The term insomnia literally denotes a complete lack of sleep .It
is, however, used to indicate a relative inability to sleep that
consist of difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in remaining
asleep, early final awakening or combinations of these
complaints. These disease has assumed alarming proportions in
the present times, specially among the upper classes in the
:Difficulty in falling asleep is the first symptom that most
frequently marks the onset of insomnia.There may be changes in
the duration and quality of sleep lack of concentration during
the day, lapses of memory .The most common cause of Insomnia is
mental tension due to anxiety, over work, over excitation.
Suppressed feelings of anger and bitterness may also cause
insomnia. Some other causes of insomnia are constipation,
dyspepsia, overeating at night, going to bed hungry, excessive
intake of tea or coffe, smoking etc.
Rauwolfia serpentina: The herb Rauwolfia due to its
sedative action is undisputedly regarded as a valuable medicine
for insomnia. 250 mg to 500 mg of the powder of the root mixed
with cardamom to be given to the patient. The very first dose
of rauwolfia will enable the patient to go to sleep. If the
disease is chronic, the patient should take 250 mg twice daily,
in the morning as well as at night.
The mixture of bottle gourd juice and sesame oil mixed in equal
parts acts as an effective medicine for insomnia. It should be
massaged over the scalp every night. The cooked leaves of bottle
gourd taken as a vegetable are also beneficial in the treatment
A tea made from aniseed is valuable in sleeplessness. This tea
is prepared by boiling about 375 ml of water with one teaspoon
of aniseed. The water should be covered with a lid and allowed
to simmer for 15 minutes. It should be strained and drunk warm.
The tea may be sweetened with honey. This tea to be taken after
meals and before going bed.
is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia as it contains a
sleep-inducing substance, named ‘lectuacarium’ . The juice of
this plant has a sedative action. Lettuce seed taken in a
decoction are also useful in insomnia.
Milk: Milk is
very valuable in insomnia. A glass of milk, sweetened with
honey, should be taken every night before going to bed in
treating insomnia. It acts as a tonic and a tranquillizer.
Curd: Curd is
also useful in insomnia. The patient should take a plenty of
curd and massage it on the head. This will induce sleep.
The patient should take a low salt diet as
salt is said to interfere with a restful sleep. A balanced diet
with simple modification in the eating pattern will go a long
way in the treatment of insomnia. Such a diet should exclude
white flour product, sugar and its product, tea, coffee,
alcohol, chocolate, cola drinks, fatty foods, fried foods and
foods containing additives.