffeinated drinks.
Get help for insomnia
If you think you have insomnia, it’s important to seek help. Insomnia is a debilitating condition which can lead to further problems if not treated correctly.
At our new Herb Bar, our qualified Naturopaths will listen to your symptoms and create a herbal mixture for your individual needs to get you back on your path to wellness.
No need for an appointment – just pop into our Hamilton practice for a free 10 minute consultation. The Herb Bar is open 8am to 1pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturdays.
If you live further away, you can book a free 15 minute phone or Skype consultation by calling (02) 4961 4075. Supplements can be posted Australia wide.