Naturopathy for Insomnia
Insomnia is defined as the persistent difficulty or the inability to fall and/or stay asleep. This condition may have no apparent aetiology, but is often a symptom of an underlying medical or psychological condition. Insomnia is generally not considered a disease, but rather a symptom of other pathologies (e.g., anxiety, depression or pain). Ongoing sleep impairment interferes with normal daytime function. The amount of sleep required by adults is slightly longer than 8 hours. Insomnia is classified as chronic if it persists for 4 weeks or longer.
There are two common types of insomnia:
- Delayed sleep onset (i.e., difficulty getting to sleep)
- Frequent awakenings (i.e., difficulty staying asleep)
Possible Causes Of Insomnia
- Psychiatric and neurologic disorders: stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, restless leg syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Medical problems that can cause insomnia: asthma, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, kidney disease, cancer, chronic pain
- Sleep disorders that can cause insomnia: sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome.
- Substance abuse: caffeine, alcohol, recreational drugs, long-term sedative use, stimulants; nicotine can cause restlessness while quitting smoking can cause transient insomnia.
- Disruption of circadian rhythms: shift work; travel across time zones.
- Menopause: insomnia is present in 30% to 40% of menopausal women. It may be due to hot flushes and night sweats, anxiety, and/or change in progesterone levels.
- Certain medications: decongestants and bronchodilators, and beta-blockers may lead to a variety of sleep disorders including mild, transient insomnia
- Other: high-fat diet, lack of exercise, food sensitivities and blood sugar disorders have all been linked to insomnia.
Signs And Symptoms
The consequences of lack of sleep, particularly when prolonged, include:
- Decreased concentration and diminished memory
- Daytime drowsiness and impaired functioning/task performance
- Less enjoyment of activities and social interaction
- Increased likelihood of alcohol and other substance abuse
- Irritability and mood disorders
- Waking unrefreshed in the morning, or insomnia despite feeling tired.
- Anticipatory anxiety; insomnia can become a vicious cycle with bed and bedtime coming to represent restlessness and anxiety
How Can Natural Medicine Help?
Linda at Melbourne Naturopathy can provide natural treatment for the relief of insomnia. Get a good night sleep with the use of a wide range of herbal medicines and nutritional supplements. Linda will provide a specialised treatment plan that will not only help you to fall asleep but stay asleep, as well as treating the underlying problems