Many insomnia sufferers coming to taking sleep aids. They know these sleep aids, whether Benzodiapenes or Ambien, are not curing them. They want to stop taking them, and I typically work with their doctor to do so. Eventually we swap out addictive drugs for natural remedies, including herbs, supplements and, often, CBD oil. The question is always, which herbs, supplements and what kind of CBD oil is best. The real, if maddening, answer is that it requires a medical intake and diagnosis to know which ones are best for you.
Chinese herb formulas are not harmless. In fact, Traditional Chinese Medicine has identified over forty types of insomnia. There is for each kind of insomnia, and each set of symptoms, a unique formula. Take the wrong one and your symptoms could get worse. It’s for this reason that I urge you to see a licensed acupuncturist/herbalist.
Natural remedies that you may find helpful.
Chamomile is a gentle, sedative herb that is safe for children and adults alike. In tea form, it’s often used for insomnia, restlessness, and irritability. Chamomile oil can be put in bath water (5-6 drops) to soothe nerves, diluted to two percent to make an excellent massage oil, or used as an inhalant. (S) Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30 drops 3 x daily.
Lavender is a wonderful sleep-positive herb. Add a few drops of this gentle nervous system tonic to a bath before bedtime. The oil may also be used as a compress, massage oil, or inhaled. You can also place a few drops under your pillowcase at night. Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Essential oil may be inhaled, massaged into the skin (use 10 drops essential oil per ounce of vegetable oil), or 3-5 drops in baths.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. The main job of melatonin is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles. Some people who are sleep-challenged have low levels of melatonin, and it may help to add melatonin in supplement form. Success is mixed; some use it regularly, while others feel nothing. A small percentage of melatonin users experience nervousness and vivid dreaming.
CBD may play a role in the growth of new brain cells. CBD is also widely recognized as having anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. This makes CBD helpful for a wide range of conditions, from neurological disorders to autoimmune diseases to chronic pain and depression. I prescribe specific types of CBD, and specific dosages, to help patients diminish anxiety levels and thus sleep better.
As always, I suggest people come in for a professional diagnosis. This helps them to better ascertain what kind of sleep disorder they have and what is the best way to treat it.
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