Insomnia Causes

Sleeping Disorders - The Shocking Truth

To successfully treat symptoms of any sleeping disorder it is necessary to understand the reason behind each particular inability to sleep. First of all insomnia is classified into primary and secondary insomnia.

The causes of primary insomnia are most often related to irregular conditions in a person’s day-to-day life experiences. The causes of primary insomnia are environmental influences and are not related to other health conditions.

In contrast, secondary insomnia is related to other underlying conditions such as health issues, chronic stress, depression or anxiety, pain or discomfort during the night, medication or other substances consumed, like alcohol.
Caffeine imageThe main causes of insomnia fall into four broad categories:

Cause #1  Lifestyle

Sometimes the way we live is what brings on insomnia.

Work: If you are a workaholic who works more than 10 hours per day or more than 6 days per week, you may be bringing on your own insomnia problem. If you seldom take time out of your busy schedule to relax you may be programming yourself to be an insomniac.

Inconsistent hours: About 60-70% of all shift workers develop sleep disturbances. Working in non-conventional hours such as rotating shifts or maintaining later hours during weekends can make you vulnerable to sleep problems.

Napping: Daytime napping will affect night time relaxation.

Food and drink

Heavy meals: Foods with large amounts of protein (meats, beans) eaten close to a bed time affect the ability to fall asleep.

Light meals: On the contrary, if you go to bed hungry the hunger will keep you awake just the same way as heavy meal do. People that are trying to lose weight frequently wake up.

Sugar: Sugar is used in many foods; ketchup for example contains high amounts of sugar which can keep you awake at night. So make sure to check for the sugar content in the foods you eat leading up to bedtime.

Caffeine: Drinks containing caffeine such as coffee and some sodas can have a profound effect on your ability to fall asleep. There are also some foods that contain caffeine that you may not be aware about. Chocolate has caffeine in it and the darker it is, the more caffeine it has.

Medications: Common and over-the-counter drugs for asthma, colds and weight loss are noted for containing stimulants. Medications taken for allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease, birth control, pain killers, depression (especially SSRI antidepressants) can lead to insomnia.

Alcohol PhotoAlcohol: Although alcohol may help you fall asleep, it can be a contributor to insomnia. It interrupts your sleep cycle causing you to wake prematurely and preventing you from a full night's sleep.

Tobacco: It has been found that smokers take longer to fall asleep than non-smokers due to the nicotine (a stimulant) present in their bodies.

Exercise Choices

Sedentary lifestyle: If you get little or no regular exercise, you are also at risk of developing sleep problems.

Exercise: Exercising too close to your bedtime can be one of insomnia causes. When you exercise, your blood is being pumped faster, waking up your senses. Exercising releases stimulating brain chemicals which may prevent sleep onset.

Cause #2  Sleeping Environment

Lights and Noise: Unwanted lights or noise may be keeping you from falling asleep or staying asleep.

Extreme temperatures: If the bedroom is too warm or if the air doesn't circulate well these are things that fall under the list of insomnia causes. Rooms that are cooler are easier to sleep in.

Space: A common cause of insomnia symptoms is not having enough natural space to twist and turn in the night. Blocks or objects in your bed can cause disruption to the natural sleeping cycle that can have lasting effects into the next day.

Partner: A lot of people may not know this but a partner snoring can reach 90 decibels - that's as loud as a kitchen mixer. If your partner snores it is likely to wake you up during REM sleep - which is your most restful phase.

Stress PictureCause #3  Psychological

Stress: Stress from work, family, financial, or social situations contributes to short-term insomnia. Constant concerns can keep your mind too active, making you unable to relax. The effects of this can work in various ways, leading to stress symptoms which change your brain-chemistry or just leading to a 'busy mind' at night which stops you falling asleep.

Anxiety: Everyday anxieties as well may keep your mind too alert to fall asleep.

Learned insomnia: Worrying about having insomnia and then trying too hard or too much to sleep, making it much more difficult to feel sleepy.

Cause #4  Physical / Psychiatric Sickness

Physical health problems: These include sleep apnea (abnormal breathing while asleep), asthma, hyperthyroidism, tinnitus, arthritis, congestive heart failure, prostate problems and indigestion.

