Before discussing the homeopathic sleep remedies, we first need to understand what is sleeplessness or insomnia and what causes it.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, using the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, defines insomnia as “repeated difficulty with sleep initiation duration, consolidation, or quality that occurs despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep and results in some from of daytime impairment” (AASM 2005, 1). Most people with insomnia have difficulty either falling asleep, known as sleep onset insomnia, or staying asleep, known as sleep maintenance insomnia. If you have insomnia, you may also have trouble functioning during the day. For example, you might feel irritable or short-tempered or have an overall bad mood. Other impairments may include feeling sluggish, being fatigued or tired, and having decreased attention and concentration. What’s worse, even though you may feel tired during the day, you probably can’t sleep well at night or take a nap when you feel like you really need it.
(Stephanie A. Silberman; The Insomnia Workbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Sleep You Need; 2009; 19-20)
Homeopathic sleep remedies
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which a patient is suffering.
The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat sleeplessness, but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility of the patient. For this, the patient’s current symptoms, past medical history and family history are taken into account. There are many homeopathic remedies which cover the symptoms of insomnia and can be selected on the basis of presenting symptoms, their cause and the individual characteristics of the patient. For individualized remedy selection and treatment of sleep related problems, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies for the treatment of sleeplessness are given below:
Coffea:- One of the best homeopathic sleep remedies which is indicated if the patient is in a wide-awake condition; impossible to close the eyes; physical excitement through mental exaltation. After happy news, after overwork which brings joy and after pleasant surprise, but not from discomfort or pain. Due to prolonged night watching or abuse of drugs.
Senecio:- For sleeplessness from prolapse of uterus. Uterine irritation during climacteric.
Cypripedium:- When patient is unable to sleep due to the overcrowding of the brain with all kinds of pleasant ideas. Little babies often wake up and play the whole night to the annoyance of their parents.
Mag Carb:- Sleeplessness from oppression in abdomen or from anxious uneasiness and internal fear, with a great dread of being uncovered. Sleeplessness from flatus.
Kali Phos:- Sleepless after worry, excitement or from nervous causes. Constant dreaming of fire, robbers, ghosts, falling. Twitching of mulscles on falling asleep. Awakens with a fright.
Muriatic Acid:- Sleepy, but unable to sleep; tosses about; dreamy and restless all through the night. Irritable.
Causticum:- Sleeplessness at night on account of dry heat, cannot rest in any posture. He cannot find a comfortable position.
Ferrum Met:- Can sleep only by change of position of the bed with head to the North.
Ignatia:- Sleeps so light that he hears everything. Dreams all night of the same subject. Sleeplessness due to anxious thoughts, grief, sadness or any depressing emotions. Restlessness with a tremor passing through the body.
Arnica Mont:- Sleeplessness caused by over-exertion and weariness of mind and body.
Aconite:- Sleeplessness from anxiety, restlessness, anguish and fear; child tosses about feverishly.
Arsenic Alb:- Sleeplessness due to fear of air raids or fear of disease. Excessive prostration with sleeplessness. Restlessness drives him from bed to couch to chair. Worse after midnight.
Opium :- For sleeplessness when Coffea fails. From sudden shock, bad news, frightful visions. Sleepy buy can’t sleep.
Sulphur:- ‘Cat nap sleep’. Sleeps all day and is sleepless at night. Wakes prematurely and then is wide awake.
Clematis :- In the morning sensation of having not slept enough. Great sleepiness.
Passiflora Inc:- A very useful remedy for sleeplessness, but it should be given in mother tincture, viz. 10 to 30 drops a dose.
Ambra Grisea:- We should always remember Ambra Grisea in which sleeplessness arisies from worries of mind as from business troubles. The patient retires to bed feeling tolerably tired, yet as soon as his head touches the pillow he becomes wakeful.
Tabacum:- Sleeplessness or insomnia due to nervous break down. Insomnia from dilated heart. Leg jerks.
Bellis P:- Waking up too early in the morning and cannot get to sleep again.
Cocculus indicus:- Sleeplessness due to night watching, lack of sleep due to some worry or engagement. Thinking of the business of the previous day prevents sleep.
Scutellaria Lat:- In nervous patients who are very intelligent, ambitious, active. They are the head of a society or business concern but cannot sleep well and continue brooding over business affairs. Sleeplessness due to bilious headaches located at the base of brain.
Nux Vom:- Sleeplessness in drunkards or when due to abuse of coffee, tea or a deranged stomach. Sleeplessness in overambitious and industrious people, often leading a sedentary life. Irritable and snappish temperament.
Belladonna:- Sleep is extremely restless due to congestion in the head. Cannot close the eyes, as he sees dreadful images on doing so. Children wake from sleep frightened.
Hyoscyamus:- Sleeplessness from nervous excitement. Brain full of bewildering ideas and images. Sleeplessness in children who twitch, cry out, are frightened and tremble. Irritable and easily excited individuals.
Chamomilla:- Sleepless due to pain, nervousness, during dentition, irritation from worms. Moaning, tossing about, irritable.
Gelsemium:- For insomnia of people involved in mental work. Useful for men who pass restless nights, awaken early in the morning and worry over their business affairs. Patient usually has low thirst and sensitive to cold.