Resorting to natural methods can contribute to falling asleep and avoid insomnia, multiple or early awakenings in the middle of the night. Lavender, chamomile essential oil, Bach flower… Practical advice and preferred remedies.
Difficulty falling asleep, waking up at nightapnea, insomnia… There are several natural remedies (in particular based on plants) recognized for their benefits on sleep. Tower of best with our naturopath.
What are the natural remedies for insomnia?
Insomnia corresponds either to a decrease in the usual duration of sleep, or to a modification of its quality, accompanied by multiple awakenings and early awakenings. Temporary insomnia can last up to 3 weeks. Chronic insomnia is either repetitive or on the contrary happens suddenly after a psychological shock or an accident. “In case of insomnia, after 20 minutes it is best to get up otherwise we risk sending the message to the brain that the bed is also made to stay awake; and thus trigger the vicious circle of insomnia “, recommends Angélina Jeandel, naturopath.
► In gemmotherapy (bud) : blackcurrant, or linden. Gemmotherapy uses the embryonic part of the plant (bud, young shoot or rootlet), which has the property of concentrating all the active principles of the plant. It comes in the form of macerate (the presence of alcohol prohibits the remedy for pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and people in alcohol withdrawal). To be taken according to the dosage indicated by the manufacturer of the product.
► Eat foods rich in vitamins every day magnesium, vitamin B, omega 3, zinc, tryptophan (a precursor of serotonin with sedative properties): banana, almond, fish, legumes.
► In aromatherapyby olfactory way: “spreading theessential oil (EO) of lavender, in the evening at bedtime, would reduce the level of glutamate, a substance that accelerates the vigilance of the nervous system” recommends the naturopath. Or “I’EO of tropical basil, which boosts the level of GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. It is he who puts a brake on our stresses, our crazy thoughts, our worries“.
► In flower therapy : the remedy for Bach flowers Rescue night is a ready-made complex, to be used in case of insomnia.
What natural remedies to sleep well?
To sleep well, it is sometimes necessary to act at different levels:
► Listen to your body : when you feel the need to go to bed, you have to go to bed.
► Avoid magnetic waves (wifi, bluetooth, 3G/4G), connected appliances, and bright television screens, computers and smartphones.
► Manage stress before going to bed: through yoga, meditation, cardiac coherence, and one’s emotions: with the Bach flowers.
► Avoid sport in the evening because it raises the body temperature at a time or naturally it lowers to prepare for sleep. On the other hand, sport in the morning increases the time of deep slow sleep.
► try tohave a regular rhythm : get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
► Consume daily foods that provide the nutrients needed for sleep : magnesium, vitamin B, omega 3, zinc, tryptophan (a precursor of serotonin): banana, almonds, fish, legumes.
► Avoid protein at dinner which stimulates the activity of the organism.
► Reduce stimulants: alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, drugs.
► Drink cherry juice and eat sour cherries which increase serotonin and melatonin levels.
► Use the herbal medicine : passionflower, valerian, eschscholzia, lemon balm, hawthorn, lime blossom, chamomile, verbena. Either in infusion (you can combine several). Either in mother tincture at the dosage indicated by the manufacturer of the chosen product.
“Our body needs more than 7 hours of sleep per night”
► In homeopathy : The mixture Somnidoron of Weleda, partner Coffee Tosta 20DH, Strammonium 12DH and Valeriana officinalis 3DH, is useful in case of difficulty falling asleep (contraindicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, hepatic impairment, epileptics due to its alcohol content (30%).
► In flower therapy : THE Bach flowers Impatiens to relax and stop doing 1000 things at once, perfect for people who are constantly over-revving and therefore unable to relax at bedtime. Or white chestnut For no longer have mental ruminations that prevent sleep.
► In aromatherapy: the HE of officinal lavender can be used without risk, but punctually, directly on the skin, on the wrists, at the level of the solar plexus, where on the soles of the feet, to relax and sleep well. For pregnant women, prefer the essential oil of green mandarin: 1 drop on the pillow (to be turned over to avoid any contact with the eyes or the skin), in the evening, from 3 days to several weeks.