Pain: Some types of pain (muscle, bone, organ pain) can be key insomnia causes.

Emotional disorders: Depression is one of the most common causes of chronic insomnia.

Hormonal changes in women: Menstruation, menopause and pregnancy can trigger insomnia.

Decreased melatonin: To feel sleepy your brain needs to produce a chemical called melatonin, a natural sedative.

Sleeping Disorders - Insomnia Facts and Research

Insomnia imageWhat Is Insomnia?

The Insomnia sleep disorder is also known as Wakefulness or Dysomnia and is an inability to sleep, or to sleep for long enough to get a proper night's rest. When you have trouble falling or staying asleep, you have insomnia.

The majority of researchers recommend that grownups need to sleep between six and eight hours nightly. Most of us work best on eight hours that includes REM time. Up to 20 million people in the United States alone have serious difficulty sleeping nightly.

Insomnia actually takes its name from the Latin word, which literally means “no sleep” or the inability to sleep (“In” means no and “somnus” means sleep). Insomnia is a term used to describe several types of sleeplessness. With insomnia, you experience a significant lack of sleep on a regular or frequent basis.

Insomnia usually takes one or more of the following forms:

Difficulty falling asleep - more common among young people.

Difficulty maintaining sleep (sleeping lightly and restlessly, waking often, lying awake in the middle of the night) - more common in people over 40. In younger people it may be associated with depression.

Waking early and being unable to get back to sleep - this is more common in older people and anyone worrying about something in particular.

Sleep Disorders Photo
There are two broad insomnia categories:

Transient insomnia - lasting for a few nights or weeks only, usually connected to a stressful event.
Chronic insomnia - lasting for several weeks, months or even years.

Insomnia is also classified into primary and secondary insomnia.

Primary insomnia is insomnia that is not caused by health problems. This is the most common type of insomnia.
Secondary insomnia is a symptom of another underlying condition that causes the insomnia. When you receive effective treatment for the underlying condition, the insomnia usually goes away.

People tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans as they get older, although they generally need about the same amount of sleep as they needed in early adulthood. About half of all people over 65 have frequent sleeping problems, such as insomnia, and deep sleep stages in many elderly people often become very short or stop completely.

Insomnia Statistics:

Psychological causes:                     50%
Behavioural causes:
sleep environment                          30%
stimulants or medication                  10%
Physical causes:                            10%

The end result is poor-quality sleep that doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed when you wake up. Insomnia can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. Insomnia also can limit the energy you have to spend with friends or family. Long-term insomnia can cause you to feel depressed or irritable; have trouble paying attention, remembering and learning; and not do your best on the job or at school. Women and the elderly are the most common targets of this sleep disorder.

Recommended Reading:

Types of Insomnia Medications

Medications and Sleep Aids for Insomnia 

There is a variety of different types of insomnia medications. The different categories of medication are usually used depending upon the underlying reason for your insomnia. Insomnia medications are divided into four broad categories:

Sleep aids photo- Sedative-hypnotics sleep medications;
- Antidepressants;
- Antipsychotic medications;
- Over-the-counter (OTC) Sleep medications.


Sedative-hypnotics are used to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increase the duration of sleep. These medications are generally taken orally at bedtime, although some of the newer forms of sedative-hypnotics can be taken on an "as needed" basis whenever symptoms occur. Sedative-hypnotics classified as benzodiazepines.
Sedative-hypnotics fall into two categories: benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepine Hypnotics

The most common benzodiazepine hypnotic drugs are under the brand names Halcion, Dalmane, Restoril and ProSom. These drugs work by influencing the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, which help make you feel sleepy. It acts by increasing the action of gamma amino butyric acids, which involves in slowing down the transmission of nerve signals in the brain. Benzodiazepine insomnia medications can affect an ability to stay alert. They can also cause restless sleep.

Non-Benzodiazepine Hypnotics

Sleeping pills pictureThe most common non-benzodiazepine hypnotic insomnia medications include Lunesta, Sonata and Ambien. One of the most used non-benzodiazepine drug is zolpidem or the Z-drug. It is a newly developed drug and like benzodiazepine drugs, these insomnia medication work on the receptors in the brain, however, non-benzodiazepine drugs have shorter half-lives, which means they leave the body more quickly. These drugs can provide a more restful sleep. The side effects are drowsiness and dizziness, impaired coordination and loss of alertness. These insomnia drugs work very fast, so they must be taken right before bed and a person should allow for a full night's sleep or the effects of the drug may still be present the next day.


