What? You Really Can’t Sleep?

It forms the backbone of our health. It is vital. As vital and essential as breathing. But when we think of sleep deprivation we invariably think of incarcerated individuals who are deprived of sleep by way of unethical torture techniques with bright lights, loud noises, physical disruptions, harassments and shouting.

That particular example is of course appalling.

But did you know that many, many individuals working and living within the western world are deprived of adequate sleep?  The average working day has extended out and with the advent of the computer, work now permeates the home and family life in a free flow of pressure without the old demarcation line between home and work life. Where once we left work and went home, we now leave the place of work and continue with work commitments into the night and weekends. It is a new era.

And many are exhausted.

There are a number of stages in the sleep process. We need all of them. They are:

  • Stage 1 – light stage. Awakened easily with a drift in and out of sleeping
  • Stage 2 – second light stage. Eyes stop moving and brain waves slow.
  • Stage 3 – heavy sleep. Delta waves are produced by the brain and are interspersed wtih  smaller but faster waves.
  • Stage 4 – second heavy stage. Nearly all delta waves and no eye movement. Muscle activity nil.
  • Stage 5 – rem sleep. The dream phase. Eyes jerk and move rapidly. Limbs become paralysed temporarily.

Natural Health Solutions for Insomnia

If you suffer from insomnia because of work pressures, emotional issues, stress or even menopause or ageing, you need to develop some solutions that can help you to improve sleep quality and quantity. Some of the following practices and ideas may be of help to you.

  • Melatonin. This is very effective for insomnia. Ask your specialist or naturopathic consultant about this substance. Use it only occasionally. Do not give to infants or children.[1]
  • Hops, lemon balm, valerian root or valerian tea, camomile and skullcap can all be taken before bed. For best results use a number of these and alternate their consumption.
  • You can also obtain a number of herbal sleep remedies or herbal extracts that help you to relax. Try a herbal or homeopathic sleep kit for best results.


You may also want to avoid food that uplift or animate you after 5pm in the evening. Do not drink caffeine or alcohol or nicotine for several hours before bedtime. Also avoid cholcolate, sheese, ham, sugar and other foods that can contain tyramine. Tyramine acts as a catalyst for brain stimulant production.

Eat bananas, dates, figs and milk as well as whole grain biscuits and yoghurt. These all contain tryptophan that promotes sedation and relaxation.

Good luck and remember, you do not have to resort to sleeping pills and chemicals to get a good night’s sleep. The solutions are her for you and they are natural remedies that really work.

Have a good night!

[1] http://www.melatonin.com