6 herbs and 4 herbs for sleep, Proper rest, cause and cure for insomnia.

proper rest, cause and cure for insomnia.

PROPER REST. 
In a fast-paced world where delay is termed inefficiency and incompetence, it is really difficult to pause for a rest. Insomnia is a vest epidemic.

The 1/3 of the life of an average person will be spent in sleeping. Between the ages of 25 and 70 the average person spends 15 years sleeping. Lack of sleep has made generals lose battles, nervous patients lose their minds, wives loss their husbands and marriage. It is obvious that sleep is not a waste of time but crucial aspect of life. 

People stay up late and wake up early to catch up their busy schedule and be a brace with expensive lifestyle and credit card debt. 
The act of working long hours or overtime with the cooperation of caffeine and other stimulants may prove successful for a while but for each hour we miss per night, we accrue a sleep debt that must be repaid  or health consequences may follow. 

The allegory of Stephen Covey the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People gives a explains  the absurdity of the above ideology. 
“Imagine you are walking through the woods when you came upon a man feverishly trying to saw down a tree, the man looks exhausted. He says he has been sawing on the same tree for five hours. “Why don’t you take a break for a couple of minutes and sharpen that saw?” You asked “it will cut faster” “no time for that” he gasps “I’m too busy sawing”

Rest or sleep is associated with the following. 

1) Risk of diabetes:  People who sleep inadequately has higher risk of diabetes, the main reason being that the level of stress hormones is increased when the body is deprived of sleep, which results in an increase in the body’s resistance to insulin and its activity of bringing blood sugar into the tissues.
 
2) Obesity: The reduction in the body’s ability to handle sugar after being deprived of sleep leads to obesity and often those that keep wake nights resort to snacks during those late hours.
 
3) Rate in healing of sores, injuries and recovery from illness: The night is the body’s time for repairs and maintenance, the evacuation of waste products are effected, enzymes and hormones are replenished and circulated. We are only assured of a serviced, rejuvenated, and strong body after a good night rest. 

4) Strength of the immune system: The strength of the immune system is highly dependent on a good night rest. Some reason for these are 
[1]. During the night, waste products from the body are removed, the level of toxins in the body has a direct impact on activities of the immune system. 
[2]. During the night rest stress hormones are reduced in the body which allows for the metabolism of sugar, a cube of sugar suppresses the work of the white blood cells from 13 to 1

5) Life span: Proper rest can lengthen your life span several studies have shown that people who regularly sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night had low death rate then those who averaged either  less than 7 hours or who slept longer. 

6) Intelligence and emotional quotient:  Adequate sleep in a dark environment can improve nighttime Melatonin levels which in turn can help daytime energy level a memory. A dull thinking is a signal that you are not getting enough rest sleep. Sleep is crucial for maintaining cognitive ability and learning new skills.

7) Heart diseases: There is a remarkable increase in blood pressure after inadequate night sleep. The work and pressure of the heart is reduced and heart beat slows down during the  nights rest

8) Level of concentration: There is a decline in the efficiency and level of concentration in industrial workers after a deprivation of sleep leading to increased risk of accidents and irritability. 


Causes of sleep debt: 

1) Television and internet surfing.
2) Entertainment and sport
3) Overwork and night shifts
4) Stress and anxiety
5) Noisy environment
6) Use of certain medications. 
7) Stimulants such as caffeine. 
8) Sedentary lifestyle 
9) Restlessness 
10) Tension 


Recipes for restful sleep. 

A quiet, dark, well-ventilated room. 

An empty stomach (3 hours after eating) 

“Make it [a] habit not to sit up after nine o’clock. Every light should be extinguished. This turning night into day is a wretched, health-destroying habit, and this reading much by brain workers, up to the sleeping hours, is very injurious to health. It calls the blood to the brain and then there is restlessness and wakefulness, and the precious sleep that should rest the body does not come when desired.    E. G. WHITE PIONEER HEALTH REFORMER/EDUCATOR”


Moderate physical activity before retiring 

A clear conscience, a mind at peace with God. 

