What is the best natural cure for insomnia?

September 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Common Questions

natural cure
by Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden

Question by gangstress702: What is the best natural cure for insomnia?
It is for my 17 year old who is on several medications.
thank you joette i will check that out tomorrow. i should also note that my child is extremely tired but just can’t sleep. the medication the doctors put her on made her gain an excessive amount of weight. i worry about her heart. thank you

Best answer:

Answer by ruthie_alison
Valerian. However do consult your pharmacist to see if it is okay and no conflict with the other meds your son is on. Otherwise Kavakava. They are both natural. Also I have heard Melatonin (which yes apparently you can get in a pill for sleep!). Hope those suggestions help, but DO consult your pharmacist for herbal/medical adversities…

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


8 Responses to “What is the best natural cure for insomnia?”
  1. zookmook says:

    One thing that works very well is a combination of magnesium tablets and calcium. You can buy magnesium at your local health food store and for calcium you can use a bowl of plain yogurt with honey.

    I have tried this many times with my insomnia and it is very effective.

    I would be extremely cautious though about using any type of supplement in conjunction with prescription drugs so you need to check with your doctor and/or pharmacist about the possible interactions. Even natural substances can have lethal effects when mixed with certain drugs so please check first.

  2. PharmBoy says:

    Of all the various conditions, insomnia has some of the most clinical evidence with treatment of natural/herbal products. Of these proposed products melatonin is the only one that showed slight benifit, but only in a specific type called delayed sleep phase disorder. This type is when sleep and wake times are habitually early compared to conventional time. However; the ingredients, dose, and purity are not regulated by the FDA because it’s marketed as a food supplement. Listed doses may be higher than that used for the treatment of insomnia (0.2 to 0.3 mg per night). Zookmook is right when he says that natural products can be dangerous as well so I looked up possible interactions with melatonin from Lexi-Comp (pharmaceutical and nutrional reference database).

    Drug/Nutrient Interactions: Drugs that deplete vitamin B6 may inhibit the body’s ability to synthesize melatonin from the tryptophan-serotonin-melatonin pathway. These include oral contraceptives, estrogen, hydralazine, loop diuretics, penicillamine, and theophylline. In addition, beta-blockers and benzodiazepines may deplete melatonin by enzyme inhibition. Isoniazid alters B6 metabolism, limiting formation of melatonin. Theoretically, effects may be additive with medications which cause CNS sedation, including alcohol. Melatonin may reduce glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and may interact with antidiabetic agents or insulin.

    In vitro data suggests this product may inhibit the CYP1A2 isoenzyme. Theoretically, it may affect the disposition of the following medications: Theophylline, caffeine, clozapine, haloperidol, tacrine, fluvoxamine, and other medications influenced by this enzyme system. Other in vitro data suggests melatonin may also affect the disposition of the CYP2C9 isoenzyme. Therefore, it may affect the disposition of the following medications: NSAIDs, phenytoin, warfarin, zafirlukast, fluvoxamine, and others affected by this isoenzyme. Melatonin may interact with calcium channel blockers. Concomitant use of melatonin and nifedipine may cause increases in blood pressure.

    The others mentioned (Valerian, Kava Kava) have been shown to have no benefit vs. placebo. Also, the FDA has released a warning of liver toxicity and possibility to directly damage liver function with use a kava kava. I found this information in an article published in the Journal of Internal Medicine. I just so happen to have an exam that covers insomnia treatment in two days, so I just reviewed this article.

  3. Tinytears says:

    I use Alteril. It can be bought on line and I have also found it at Walmart. It has valerian, melatonin, l’ tryophan, GABA, passion flower, hops strobile(?), skullcap, chamomile and glycine.
    I have been on drugs on and off for 35 years. I started insomnia when I was about 13 or 14, I guess. But, I was scared of my mother, so I don’t know if that was what started it. I took almost every anti-depressant ever made, in all those years. Finally, a couple of years ago, an ADD person said that I was just like her, when she wasn’t on meds. Now I am on Adderall. Still have depression from situational stuff that lingers, but when I finally went off the anti-depressants, I was freaked, ‘cuz I could now see how much of my life was wasted, (as the anti-depressants kind of immobilized me), but also felt much better.
    Turns out that insomnia was originally considered an early indicator of ADHD, but then was taken off the list, though not all docs agreed. ADD may be why I started not being able to sleep. (Or, it may have been things like being yanked out of bed in the middle of the night, by my hair, and stuff). Anyway, I take 1 Alteril and 10 mgs of Ambien, and 15 mgs of xanax at bedtime. It is the only combo that has ever worked for me. The dosage on the Alteril box says 2 tablets, but I just take 1. (After all, I take the other things, too). (Once I took 2 of the capsules and had a terrible nightmare. But I don’t know if Alteril had anything to do with that. So, I upped my Ambien, with my docs approval of course, from 5 mgs. I should probably try the 2 Alteril again. The Alteril is probably less problematic health wise, than the Ambien. But my nightmares are so terrifying, that I can be too scared to sleep at all..)
    I just googled it and saw there were lots of negative reviews. But I have truly been there, and I take it every night. It has all the natural ingredients that help you sleep. Also, a strong cup of chamomile tea makes me drowsy, but I doubt that it would get me through the night. But, it works for some people. And apparently warm milk really does work, too. Depends how severe the insomnia is.
    But remember, to always check. Some prescription meds are known to interact with melatonin. And then there are all the other natural things that God gave us, that the FDA won’t check. (Not nearly as many tax $, to be had in natural ingredients). Good luck. It sounds like you are a supportive parent. That is great!
    Oh, have to add this, in case it could be of help. I have found “emotional freedom technique”, (EFT), to be helpful. There is a huge free print out on http://www.emofree.com. This has worked as well as my best therapist and I can work at it, on my own.
    Sorry this is such a long answer. But I can relate to the problem and hope that something I have experienced, maybe of help.

