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Posts Tagged ‘insomnia’

   A client walked into my consulting room yesterday and, breathing in, said “ah, essential oils.”.  He was quite right.  One of the things that I do to provide a comfortable and welcoming space for people is to diffuse a mix of essential oils into the room before they arrive.

So we had a bit of a conversation about essential oils and when I thought about it later, I decided that,  if I was only allowed one oil, lavender would be my most essential.

Lavender essential oil is good for so many things.  It is my number one burn remedy.  Keep a bottle in your kitchen for those times when you catch your arm on an oven shelf or drip something very hot on yourself.  DO NOT run it under cold water.  No!  Instead, immediately apply some neat lavender oil to the burn area and you will feel immediate relief.  And, even better than that, you will have no livid red scar.  It’s true – don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.

Sleep is another thing that lavender oil can help with.  It has a very soothing effect.  A couple of drops in your child’s bedtime bath water can work wonders to settle them down and encourage them to sleep.  And for people who find it hard to drop off to sleep, a drop of lavender oil on your pillow may help.

Don’t think more is better though, I have learned, through unfortunate experience, that four or five drops in the bath can have the opposite effect on one’s children!  And more than one drop on the pillow at night might have your eyes streaming!

If your eyes are streaming through a cold, or flu or some other bacterial or viral illness, however, diffusing lavender oil  into the room is an excellent idea. Lavender oil has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and it can boost the immune system.

A 10ml bottle of lavender oil will cost you around £5 and, as you only use it a couple of drops at a time, it will last you for ages (unless you are particularly accident-prone!).  My recommendation is, buy yourself a bottle now and no, I am not selling it! – you can get good quality lavender oil from most health food shops.

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   Last week, someone I have been working with emailed to let me know that she has been using the EFT demonstration videos on my website and has found them helpful.  I was really thrilled to know that – it’s exactly why I made them and you never know with these things whether people are going to find them useful or not.  Her kind feedback spurred me on to make another video that has been in my mind for a while – EFT for sleeping problems.  Here it is below – and if you would like to have the free information sheet with the words on (so you can do the exercise in bed), you can get it here.

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   This is a great question Sam – thank you for asking.  As a homeopath, there are lots of questions I need to ask in response to it. Irritating, I know – answering a question with more questions!  Here’s the thing though, when I look in my book of symptoms (known to homeopaths as The Homeopathic Medical Repertory), under the symptom “Wakes at night at 3.00 am” there are 48 different medicines to choose from.  So, I need to work out which of those 48 is going to be the best one for Sam.

To begin with, I want to know how long Sam has been experiencing this problem and what was happening when it started.

Then there’s the question of how Sam wakes.  You see some people wake suddenly, or as if they’ve heard a noise, or from hunger or thirst, from dreams, heat or coldness, needing to go to the loo, or from perspiration.  For other people, the waking seems to be causeless.

After that, it’s what is keeping Sam awake?  Is it thoughts of business, anxiety, restlessness or just feeling wide awake?

Has Sam got any idea what is causing this sleep problem?  And how has Sam been feeling since the sleep problem started – more irritable than normal, weepy, or just tired?

So, before I can recommend a homeopathic medicine to help Sam with this sleep problem, I need quite a lot more information.

In the meantime, what you could try, Sam, is to drink some water when you wake up and take a tiny bit of salt – straight salt if you can bear it and, if not, a couple of crisps or something similar.  A drop of lavender on your pillow may help you to feel more relaxed and sleepy.

And then you could just do a bit of tapping.  If you don’t know about EFT you can go here and watch the demonstration on “Feeling Bad”.  Instead of saying “Even though I’m feeling like this” you can tap in the same way and say “Even though I can’t get back to sleep” as you tap on the karate chop point and then as you go through the points from the top of your head to under your eyes you can say “Can’t get back to sleep” and from under your nose to under your arms you can say “Choosing to relax now”.  Then you can go through all the points from the top of your head to under your arms alternating “Choosing to relax” and “Choosing to go back to sleep”.

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  Well, who would have thought it?  Here I’ve been, writing all these tips and hints for getting a good night’s sleep and guess what’s happened?  Yesterday I was working with a new client whose secondary health problem was sleep.  In answer to the question on the Personal History form I’d sent to him, “What is your sleep like?” he had written “Terrible! Insomnia most nights.”

