Sleep is one of the most deeply healing and revitalizing experiences for human. When we get enough restful sleep, the entire world looks brighter. Insomnia is a condition characterized by the inability to fall asleep, or waking up through the night without the ability to fall asleep again. Everybody experience it from time to time, but if it continues more than a week it is considered chronic insomnia. Most of the time cause for the insomnia is psychological disorder such as stress, anxiety, depression, overworking and so on. Pharmaceutical industry came out with a variety of drugs that can “put you to sleep” as this became a major human problem but still most of the population chooses to use herbal remedies to cure it.
There are two major approaches to using herbal remedies for insomnia and sleep disorder – Western approaches and the Chinese approaches. Both of them can be very effective. The Western approaches are mainly used in North America and Europe. Many people believe it’s somehow simplistic than the Chinese approaches.
The Western approach uses a single herb or combination of them mainly in a pill form. The most popular herbs used are: Valerian Root, Passion Flower, Kava Kava and Hops. Generally the goal effect is calmness. Therefore there can still be some disadvantages like toxicity with herbs. The Kava Kava herb is associated with liver damage. Another disadvantage is the effect – you may experience it not as strong as you desire it or less likely is to experience the effect too strong or too lasting.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM for short, uses combinations of herbs usually by the form of tea or tincture for easier absorption by the body. TCM views insomnia as a disorder in health of the body as well as imbalanced interaction between the body and the spirit. The herbs are used to rebalance the body and the spirit by providing calmness to the nervous system.TCM usually uses one of those herbs to support the body – Poria, Patrinia, Licorice Root and the so called Traditional Chinese Tea so popular over the world. Although the TCM remedies originated from China, the industrial standards have not always kept with the western world.
In order to prevent insomnia you should have some sleep hygiene. Maintain a sleep schedule. Wake up at a specific hour each morning to help set your biological clock. Restrict the amount of sleep to only as much as you need to make you feel refreshed. Exercising helps deepen sleep, however, strenuous exercise should be completed three-four hours before going to bed. Keep the room at a cool to moderate temperature because excessive heat disturbs sleep and minimize the liquid before going to bed so that you don’t have to go to the bathroom at night.