  4. YA Junkie says:

    Below is a long list I once wrote about ways to fall asleep naturally. The list is so long that reading it might put you to sleep 🙂 Notice what I say below about valerian.

    What helped me a lot to fall asleep, especially when my mind was racing, was to lie in bed and listen to relaxation CDs, especially those that contain someone speaking with relaxing music in the background. The combination of voice and music is very soothing. Many of these CDs are available on eBay for very low prices.

    A warm bath is a great way to help you to sleep (depending on the season). If you can’t take a bath, you can give yourself a foot massage with slightly warm massage oil, sesame oil, or castor oil from a health food store.

    A helpful technique is to relax your body one part at a time. So you could relax your feet, your lower legs, upper legs, moving up from your lower belly up to your chest, etc., until your whole body is relaxed.

    Of course, guided relaxation methods can help. As vividly as possible, imagine yourself at the beach, in the mountains or country, or whatever is most soothing to you.

    If you have annoying thoughts that run through your mind when you are trying to sleep, you might have to talk to a counselor or therapist about that. I suggest avoiding prescription sleeping pills unless nothing else helps.

    There are herbs that might help you to sleep, eg, valerian root, kava kava, chamomile, hops, passion flower, skullcap. Probably, valerian root and kava kava are the best. However, what most people don’t realize is that it can take at least a FEW WEEKS for some herbs to build up in your system before they start to work.

    The minerals calcium and magnesium might be helpful for sleep. You can also try 5-HTP or melatonin. I would not take melatonin for over a month unless your doctor says it is ok.

  5. Postergirl says:

    Catnip, it tastes like mint, so get organic and make it as a nightly cup of tea, no sweetener needed, but if you have a sweet toother who cannot sleep get some stevia leaf dried as well.

    Valerian is a nervine, it can be habit forming and stinks, and tastes bad.
    Chamomile is a ragweed, can cause allergies if used for more than 5 days for those who don’t even have ragweed allergies.
    Melotonin is a suppelment to increase sleep, but is not as reliable as a nice cup of tea for most…many just don’t actually need that supplement as they get enough sleep TIME.
    Skullcap and Passionflower also are sleepy teas, but yucky to taste!

    Starwest makes a good sounding blend, though I have never tried it, I KNOW my taste likes what kids like, good flavored tea…so I just do catnip when I am anxietious for the morning duties.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Look into medical Marijuana in california large majority of the people with these prescriptions have them for insomnia or sleep irregularity. make sure it is indica rather than sativa.. indica makes you sleepier becuase it contains more CBD’s than sativa does which makes you more energetic… indicas have shorter fatter leaves and sativas thinner and taller

  7. NUG LIFE says:

    Medical Marijuana is very helpful

    for the weight though, i just recommend lots of cardio excersice during the day, should lose weight AND tire her out

  8. Patrick says:

    Both herbal and homeopathic remedies are commonly used alternatives to sleeping tablets in reducing insomnia, and can be very effective in helping to assist an individual in the transition to peaceful slumber without strong sedatives or any concerning side effects.

    Certain herbs such as Hypericum perforatum, Scuttelaria laterifolia, Passiflora incarnata can be used to maintain healthy sleep patterns and promote optimal balance of sleep-related hormones involved in the sleep cycle.

    Homeopathic remedies such as Coffea C30 and Nux Vom. C30 are also used to reduce insomnia and maintain restful, satisfying, and healthy sleep. Other natural supplements that are widely used to address the underlying causes of chronic insomnia are calcium lactate, magnesium lactate and vitamin B6.

    You may get more info on all of these from this article http://www.healthherbsandnutrition.com/remedies/i/insomnia.htm

    Hope all this helps

    Good Luck

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