How do you feel when you get a great night's sleep?
What? You don't remember the last time that happened? Honey, we've got to change that...and I'm here to help you.
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to help with all kinds of health issues - including pain, allergies, cramps and insomnia. So let's take a look at why you're not sleeping and get you started on a path that will help you to catch those ZZZs....
Two things to look at here....your sympathetic and your parasympathetic nervous system. Those are also known as "fight or flight" and "rest and digest". Let's take a look at which applies to you more. Even though we know that you've got both of them working at all times, the reason for your insomnia may have to do with one more than the other.
If you're someone who suffers from "overdrive" - you're anxious, you over-think and over-analyze situations, you worry about everything and everyone you care about - then you're a candidate for herbal remedies that are known as nervines. Those are herbs which help to calm the nervous system down, relieving anxiousness and nervous tension. Herbs like lavender, chamomile, valerian and passionflower are all good at this. You can combine them, or buy a tea that combines them for you, such as Traditional Medicinals Nighty-Night Tea.
On the other hand, if you're not sleeping because you're just plain worn out, you need a different approach. If you've got a chronic medical condition, such as an autoimmune disease, or chronic pain, then you might want to support the entire system with an adaptogen. The most famous adaptogen is ginseng, but this isn't necessarily the best choice for sleep, nor is a good quality product necessarily within everyone's budget. A high quality root can cost as much as $1,000!
Instead, you can use herbs such as tulsi, ashwaganda and astragalus. Tulsi - also known as holy basil - is widely used in India, ashwaganda is a well known Ayurvedic herb, and astragalus is used in Chinese medicine. You can buy these online or at your local grocery store.
Extra considerations: You might have a chronic condition and also find yourself nervous about everything. You'll want to experiment in that case...perhaps alternating, allowing your body to feel the effects of each approach before you switch to the other .
And lastly, any remedy - whether herbal or pharmacological - is only one part of the solution. Exercise - to the extent that you can do it, meditation, and spending time in nature can all compliment whatever remedy you're using. These are all things that give you more power over your body and mind than relying on an outside source for relief.
What's your approach to sleep, and how's it working for you? Scroll down and leave a comment.