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Home remedies for insomnia are an excellent natural way to encourage sleep, without the risk of developing the common side effects of medication, such as addiction or worsening of insomnia in the long term, for example.
Although its effect is not as immediate as drugstore remedies, its action is more natural for the body and does not cause any kind of dependence. In addition, when used regularly, home remedies help regulate sleep cycles, allowing the effect to become faster and faster.
With the use of home remedies, it is also advisable to take other measures that facilitate sleep, such as avoiding having blue lights in the room and avoiding stimulating activities in the 30 minutes before bedtime. See these and other tips to help you sleep better.
This is a type of hormone that is produced naturally by the body and, therefore, is not popularly included in the category of "home remedies". However, melatonin is the main responsible for sleep, having markedly proven effects against insomnia in several studies.
It is possible to increase the production of melatonin naturally. For this, it is advisable to avoid stressful situations at the end of the day, reduce exposure to blue lights, such as the cell phone screen, give preference to indirect and yellow lighting indoors, and invest in the consumption of foods rich in tryptophan, such as peanut, egg or chicken meat. See a more complete list of foods with tryptophan.
People with a very busy lifestyle or who have tried to increase melatonin levels naturally, but have not had good results in improving sleep, can also choose to use a melatonin supplement, which can be purchased at pharmacies and some he alth food stores.In this case, supplementation should always be guided by a doctor or pharmacist.
Check out other remedies that may be indicated for the treatment of insomnia.
Valerian root tea has shown in several studies potent action against mild to moderate insomnia, as it has anxiolytic and sedative properties that help you fall asleep more easily.
Unlike drugstore sedatives, valerian is not addictive and therefore can be used safely. However, its effect can take up to 4 weeks to be noticed, as the substances in the plant slowly shape the sleep cycle.
- 1 tablespoon of dried valerian root;
- 300 ml of water.
Place the water and valerian root to boil over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from heat and strain. Let it cool down and drink 1 cup about 30 minutes before bed.
In addition to tea, valerian can also be consumed as a supplement, and should be ingested at a dose of 300 to 900 mg of the 0.8% extract. This dosage may need to be adapted by a herbalist or physician, according to the severity of insomnia and other characteristics of the person.
Valerian should be used with caution in pregnant women and patients with liver problems.
Hop is the same plant that is used in the production of beer, but in the form of tea it has shown a positive effect against insomnia. Its action has been related to its ability to prevent the degradation of GABA, a substance that helps in the relaxation of the nervous system, in addition to seeming to improve the action of melatonin receptors, potentiating the effect of the main hormone responsible for sleep.
- 1 teaspoon of hops;
- 1 cup of boiling water.
Add the hops to the boiling water and let it rest for approximately 10 minutes. Then strain and then drink, 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
This tea should not be used during pregnancy without the supervision of a doctor or herbalist.
4. Lemon balm
Leaves of lemon balm have been used for several centuries to treat cases of insomnia and, in recent studies, their action has been justified by their ability to prevent the destruction of GABA, a type of neurotransmitter that helps to calm the nervous system and to facilitate sleep.
- 2 teaspoons of lemon balm leaves;
- 500 ml of boiling water.
Place the lemon balm in a teapot and cover with boiling water. Cover, let cool, strain and then drink, preferably 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed.
Lemon balm can also be consumed in the form of capsules, with dosages between 300 to 500 mg per day, or drops. In these cases, the dose must always be adjusted by a doctor or herbalist. Lemon balm should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding without medical advice.
Passiflora is the passion fruit plant and, like lemon balm, this medicinal plant has been used for many years to help treat insomnia. Although there are still few studies on the use of this plant for insomnia, many of its substances have great potential to help in the treatment.
For example, chrysin, which is the main flavonoid in passionflower, has shown strong action on benzodiazepine receptors, which are the same receptors used by pharmacy anxiolytic drugs, which cause relaxation and help you sleep. Also, in research done on rats, passionflower extract helped a lot in prolonging sleep time.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of passionflower;
- 1 cup of boiling water.
Add the water with the passion flower and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, let it cool, strain and drink about 30 minutes before bed. Passionflower can often be added to valerian tea, for example, for a stronger effect.
This tea should be avoided in pregnant women.
When to go to the doctor
Although home remedies can help treat many cases of insomnia, there are also many cases where they are not enough, especially when there are other causes. Thus, it is advisable to go to the doctor when there is no improvement in insomnia after 4 weeks of treatment with a home remedy or when insomnia interferes with quality of life, as it may be necessary to identify the correct cause and initiate the most appropriate treatment.