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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 urban setup.


: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.

Herbal Remedies

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.

Bottle Gourd: 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 of insomnia.

Aniseed: 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.

Lettuce: Lettuce 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.

Dietary Condition:

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.

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