Antidepressants such as Elavil, Pamelor, Desyrel, Sinequan and Serzone are also used as insomnia treatments. These insomnia medications are usually only used for someone whose insomnia prevents them from staying asleep but not falling asleep. These insomnia drugs usually produce a side effect of drowsiness, which is why they are used as insomnia medications. The most common side effects of anti-depressants are dry mouth, constipation and blurred vision. Some people may also experience an increased heart rate.

Antipsychotic Medications

Even though these drugs can be prescribed for insomnia, most of them haven't been tested for this purpose and there are potentially serious side effects to using them.
The antipsychotic medications like Seroquel and Zyprexa, which are intended to treat psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and severe depression, have also been used to treat insomnia because of their effectiveness at getting people to sleep.

Over the counter (OTC) medications

Antihistamines such as Benadryl, Nytol and Sominex are the most common form of over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping aid. Although antihistamines are designed to block the chemicals that the body releases during an allergic outbreak, they have the ability to calm which makes them effective at encouraging sleep. However, this is a point of considerable debate. Some OTC sleep aids contain pain relievers and even if they don't, OTC sleep aids should never be taken with alcohol. Even though they're available without a prescription, it's advisable to consult with a medical professional before taking any type of sleep aid.

Insomnia Help Video - Sleep Restriction Therapy

Sleep Restriction Image10 Things you need to know about Sleep - Home remedies for insomnia. 

Have you tried all the “best sleep tips”; seen a doctor, dieted, exercised, excluded caffeine and bad foods, etc, and nothing seems to really working? If so, do not lose hope. Recently researchers have learned new and effective way to help insomniacs regain those few precious hours and even minutes of sleep. This one of the most effective natural insomnia treatments is called Sleep Restriction Therapy.

This possible option for treating insomnia seems to be paradox: You should restrict you sleeping time! This will help to reduce the time you spend awake in your bed tossing and turning and get rid of all worries about dificalty to fall asleep. Sleep Restriction will cause you to become tired again at the bed time and establish new routines to fall asleep.

Usually person starts sleep restriction therapy with only a very short period of sleep during each night. Then sleep time will increase until a normal sleeping time is achieved. If you find sleep for the short period of time you can increase the sleeping time by 15 or 30 min until you finally reach a normal amount of sleep according to your personal needs.

Sleep restriction therapy and Depression.
Insomnia and hypersomnia are both common depression symptoms. Doctors who suspect depression usually ask their patients about sleeping patterns. Depressed people suffering insomnia frequently get to sleep at a normal time but wake up after a few hours and pretty much are up for the morning at around 5 am.

Sleep restriction therapy can actually be a short-term depression treatment. It does not really work for everyone, and it is hardly a long-term depression cure, but sleep restriction can play a part in overcoming depression without drugs. Indeed, staying up past one's normal bedtime can often produce a feeling of euphoria.

Circadian Sleep Patterns

Know Your Chronotype! 

Are You A Lark, Owl or Hummingbird?
There are lots of factors that contribute to our preferred sleep schedule. The most important one called “chronotype.” It turns out that our DNA has a strong influence on when we like to sleep. We all fell into one of three major chronotypes; night owls (late night insomnia), morning larks (early morning insomnia) and intermediate insomniacs ( mid-sleep awakening). Chronotype refers to the sleep/wake center in our brains that regulates sleep and wake habits. Many of us have sleep problems because this 'body clock' isn't functioning properly.
Sleep patterns imageThe chronotypes determine not only our natural sleep patterns, but when we’re at our most alert, productive and creative, as well as when we’re most likely to benefit from a nap. Chronotypes seem to be mostly hardwired, and likely have a genetic factor. We may force ourselves awake at unnatural hours, but we will never function at our best that way – and may even make ourselves sleep deprived to the point of psychosis.