Maintenance as regular a schedule as possible for going to bed, getting up, eating, exercising. The body flourishes on regular rhythms 

Try a lukewarm (not a hot) bath. It is helpful relaxation technique.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants

The effect of sleeping with light on. 
Using artificial light during dusk suppresses the production of Melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain's pineal gland at night Melatonin is responsible for sleep-wake cycle. This hormone aids in lowering glucose level, body pressure and body temperature. There has being a significant increase in the risk of heart attack, cancer and diabetes in people with suppressed Melatonin.

“Resting in any hour of the day or night is beneficial but God has made two hours before midnight four-fold  a blessing to man than any other hour among the 24hrs, so also the Lord told us among the 7 days that make up the week that He has blessed the Sabbath being the 7th day of the week to be more than 10 fold blessing to man, what God blesses, He will not curse. Genesis 2:7, Numbers 24:9. OHAJA. CHINOMNSO. C”
The four stages of sleep.
 
A. Light or hypnogogic stage: We enter into the stage of sleep within minutes or seconds of nodding off. In this stage you can easily be woken because it is not very deep. The brain produces alpha and theta waves it might last up to 5 or more minutes.

B. Moderate stage: This stage is also light and the brain waves slows down produce in a frequency called sleep Spindles. 

C. Deep stage: At this stage there are no more eye movements and the brain produces slower delta waves. It is always the beginning of a deep sleep and still deeper sleep. Waking someone is more difficult at this stage. This is when the body produces hormone for growth and development, repairs muscle and tissues, enhance the immune system, and prepare the body for its work for the morning. 

D. Rapid Eye Movement [REM] : As the name suggests, the eye  movement is rapid, jerking from one position to the another. This stage begins about 1h 30 minutes or less after sleeping off. An adult experiences multiple REM cycles every night, each last for an hour or more. During this time, dreams occur. This is the time when the brain transfers and processes information from short-term memory to long term-memory, it is the final phase of sleep and can not be achieved by medication or sleeping pills. Eating lately in the night may prevent this stage, so the stomach should be done with digestion before going to bed.

 “Sleep is not a vast wasteland of inactivity. The sleeping brain is highly active at various times during the night, performing numerous physiological, neurological, and biochemical housekeeping tasks.  These are essential for everything, from maintaining life itself to reorganizing and enhancing thinking and memory. Dr James Maas,.Professor at Cornell University. ”

ST. John’s wort. (HYPERICUM PERFORATUM):
crossover studies investigating the effects of St John's wort (0.9 and 1.8 mg) on the sleep polysomnogram of healthy subjects reported that both doses of St John's wort significantly increased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep latency

Dose: Tincture, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon 2-3 x daily; powdered extract, 1-2 tablets or capsules 2-3 x
daily. Allow 2-3 weeks for the full therapeutic effect to develop. If you experience light
sensitivity or other unpleasant symptoms, reduce or discontinue the St. John’s
Herbal Formulas for Insomnia

Hops 
Preparation: To prepare an infusion, boiling water is poured over the ground hop cones and left to draw for 10 to 15 minutes (1 teaspoonful is equal to 0.4 gm drug).
Daily Dosage: For most indications, a single dose of 0.5 gm is given. 

To promote sleep, a single dose of 1 to 2 gm drug is given; liquid extract: single dose: 0.5 to 2 ml; tincture: single dose: 1 to 2 ml
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily for 2-3 days; Tincture, 30-40 drops 2-3 x daily.

“I know the testimonies given me to for brain workers, that sleep is worth far more before than after midnight.Two hours’ good sleep before twelve o’clock is worth more than four hours after twelve o’clock.  E. G. WHITE PIONEER HEALTH REFORMER /EDUCATOR”

Nutmeg 
Though nutmeg is a stimulant, it has narcotic and anticonvulsant properties and can be successfully used at low dose (a pinch of powder will do) as a sleep aid for short- or long-term sleep problems. Laboratory studies also indicate that nutmeg has antidepressant activity.


Passion flower (PASSIFLORA INCARNATA)
Pharmacological research shows the herb to have sedative, tranquilizing, and sleep-inducing properties. A 2001 clinical trial found that passionflower was as effective in relieving anxiety as oxazepam, a conventional tranquilizer, and had fewer reported side effects. 

