Newsgroup: alt.folklore.herbs
From: (HES Duffy)
Date: 15 Feb 1996 15:46:52 GMT
Subject: Re: INSOMNIA: What can I take?

: Help! I've had ongoing bouts with insomnia for a couple of months now. I'm typically awake until 4 or 5 in the morning, simply because I can't settle down enough for sleep. Once I *get* to sleep, no problem. I'll sleep for 6-8 hours. But my sleeping schedule is totally skewed.

First of all, try not to let your schedule get messed up; Not easy, I know, but try to get up at your usual time, even if you haven't had enough sleep, otherwise even if the insomnia gets sorted out, you may have problems sleeping due to a sort of "Jetlag".

Secondly, avoid all stimulants; Anything with caffeine (including tea and chocolate, as well as most fizzy drinks and coffee), peppermint, alcohol, high-sugar foods, nicotine.... Take them in the morning if you like, but avoid them after about noon if possible.

Third, get some gentle excercise, _several hours_ before you go to bed; Any later then this and the adrenaline will keep you awake.

Fourth, there are various essential oils which may be useful; Available in herbalists and some healthfood shops. Get good quality, pure oils, not mixtures like the Body Shop ones. Useful oils for insomnia include Marjoram, (which is probably the best, but don't use it too often, or you'll feel drowsy all day) Clary sage (Don't drink alcohol when you're using it; It'll give you a very bad hang-over) lavender, chamomile (Quite mild, but still effective) Neroli (expensive) and some others such as a mix of orange and cinnamon (Good for stress/depression related insomnia). Put about six drops in a warm bath, or a couple of drops on your pillow, or get someone to give you a gentle massage with a drop or two in a base oil like sweet almond, or even plain vegetable oil.

You may also find it helpful to spend a while before you go to bed "winding down"; If the reason you can't sleep is because your brain is still active, doing something very relaxing should help you to switch off; Part of the reason warm baths or massages are so good is because they do this.

Good luck and sweet dreams!

From: teena <103763.3266.CompuServe.COM>

I've had this problem myself, and I've used Valerian with great success...also, there are behavior and chemical factors that you have to decide to live with or without (For example, cigarettes are a strong stimulant; your daily tea or coffee intake should be cut back as far as possible, too). If you are likely to get into activities late at night which stimulate your creativity, like a hobby or such, this can keep you up, too. I quit smoking, stopped painting at night, only drink one coffee a day, and I can finally sleep by 11 or midnight...try it. Boring but well-rested,
(Oh, yeah,the valerian will only work if you stop running around and try to kicks in in an hour or so)

From: (Paul Gardener)

Passion Flower is a fairly safe 'simple' for insomnia. You could also look at Inositol (suplement - a constituent of Lecithin). You could also try some relaxation techniques - insomnia is often due to a 'busy' mind. Melatonin is said to be good for insomnia but I have yet to have positive results prescribing it. If you do take it, be sure to take it at about 11pm. See Smart Drugs II for more info and research info as well as the


I drink valerian tea made from the dried roots which I buy in bulk. Taste better when mixed with a sweet tea. Drink a cup right before retiring.

Though I don't usually have insomnia (meditation to quiet the mind and body in the evening helps, and so does a boring book, or in my case watching the local weatherman does the trick), there are times when I feel it necessary. No medical reasons, just unbalanced energies.

From: (Patricia Ziliani)

What about trying relaxation tapes. The ones that talk you quietly to sleep. They stop the brain from thinking of other things. Put in on your night stand and play it quietly.

Dont watch violent scary or perplexing programs on TV. No caffeine from 3 p.m. onwards (dont forget that cola and chocolate contain caffeine. A few extra calcium tablets with the milk might help also. A nice warm bath with a few drops of essential oil of Lavender just before bed.

If you dont drink milk then there are many herb teas specifically for this purpose.