Delayed Circadian Rhythm - Owls

Some people have a circadian clock that makes them “evening types.” Their body clocks run a bit slow, so their daily cycle (or circadian rhythm), releases the sleep/wake signals later than normal. This is why night owls can't seem to wind down till late at night and then struggle to get up in the morning. No matter how hard they try to fall asleep at the right time, they can't because their body clock hasn't released the sleep neurotransmitters. This is also why morning time can be so difficult; at 7:00 am, their body clock still think it's midnight and not ready to release the active, energetic signals for hours.

They’d rarely rise before 10am or even noon, if given their druthers, and in our 9-5 culture, they not only need an alarm clock, they may need several alarms and a gallon of coffee to function at all during the hours their body wants to sleep. This also explains why changing sleep routine doesn't work (going to bed earlier, using relaxation techniques, etc.).

Some night owls have delayed sleep phase disorder. This involves a struggle to conform to work or social demands. It can be difficult for them to function well during the day. Twenty percent of the population are more owls in their patterns, being at their best in the evenings and even late night hours.

Advanced Circadian Rhythm - Larks

Sleep patterns imageOther people are natural “morning types.” These “larks” prefer to go to bed early and wake up early. Their body clocks tend to run a bit fast, which means they tire and fall asleep easily, but wake up earlier than desired. About ten percent of us qualify as larks – rising early often around six am without an alarm and singing through a caffeine free breakfast. These morning people are most productive in the mornings, at their sharpest around noon, and drowsy in the early evening, going to bed around 9pm.

Some larks have advanced sleep phase disorder. In this case the body clock releases the night time hormones and neurotransmitters long before we are ready to go to sleep. The result is that by the time 'morning larks' fall asleep, their body clock may already be halfway through its sleep cycle, and so they wake up far too early. In fact, as we age, more of us experience this early morning insomnia. Again in this case modifying sleep habits will do little to fix the problem.

Intermediate Chronotype - Hummingbirds

Not everyone fits neatly into the categories of morning or evening types. Hummingbirds account for the rest of the population, flitting somewhere between the other two types, some preferring to stay up a little later, some to wake a little earlier. Intermediate chronotypes may exhibit signs of either delayed or advanced problems, but usually awaken in the middle of the night and fall asleep again.

Night Owls Suffer Worst from Insomnia

One reason insomnia hits night owls worse is because they constantly battle with trying to fall asleep; after all, at least those with early morning or intermittent insomnia are able to get some sleep before struggling with unwanted wakefulness. Although all groups have about the same lack of sleep, night owls are more aware of it. They are more concerned about their lack of sleep than others, which may lead to frustration, irritability and depression. Night owls are more obsessed with their sleep problems, and this added worry perpetuated the sleep problem.

So do larks have an advantage over owls? After all, it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

How to fix your body clock

The good news is that recent researchers have learned how body clocks work and how to regulate them. Because the body clock sends out daily sleep/wake signals, it looks for feedback or cues to tell it what time it is. The most powerful cue is bright light like morning sunshine, but researchers have discovered that a specific color and intensity found in sunshine is responsible for this beneficial reaction.

A special receptor in the eye is responsible for signalling the body clock, and this 'melanopsin' receptor was sensitive to light-blue light. This discovery is called the 'action spectrum of light ', and scientists advise to use this light to reset the body clock. Because the action spectrum is so effective, only 15 minutes daily exposure is needed to keep body clocks working properly.

When should I use blue light?

Since people's body clocks act differently, light therapy needs to be used at certain times of the day. For example, for those with slow body clocks (delayed circadian rhythms), morning light is best. For morning larks, evening light slows down the body clock, allowing it to release the sleep signals later into the night and early morning, like normal.

Many factors such as genetics and light exposure affect when you are sleepy and alert. A new study results show that females tend to go to bed earlier and sleep longer than males. The study even found a significant but small “season of birth” effect. People born in spring and summer went to bed later than those who were born in fall and winter.

Insomnia Medications Review

Sleep Medications for Special Situations 

In general, insomnia medications are most effective when used for short term situations for insomnia help. Examples include travel across time zones or recovering from a medical condition. Sometimes prescription sleep aids are used briefly at the beginning of insomnia treatment, especially if the sleep disorder has been severe. If sleep medications are used over the long term, they would be best used “as needed” instead of daily to avoid dependence and tolerance.

