Insomnia, also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder where people have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired, even when a person has the chance to do so.
Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school. It may result in an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions, as well as problems focusing and learning.
What causes Insomnia?
Insomnia can occur independently or as a result of another problem. Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy lifestyle, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors.
Examples of medical conditions that can cause insomnia are nasal allergies, gastrointestinal problem, arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, hyperthyroidism, restless leg syndrome, menopause, certain medications etc.
Unhealthy lifestyles, working night shifts and sleep apnea and sleep habits can create insomnia on their own (without any underlying psychiatric or medical problem).
Some substance like Caffeine, nicotine, and Alcohol etc. (Alcohol is a sedative. It can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night.)
Some people are biologically prone to insomnia and seem to struggle with sleep.
A sleep study may be done to diagnose underlying sleep disorders. Screening may be done with two questions: “do you experience difficulty sleeping?” and “do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?”
Types of Insomnia:
Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances (for example, when you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news). This condition sometimes resolves without any treatment.
Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have many causes. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, rotating shift work, other clinical disorders.
Herbs for Insomnia:
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis): The root of this plant is used. According to numerous studies, valerian may help reduce the amount of time it takes a person to fall asleep and also help in increasing the duration and quality of sleep.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Considered one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic practice. The roots of this plant are used. This herb helps in the body to relax, reduce the anxiety, and insomnia.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): A cup of warm lavender tea before bed is a great way to promotes relaxation which can help in anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): For hundreds of years this flower has been used to make a calming and soothing tea.
Hops (Humulus lupulus): Hopes is a fast-acting nervine and sedative, good for anxiety and stress-related illness.