“Our body needs more than 7 hours of sleep per night.. Below 6 hours per night, an adult does not “recharge his batteries”, and does not operate the “cleaning” of his body“, says the naturopath. “Cleansing” is defined in Chinese medicine by the activity of the organs (gallbladder, liver, lungs, intestine, stomach) during the night (period of rest) to detox. The liver, for example, processes toxins between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m..“Sleep is therefore essential for the proper functioning of the body.”We slept well when we fall asleep easily, we achieve full nights without nocturnal awakening, we present a natural awakening where we feel in great shape”she summarizes.
What natural remedies for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea corresponds to a succession of interruptions in breathing during sleep (apnea), or reductions (hypopneas), due, in the majority of cases, to obstructions in the throat. She “does not prevent the person from falling asleep“, emphasizes Loïc Plisson, permatherapist, but she disturbs his sleep, and results in fatigue, headaches, mood disorders, libido, attention, drowsiness during the day. It is necessary to identify the possible causes, to find the right treatment. Natural remedies will relieve and complement conventional treatments by equipment.
► In homeopathy: Kalium carbonicum, opium, calcarea carbonica, lycopodium clavatum, nux vomicamagnesia phosphorica, lachesis mutus, natrum sulfuricum. Consult a homeopathic doctor to adapt the treatment to your specific needs.
► In dietetic : being overweight is one of the aggravating factors of sleep apnea. lose some weight by following a healthy and balanced diet, without alcohol, without carbonated drinks, and by avoiding fruit at the end of meals, and by favoring sources of antioxidants, omega-3, B vitamins.
► The sophrology makes it possible to activate the resources in a multidisciplinary accompaniment, for the management of stress and emotions, breathing, and the relationship to one’s body.
► In permatherapy : the permatherapy approach makes it possible to seek “everything that the person suffering from sleep apnea, and in his environment, poses a problem” indicates Loïc Plisson, permatherapist. The practitioner is looking for example for a “tendency to allergy, infections“. The use of medicinal plants, a change in diet, daily physical activity is recommended, depending on the profile of the person, which only the practitioner can analyze.
► sleeping position : raise your head a little by raising the upper part of the bed. Avoid sleeping on your back.
► Work on your breath : breathe deeply during a daily walk of at least 30 minutes. Singing or blowing in a musical instrument every day, allows you to work your breath, the muscles of the throat, and to strengthen your tongue. This “gymnastics” stimulates the firmness of the tissues of the laryngeal spherein order to avoid excessive relaxation of the muscles during sleep, and asphyxiation by obstruction of the throat.
► wash your nose with salt water (sea water for example) in the evening, to clear the nasal passage for the night.
What natural remedies for nightmares?
► In aromatherapy, by olfactory way : diffusion of Roman chamomile EO has an immediate calming and de-stressing effect. Where from HE bigarade small grain, which calms the nerves and restores calm in stressful situations. It helps to put things into perspective, to regain energy and joie de vivre. These two essential oils have recognized relaxing and anxiolytic properties. For children, the aromatic hydrosol of bitter orange blossom can allow the little ones to fall asleep, and to get back to sleep in the event of crying and nightmares: 2 sprays on the pillow in the evening at bedtime or in the event of nocturnal awakening.
► In aromatherapy, by dermal route : To sleep well, without nightmares, in case of fear of the dark and anxiety at bedtime, it is possible to apply on the wrists in the evening at bedtime, 1 drop of green mandarin EO added 3 drops of vegetable oil (HV) of macadamia or apricot kernel, and inhale it deeply.
► In flower therapy : there bach flower Mimulus is indicated for anxious people who are afraid of not being able to sleep (which adds to insomnia) and who are prone to nightmares.
Precautions for use
- The application of pure essential oil remains punctual, carried out on people who have already tested it and who have had no allergic reaction.
- Green mandarin EO is photosensitizing. Sun exposure should be avoided within 3 to 6 hours of application (depending on sunlight level).
- The use of essential oils is contraindicated for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and people with epilepsy.
Thanks to Angélina Jeandel, naturopath in Fontenay-aux-Roses and Paris, and Loïc Plisson, permatherapist, in Blois.