Sleep photoIn many cases, doctors will prescribe sleeping aids for insomia help and insomnia treatment. All insomnia medications should be taken shortly before bed time. Do not attempt to drive or perform other activities that require concentration after taking an insomnia medication as the sleeping aids will make you sleepy. Sleep medications should be used in combination with natural insomnia treatments.
Listed below are most popular drugs used to relief insomnia.

Non Benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics
These have fewer side effects than Benzodiazepine drugs and act more specifically on one area in the brain. Nevertheless they are listed as controlled substances despite having less dependency.

Ambien (Zolpidem): The original version works well at helping you fall asleep faster, but some people tended to wake up in the middle of the night. This insomnia medication is usually limited to short-term treatment periods of 1-2 weeks or less. Ambien CR is a new extended release version. It helps you fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes, and the extended release part helps you stay asleep. You should not be taken Ambien or Ambien CR if you are not able to get a full night's sleep, which ia at least 7 to 8 hours.

The FDA has approved a prescription oral spray called Zolpimist, which contains Ambien's active ingredient, for the short-term insomnia treatment caused by difficulty falling asleep.

Lunesta (ESZOPICLONE): Lunesta made by Sepracor, is one of the newest insomnia drugs available. Lunesta helps you get to sleep quickly, and is to be taken just before bed, not with alcohol, and is meant for times when you have a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep available; otherwise you may feel groggy the next day. That is probably the most common complaint people have about taking prescription sleep aids, is that they feel tired or hung over still the next day. Eszopiclone belongs to a class of drugs known as hypnotics. Lunesta enhances GABA activity, working with the natural sleep cycle and chemistry in your body. Unlike some other prescription sleep aids, people taking Lunesta have not been seen to build up a tolerance for the drug, meaning that it remains effective even after long periods of usage.

Rozerem (RAMELTEON): This is a new insomnia medication. Rozerem is made by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and is a non-controlled substance, meaning it is less likely to lead to dependency or abuse and can be used long term. Rozerem works like a natural substance called melatonin that is produced by your body. It helps regulate your sleeping cycle (circadian rhythm). It is prescribed for people who have difficulty falling asleep.

Sleeping pills photoSonata (Zaleplon): Sonata is made by King Pharmaceuticals. This insomnia medication is used for a short time to treat people with trouble falling asleep. Of all the new prescription sleep aids, Sonata has a half life of just 1 hour, so it leaves your system more quickly than other insomnia medications. That means you can try to fall asleep on your own. Then, if you're still staring at the clock in the middle of the night, you can take it without feeling drowsy next morning. If you have other sleep problems such as not being able to sleep through the night, this medication may not be right for you. Zaleplon is known as a hypnotic. It works on certain centers in the brain to relax you and help you fall asleep faster.


Some doctors prescribe antidepressants because their patients have both depression and insomnia. Insomnia and depression often occur together, but which is the cause and which is the symptom is often unclear. Thus, some medication for depression and insomnia are particularly effective in treating sleeplessness and anxiety that's caused by depression.

Desyrel (TRAZODONE): Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, studies have shown that a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25), even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition.

Sleeping drugs image
Elavil (amitriptyline) is a central nervous system depressant, and should be used very cautiously in combination with any medication that warns it 'may cause drowsiness,' or increases your level of alertness. Elavil belongs to a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. Elavil is prescribed to treat depression, bulimia, chronic pain from a variety of conditions, reduce the incidence of chronic headache or migraine, ulcers, uncontrollable hiccups, primary insomnia, and to control the involuntary crying and laughing experienced by individuals with multiple sclerosis.

Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is used to elevate the mood of patients with depression. Nortriptyline is also a sedative and is useful in depressed patients with insomnia, restlessness, and nervousness. It is one of the drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants.

Serzone (nefazodone): Serzone is an antidepressant medication. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Serzone is used to relieve symptoms of depression such as feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or guilt; loss of interest in daily activities; changes in appetite; tiredness; sleeping too much; insomnia; and thoughts of death or suicide. In rare cases, treatment with Serzone has been associated with serious liver problems, sometimes resulting in liver transplant or death.

