May 312011

A person is said to have insomnia if he is not able to sleep properly at night. He may have snatches of sleep but not sound sleep and does not wake up refreshed. Insomnia normally is a side effect of other problems and is not a disease by itself. Various factors which contribute to insomnia are stress and emotional problems.

At times a person is not able to sleep due to travelling or work and this sleep deprivation leads to fatigue. This accumulative fatigue can result in insomnia. Sometimes a person loses his job or a loved one dies and this leads to severe emotional problems. The person is unable to accept the situation and his mind keeps returning to that same incident, depriving him of sleep.

Some diseases like asthma, heart disease and Parkinson’s do not allow a person to enjoy a good night’s rest. If there is too much noise in the neighbourhood or it is too cold or hot, then also a person is not able to fall asleep. Some people require total darkness or only a very dim light and are unable to sleep if there is light filtering into the room.

If you suffer from insomnia it is advisable to ask the doctor’s opinion before you take any sleeping pills. There are certain tried and tested home remedies which may benefit you.

1. Drink a glass or warm milk before retiring to bed. Milk contains tryptophan which calms the mind and relaxes the body and thus induces sleep. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin that produces sound sleep.

2. Eating bananas at night can also help. Bananas contain melatonin and tryptophan that aid in sleeping. They also contain magnesium which acts as a stress buster and lessens muscle tension.

3. Oatmeal is fibre rich and contains melatonin. Oatmeal, accompanied by a glass of milk, is filling and will help you to sleep as well.

4. Mashed potatoes or dishes which contain mashed potatoes have an effect on the glucose level of the body as it is a low glycemic carbohydrate. Combine it with low fat milk and you have a formula for some sleep.

5. Strange though it may sound, cured meats can induce sleep as they are rich in tryptophan which is an amino acid. It is necessary for sleep. Melatonin is a hormone which is produced that makes you relaxed.

6. Roast a spoon full of coriander seeds on a griddle. Roughly powder them and swallow with some warm milk. You will have nice sleep.

Sleep is very necessary for a healthy body and for a person to function properly. We cannot do without sleep for long periods. You can get addicted to sleeping pills so try other methods or home remedies first.