Now, as you may or may not know, my first prescription to most people is “drink more water” and this client had duly started to increase his water intake in the week between our introductory chat and his initial consultation.

Well, we went through the consultation, filling out the information he had provided and getting the details of his primary health problem.  As I checked to ensure we had covered everything I reminded him what he had written about his sleep and asked him to elaborate.  At which point he burst out laughing and said “you know, since I’ve started drinking the water, my sleep’s been fine.”

Job done.  On that front at least!

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   Here’s another little tip that may help you to get a good night’s sleep and it will cost you next to nothing – lavender essential oil, marvellous stuff.  Of course, it doesn’t suit everyone but it may work for you. Just buy yourself a 10ml bottle of good quality lavender essential oil and it will last you for ages.

Some people find taking a warm bath before they go to bed quite relaxing and if you add a couple of drops of lavender oil to that bath, it can also help you to sleep.  Be sure that you don’t add more than a couple of drops as too much can have the opposite effect and that’s clearly not what you want.  Something else you can add to your bath is Rock Salt – you can buy that quite easily from supermarkets – just throw in a couple of handfuls, add you lavender oil and swish it about until the salt has dissolved.

And if you’re not one of the people who enjoys a bath before bed, you can still benefit from the lavender oil – just put a drop on your pillowcase before you get into bed.  Again, make sure it is just one drop and if you find that too strong, just turn your pillow over – you can still get the benefit.

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   Restful sleep is as important as exercise or diet in keeping us healthy.  Lots of healing occurs when we sleep.  Lung and heart activity is reduced, our body’s temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate all fall and our muscles relax.  This allows the cells of our bodies to carry out essential repairs, to grow and regenerate.

Individual sleep requirements vary, but most adults are now thought to need eight hours sleep a night.  Not sleeping well means that people feel tired during the day and can be tempted to drink caffeine to keep themselves going. Unfortunately, caffeine only masks tiredness, a bit like a paracetemol will mask a headache – it can help in emergencies, but it’s not a good idea to rely on it.

The only real cure for sleepiness is sleep and if you can’t sleep at night, perhaps you can manage a nap during the day – in the 1990’s this was called the ‘power nap’.  A short daytime sleep or nap can be really helpful; it can increase your alertness, your productivity and even your creativity.  The best amount of time is 15-30 minutes – longer than this can cause people to feel a bit groggy.  The best time is 8 hours after waking and 8 hours before bed.

 

 

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   Some more homeopathic treatments for sleep, based on these three, separate aspects of your sleep problem:

  1. The symptoms of your sleep problem – is it that you can’t get to sleep? or that you wake up in the night? or that you can’t wake up in the morning? And along with this, any symptoms that you are aware of that go with your sleep problem – constant thoughts running through your head, over-heating, pains, headaches, etc.
  2. What is causing your sleep problem?  Anxiety about work?  Family problems?  Too much excitement?
  3. How are you feeling, generally, since you started having the sleep problem?  Have you become more irritable, or weepy, or anxious?
Arsenicum
  1. Symptoms  You feel constantly drowsy and yawn frequently yet at night you are sleepless, agitated and constantly tossing and turning.  You sleep lightly with lots of anxious dreams.
  2. Cause  Strong emotions, anxiety, grief or fright.
  3. Feeling  You may feel anxious and restless, indecisive or angry.
Lachesis
  1. Symptoms  You may feel extremely drowsy during the day – particularly after a meal and find yourself lively and wide awake in the evening and find it difficult to sleep before midnight.  You are woken by getting hot, or with a headache or a cough.
  2. Cause  Injuries, sun, warm weather, anger.
  3. Feeling  You may feel anxious and uneasy or discouraged and easily moved to tears.
Rhus Tox
  1. Symptoms  You may have a strong urge to sleep during the day and also in the morning in bed.  You may yawn a lot while stretching your body and your sleep is very restless with vivid dreams of the business of the day.
  2. Cause  Cold, over-exertion, anger.
  3. Feeling  You may feel helpless and despondent or irritable and ill-humoured.
Again, if you think your sleeping difficulty matches any of the above, you could try taking that remedy and see if it helps.  These are common remedies that you can get from health food shops and some chemists.  Get the remedy with a 30 after the name and take them as prescribed on the bottle.

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