by Sinead Fine MAHA

Insomnia is very common and over ten per cent of the adult population have a chronic problem with insomnia. The causes are varied; therefore the Homeopathic prescription must be individual to the person. First a Homeopath must understand what’s normal and then look at the symptoms presenting which are abnormal. During a normal sleep time we seem to go through several cycles of sleep. We are still not fully sure about the individual stages of sleep, but it seems that the whole process is essential to the general health of the body. Insomnia revolves around inability to go to sleep or an inability to maintain a restful sleep. The causes are very varied ranging from teething and digestive upsets in children to stress or sleep apnoea in adults. The effects of sleep deprivation are many including depression, lack of energy, mood swings, irritability, poor concentration and physical health disorders.

Homeopaths do not treat insomnia. Homeopaths treat the person suffering from insomnia. Everything has to be taken into account including mental and emotional factors. Family history is also very important and must be taken into consideration. There are various types of insomnia - those who can’t get off to sleep because their mind is too active. Others wake at a specific time and can’t go back to sleep. It could be 1am, 3am or 5am time that a person wakes every single night without reason! Perhaps the person wakes but cannot go back to sleep till 6am and then the alarm goes off! There are MANY ways that insomnia will present itself.

Homeopaths may also advise diet, supplementation and lifestyle changes. Some of the advice I give may include:

1. Do not drink caffeine after 3pm in the day

2. Do not take more than two coffees per day or three cups of tea

3. Avoid Cola/Pepsi if possible

4. Do not eat heavy meals shortly before going to bed - it will prevent a deep sleep

5. Avoid stimulus an hour before bed such as movies, thriller books, and internet. Allow wind down time (especially for children)

6. If you find it hard to sleep because of an active mind try meditation CDs before sleep

7. If you find it hard to sleep because of an active mind write down a list of chores etc that you need to do the next day so you won’t think about them all night

8. If you wake in the night and can’t sleep get up and read a book. Taking your mind off the fact that you are not sleeping may allow you to get back to sleep sooner than you think!

9. Try Rescue Remedy or Rescue Sleep.

10. Determine what causes your insomnia and target that area. If your partner snores for example send him/her to get it checked out and / or sleep in another room till it is resolved.

11. Look at supplementing with Calcium and Magnesium which are known to aid sleep.

Homeopathic medicines that may help insomnia include the following:

COFFEA - This medicine will help those who are alert and awake at night with many ideas in their head. It may also be caused by too much caffeine. Eventually they may get to sleep but will then wake at the slightest sound. Coffea is a medicine for an overstimulated nervous system.

NAT MUR - This medicine may be indicated after grief or loss. The person may cry themselves to sleep eventually but will wake frequently.

Those who wake because of twitching feet or arms may need a MAGNESIUM or ZINCUM medicine depending on their specific symptoms.

Those who are anxious about an event the next day such as public speaking may need LYCOPODIUM, ACONITE or ARG NIT.

If a heavy night of drinking cannot let you go to sleep you may want to try NUX VOMICA which is a great medicine for over indulgence.

Children may need HEPAR SULPH if they wake cold from the blankets coming off them at night. A SULPHUR child might wake because they are too hot from the blankets. A child who needs CARCINOSIN may never seem to need sleep and be wide awake all the time, even forgoing their day naps.

Those who wake early and may not be able to go back to sleep may need AURUM METALLICUM, SULPHUR or STAPHISAGRIA - all for different reasons.

Those who wake because their sheets are covered in sweat may need SILICEA, CALC CARB, LACHESIS or SEPIA- again all for different reasons.

Nurses and Air Hostesses and those who work night shift may need COCCULUS to get their sleeping rhythm back in place.

Those who wake from nightmares may need STRAMONIUM, BELLADONNA, CALC CARB or PHOSPHOROUS.

The list goes on and on. Sleep is an issue that affects the whole person so it’s best to avoid treating yourself and instead contact a qualified Homeopath. From a Homeopathic perspective, Insomnia is often very easy to help.

Here is a TESTIMONIAL from a recent happy customer!

My one year old had been up at night and had trouble settling for sleep for many months when a friend recommended homeopathy. Things started to improve right away after the 1st and only consultation that we had for her sleep issues. Six months later and she is still sleeping well. I cannot believe this is the same child: I can hardly hear her at night and she settles herself now. The transformation is amazing! It’s thanks to Sinead and her Homeopathic treatment

Tania, Point Cook, Victoria