A clinical study in 2011 found improvement in subjective sleep quality in those taking passionflower.

Infusion: For occasional sleeplessness, drink up to 1 ½ cups (300 ml) during the evening
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 3 x daily; Tincture, 30-60 drops 3-4 x daily.


Chamomile  (Anthemis nobilis):
Chamomile is a time-honored sedative herb which can be safely used by children and adults alike. Chamomile tea is commonly used in Europe, South America, and Mexico for insomnia and restlessness combined with irritability, particularly in children. 

Chamomile oil can also be put in bath water (5-6 drops) to soothe overwrought nerves,
diluted to 2% to make an excellent massage oil, or used as an inhalant.
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30 drops 3 x daily.


Valerian 
Extensive research in Germany and Switzerland has endorsed the use of valerian to aid sleep, improve sleep quality, and lower blood pressure. 
A German trial carried out in 2002 that tested valerian and oxazepam (a conventional sleep treatment) found both to be effective—83% of those taking valerian rated the treatment as very good compared to 73% of those taking oxazepam.

Many symptoms of anxiety, including tremors, panic, palpitations, and sweating, can be relieved with valerian. It is a useful remedy for insomnia, whether caused by anxiety or overexcitement.

Powder can be taken as capsules. For Insomnia, take 1–2 doses of 500 mg at night.
Tincture to make. For anxiety, take 20 drops in hot water up to 5 times a day.
Decoction . Take 1–5 tbsp as a sedative at night.

CALIFORNIA POPPY (ESCHSCHOLZIA CALIFORNICA):
California poppy sedative and sleep-promoting herb which can currently be found in a variety
of herbal remedies for promoting sleep, helping one to relax, and easing mild anxiety.
Because of its mild sedative and analgesic properties, it can be given safely to children.

Clinical and laboratory work on California poppy has clearly demonstrated the plant’s
sedative and anti-anxiety properties; it has been shown to improve both sleep latency and
quality

Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30-40 drops 2-3 x daily.
Note: Since the tea is mild, a tincture is recommended when a stronger dose is desired.

Herb blends
A CALMING TEA BLEND:
Linden flowers (1 part)
Hawthorn flowers & leaves (1 part)
Chamomile (2 parts)
Catnip (1 part)
Lemon balm (1 part)
Wintergreen (1 part),
Stevia herb (1/8 part)
OR
Bed time tea
Valerian (30%)
Linden (20%)
Kava kava (20%)
Chamomile (20%)
Catnip (10%)

For either formula, blend the loose herbs, place in a quart jar for future use, and store out of
the direct sunlight in a cool place. Use 1 tsp/cup to make a tea. Make 1 quart at a time,
adding 1 extra tsp ‘for the pot.’ Add the herbs to boiled water and cover. Let steep for 20
minutes, strain and store in the quart jar in the refrigerator. This blend will keep for 3 days.
Pour out 1 cup, warm it, and drink several times daily or before bedtime as needed. [from Christiana Moore] 


Herb blend 2
1 part Chamomile 
¼ part Oat straw
¼ part Linden 
¼ part dried Passion flower leaves 
¼ part Valerian
¼ part Calendula honey for taste 

DIRECTIONS
To make the herbal infusion, pour simmering water over the herbs and let them steep for 15 to 25 minutes. You should cover them while steeping to make sure you don’t  lose any of the plants’ goodness.

Strain with a strainer and cheesecloth.
To use, drink prior to bedtime. 

References 
1. Andrew Chehalis,. Encyclopedia Of Herbal Medicine
2. Christiana Moore., Herbs for Insomnia
3. The readers digest June 1945.
4. Diehl,H. & Ludington, A. [2001]. Health Power. 
5. Neil, N. The Lost Art Of Thinking. 
6. Mary, A, M. God’s Healing Way. 
7. Harvard Medical School [2007] Repaying Your Sleep Debt. 
8. Dr Arnott ‘s 24 Realistic Ways to Improve Your Health. 
9. Joanne, B. Linda, A,A. & David, J, P.  Herbal Medicines. 
10. Stacey, D. Susan, G. Herbal Remedies Made Simple 
11. PDR for herbal medicines. 



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