best home remedies for insomnia

The term insomnia denotes the difficulty in falling or staying asleep or waking up too early or waking up frequently in the night or a combination of all these. There may be changes in the duration and quality of sleep or persistent changes in sleep patterns. 

This article looks at some of the best home remedies for insomnia.

causes and symptoms of insomnia

The most common causes of sleeplessness is mental tension, anxiety, worry, overwork or over excitement. Grief, suppressed feeling of resentment, anger and bitterness may also cause insomnia.

Uncomfortable environment such as, excessive noise, or a light, or uncomfortable mattress, and also working on a gadget can cause insomnia.

Other factors could be excessive intake of tea or coffee, drinking it late at night, smoking, drinking alcohol and going to bed hungry.

Constipation, dyspepsia, overeating at night and worrying about sleep can also keep you awake. Chronic insomnia could also be due to health problems like depression, high blood pressure or diabetes. 

The single symptom that most frequently marks the onset of insomnia is difficulty in falling asleep. Chronic sleeplessness can have serios consequences like lack of energy, lapses of memory, and lack of concentration and irritability during the day. Other symptoms are emotional instability, loss of coordination, and confusion.

Nutrition, Dietary, lifestyle, Nutrition and herbs for insomnia

Dietary consideration

Having a low salt diet is important as salt is said to interfere with the restful sleep. A balanced diet with simple modification in the eating pattern will go a long way in the treatment of insomnia. 

Diet should exclude white flour products, sugar and it's product, tea, coffee, chocolate, cola drinks, alcohol, fatty acids, fried food and foods containing additives.

Regular exercise & Yoga poses

Regular active exercise during the day and mild exercise before retiring at night enhances the quality and quantity of sleep.

Yoga helps in the majority of cases. It provides physical and mental relaxation from ones disturbing problems. The traditional yoga Asanas which are effective for insomnia patients are shirshasana (head stand), sharvasana (corpse pose), paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), uttanasana (standing forward bend), viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose).

reducing stress

One should make an all-out effort to eliminate as many stress factors as possible. The step in this direction should include

  • regular practise of any relaxation method or meditation technique,
  • cultivating the art of doing things slowly, particularly activities like eating, walking and talking
  • limiting the working day to 9 or 10 hours and working week to five and a half  days,
  • cultivating a creative hobby and spending some time daily on this, and most importantly
  • avoiding meeting unrealistic targets

10 herbs & home remedies for insomnia

Some of the best foods and home remedies for insomnia, you can include in your diet to have a better night sleep are-

1. Lettuce

One of the best home remedies for insomnia is to have lettuce with your meals or eat it as a salad. Lettuce is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia as it contains a sleep inducing substance call 'lactucarium'. Studies have shown that eating romaine lettuce can help in insomnia. 

2. 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 this condition. It acts as a tonic and a tranquilizer.

3. celery

Celery is also use full in the treatment of sleeplessness. Celery juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey makes a delightful drink. This mixture taken at night before retiring will help one relax into a soothing and restful sleep.

4. Aniseed/ carom seed

Aniseed : a tea made from aniseed is valuable in sleeplessness. This tea is prepared by boiling about a cup of water in a vessel and adding a teaspoon of aniseed. The water should be covered with a lid and allowed to simmer for 15 mins. It should then be strained and drank hot or warm. That tea may be sweetened with honey.  This tea should be taken after a meal or before going to bed.

5. Honey

Honey- is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia it has an hypnotic effect and induces a sound sleep. It should be taken with water before going to bed in doses of  2 teaspoons in a large cup of water. Babies generally fall asleep after taking honey. Make sure to take raw, unpasteurised honey.

6. Rauwolfia

Rauwolfia - the herb rauwolfia is a valuable medicine for insomnia because of its indisputable efficacy as a sedative. The hypnotic action of the drug appears to have been known since ancient times. It also helps in reducing blood pressure. 

7. Cumin

Cumin is valuable in relieving sleeplessness. The tsp of dried powder of cumin seeds mixed with the pulp of ripe banana can be taken at night to induce sleep. 

8. Nutmeg

Nutmeg- the powder of nutmeg, mixed with fresh amla juice is also an effective medicine for insomnia, irritability and depression. Nutmeg paste mixed with honey is given to kids who cry at night for no apparent reason to induce sleep. It should however not be given regularly without medical advice as it may cause serious complications and addiction in kids.


Poppy seeds about 30 g of milk extracted from the seeds mixed with honey can be used for treating insomnia. Soak the poppy seeds and then grind them to add in any recipes. A teaspoon of poppy seed oil taken every night is also very effective. This is one of the home remedies for insomnia, used by many ancient cultures, you can make almond and poppy seed dessert, can use poppy seed in curries, breads etc.


Valerian- useful in treating Insomnia. It reduces excitement, irritation and pain. Drinking a cup of Valerian tea in the evening can help to induce sleep. This tea is not recommended for pregnant and nursing women.

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