HOMEOPATHY FOR INSOMNIA
According to the NHS one third of the British population suffers from chronic sleeping problems. The same is probably true of the US: last year I spent two wonderful weeks in Florida but I remember noticing the rows and rows of melatonin in the vitamin section of most supermarkets.
Sometimes simply changing the position of the bed, exercising or listening to meditation music, can help. Failing that, many people reach out for herbal teas like chamomile or supplements or even prescription sleeping tablets.
When it’s time to talk to a homeopath
Everyone is different and some people are fine with six-seven hours of sleep. Others need their eight hours but can’t get them and it affects their daily lives.
Another issue is that the quality of sleep might not be good enough: interrupted sleep, recurring nightmares can make sleep unrefreshing and you wake up already tired!
When the effects of poor sleep or lack of sleep start to become a chronic problem that you cannot shake off, it’s time to talk to a homeopath.
Because quick fixes just don’t work in the long term: I have seen patients finally coming to see me because the sleeping pills or anti-depressants and other prescribed drugs put them into a “coma” every night and make them feel like “zombies” during the day!
Exercise and therapy sessions would make them feel exhausted but they still couldn’t sleep.
Homeopathic remedies for insomnia
There are literally dozens of different remedies that can help with insomnia. Every homeopathic repertory book has an entire chapter dedicated to sleep issues.
So how do we pick the right remedy?
The first thing is to take a note of all the individual’s symptoms: there are so many different ways of not sleeping!
The other thing is to establish a time-line: when did the problem start? What was happening around that time in the patient’s life or before that? Because there is always a reason for not being able to sleep!
Patients who come to homeopathy due to sleeping issues usually expect that I whip out a remedy the minute they tell me that they can’t sleep. Sometimes they are not aware of any particular stress or other emotional root cause and when asked, they can’t really understand why they can’t sleep and assume it’s just “one of those things”!
One lady asked for a consultation because she had not slept well for months and couldn’t figure out why. She had tried sleeping pills but didn’t like the side effects.
I asked her about her life in general, when the issue started. She claimed there was no reason for her insomnia. She described herself as a “type A personality”, she liked to be in control and felt that she could not control her sleep, which troubled her.
When I asked her a bit more about her life, it turned out that she had had quite a few traumatic experiences in the past: miscarriages, loss of friends and a troubled relationship with her father. She had always dealt with all those issues by herself, she didn’t like to ask for help.
By the time we had lined up all the issues she had had in her life during the consultation, I was amazed she had ever been able to sleep at all!
The remedy I prescribed was Natrum Muriaticum, because it fitted the whole case picture, not just her sleeplessness.
All it took was one dose. The remedy released all the trapped emotions that she had always pushed aside, trying to be move on and be strong (“type A personality”). The next time I saw her for a follow up, she looked so relaxed that even her facial features look different: softer and happier!
Other remedies that might help (if the symptoms fit)
Whilst a strong dose of coffee in the morning will certainly wake most people up, the Homepathic use of the remedy is quite the opposite. It can calm a restless mind, slow down over-flowing thoughts and help promote a restful night’s sleep. Use this remedy for insomnia stemming from restless anxiety, excited imagination, flow of ideas, and basically too many thoughts rushing around your head. There is great tiredness, with a desire to lie down and shut the eyes, but then finding it impossible to switch off your mind and drift off to sleep. Once finally asleep, there is frequent & sudden starting and waking.
This is a good remedy for insomnia in over-active children who wake up frightened from imaginary fears or visions. They may wake with convulsions and there can be loud moaning with sleep-talking & grinding the teeth. Eventually they become drowsy and fall into a deep sleep.
This remedy is characterised by very restless sleep with fearful dreams of robbers, thieves or stealing. There is a feeling of constant drowsiness in the evening with much yawning followed by insomnia with a great deal of agitation, teeth-grinding, tossing & turning and jerking of the limbs on the point of going to sleep. Sleep is very un-refreshing and light; the slightest noise is heard, and there can be extreme temperature fluctuations. Dreams are anxious, horrible, lively and angry and there is great difficulty getting back to sleep after waking.
This remedy is very helpful for insomnia from slight noises, where the bed feels too hot and there is moaning and jerking of limbs in sleep. There is great sleepiness on reading or concentrating, but once lying in bed there is an absolute inability to go to sleep. Once finally asleep it is filled with anxious dreams & nightmares or pleasant and fantastical dreams. Sleep is stupefying, and it is really hard to get up and out of bed in the morning.
In this remedy, there is an aggravation of general symptoms during or after sleep. The quality of sleep is light with frequent and easy waking, tossing & turning, groans & sighs, starts & fright. It may be helpful when sleep is impossible on the left side or disturbed by vivid and constantly changing dreams, or even a sense of suffocation. Drowsiness and insomnia might alternate every two days. There is a feeling of liveliness and talkativeness in the evening with great drowsiness by day, worse after a meal.