I was reflecting the other day how after the right remedy, many of my patients report that they are ‘sleeping so much better’.
Some come to me specifically for help with sleep issues but others, whose consultation is for a different complaint, see chronic negative sleep patterns that they have grown used to, start to shift. For example a 58 year old woman who visited me for help with a chronic cough reported that she was no longer kept awake with anxious thoughts and a 22 year old woman who came for treatment for poly-cystic ovaries said after her first remedy she was falling asleep more quickly and sleeping soundly.
Having problems sleeping, whether it is difficulty getting off to sleep, waking up through the night, or early in the morning, is an extremely common and stressful complaint. Many people try over the counter remedies or go to their GP where they are often prescribed a minor tranquilliser. This can be helpful in the short term but can also create dependence and a rebound effect if they try to stop the tablets, with sleep getting a lot worse.
Alongside homeopathic remedies I always look at a patient’s lifestyle and sleep routine to see what simple measures can help their sleep. These include looking at what time they go to bed and wake up, if they are napping, their diet, caffeine intake, screen usage, exercise routine etc. Always waking at the same time can shift the body to a more healthy circadian rhythm, cutting out caffeine in the evenings and increasing exercise can also effect positive change.
Constitutional and deeper acting remedies
If these simple measures do not help, prescribing a patient’s constitutional or miasmatic * remedy tends to be the most effective approach. This is why sleep often improves even when the patient is not seeking treatment for insomnia. If it is the right remedy for them it will trigger improvements in many areas. Everyone’s constitutional remedy will be different based on their unique case history and set of symptoms and a homeopath needs to prescribe these types of remedies.
Acute or local remedies
For patients experiencing milder or short term sleep symptoms with no other chronic causes, i.e. a temporary work related stress, there are remedies that can be prescribed by a homeopath or self-prescribed based on specific sleep symptoms.
So here are some remedies to try:
Cocculus: When you feel “too tired to sleep” after having long periods of sleeplessness, i.e. after nursing a loved one, getting up with a child at night, or as a result of disturbed sleep by working night shifts. Lack of sleep creates symptoms of dizziness, nausea, weakness, trembling and introspection.
Coffea cruda: This remedy relieves sleeplessness with worries, overactive thoughts, and hypersensitivity to pain.
Ignatia: Sleep loss after an emotional upset such as grief or loss, a relationship break-up, sadness, a shock or arguments. If you can get to sleep, it is so light you hear everything, may have nightmares, and experience twitching and jerking of the limbs.
Nux Vomica: If you are sleepless after burning 'your candle at both ends', overindulging with stimulants, food or alcohol. You may also need this remedy when under mental and emotional strain from overwork. Alongside the sleeplessness you may also experience digestive upsets, great irritability and impatience.
Zincum metallicum: This is a remedy for insomnia because of an over-active mind. You may feel wound up from overwork or be naturally inclined toward nervousness and just have trouble relaxing. Your legs and arms often feel extremely restless, and lying still in bed can be impossible. Even during the daytime, a person who needs this remedy may feel a constant need to move the muscles.
* Miasmatic remedies are used to strengthen the body against genetic weaknesses that give an individual predispositions towards specific maladies or disease processes. They must be prescribed by a qualified homeopath.
The remedies above, you can try yourself but I am also happy to chat about your particular sleep symptoms and talk further about homeopathy in general. Please call on 07180 464527 or email at email@example.com.