Desyrel (trazodone): Trazodone is a antidepressant medication. It is thought to increase the activity of one of the brain chemicals (serotonin) which may become unbalanced and cause depression. It may also be used for relief of anxiety disorders (eg, sleeplessness, tension) and chronic pain.

Adapin (Doxepin): Doxepin is in a group of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. Doxepin affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced. Doxepin is used to treat symptoms of depression and/or anxiety associated with alcoholism, psychiatric conditions, or manic-depressive conditions.

Antipsychotic Medications

Seroquel (quetiapine): Seroquel is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain. Seroquel is used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.

Zyprexa (olanzapine): Zyprexa helps manage symptoms of schizophrenia, the manic phase of bipolar disorder, and other psychotic disorders. It is thought to work by opposing the action of serotonin and dopamine, two of the brain's major chemical messengers. The drug is available as Zyprexa tablets and Zyprexa Zydis, which dissolves rapidly with or without liquid.

Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids

Insomnia imageMost of these sleeping pills are antihistamines. They generally work well but can cause some drowsiness the next day. They're safe enough to be sold without a prescription. However, if you're taking other drugs that also contain antihistamines like cold or allergy medications you could inadvertently take too much.

Excedrin PM (Diphenhydramine): It is an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in the body. Diphenhydramine prevents sneezing; itchy, watery eyes and nose; and other symptoms of allergies and hay fever. The combination of acetaminophen and diphenhydramine is used to treat runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and pain or fever caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu. This medication is also used to treat night time pain and help you sleep.

Unisom (Doxylamine): Treating occasional sleeplessness and reducing difficulty falling asleep. Unisom is an antihistamine. It works by depressing the central nervous system (brain) to produce drowsiness.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine): Benadryl is an antihistamine. Diphenhydramine blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in the body. Benadryl is used to treat sneezing; runny nose; itching, watery eyes; hives; rashes; itching; and other symptoms of allergies and the common cold. Benadryl is also used to suppress coughs, to treat motion sickness, to induce sleep, and to treat mild forms of Parkinson's disease.

Nytol (Diphenhydramine): Treating occasional sleeplessness and reducing difficulty falling asleep. Nytol is an antihistamine. It works by depressing the central nervous system (brain) to produce drowsiness.

Sominex (Acetaminophen): Relieving short-term sleeplessness due to minor aches and pains. Sominex is an antihistamine and analgesic combination. Sominex causes drowsiness to help you fall asleep. It works in certain areas of the brain and nervous system to decrease pain.

• Keep in mind that sleeping pills are designed as sedatives and depressants and should not be taken without a doctor’s supervision and consultation.

Foods That Help You Sleep

The Link Between Cherries And Insomnia 

By: Jonathan Townsend

Foods for sleep imageThe various medical studies about the properties of cherries have shown significant proof that cherries could be one key to curing insomnia. Usually reserved as a pie filling or the topper for an ice cream sundae, cherries offer so much more for insomnia sufferers. Research has proven a very beneficial link between cherries and insomnia. In particular, a certain hormone in cherries, called melatonin, is the critical link for treating insomnia.

What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel tired. Melatonin is naturally made in the body by the pineal gland. It is produced by the body during sleep and around the night hours to induce sleep. The body produces less of it as we age, though, which is thought to be directly related to age related insomnia.

Melatonin is a natural way to fight insomnia because it does not have side effects and is all natural and safe. Yet, when the body does not produce enough melatonin a person may start to exhibit symptoms of insomnia. That is where the link between cherries and insomnia come in.

Cherries and Insomnia
When a person's body is not producing enough melatonin, they may start to experience insomnia. Not knowing the cause, some people typically reach for medications and other sleep aids to get rid of the insomnia. Sleep aids can cause side effects and many medications have been known to cause dependency, which can be dangerous.

Cherries are packed with melatonin. The high concentration of melatonin in cherries makes them very potent against insomnia. In particular, it is the skin of the cherries that contains the most benefit. Consequently, eating cherries is a natural way to boost melatonin in the body and is a natural way to get relief from insomnia. Instead of using pills, a person can simply eat a few cherries and reap the same benefits without the risks.

The Cherries and Insomnia Cure
Specifically, the best way to use cherries to fight insomnia is to eat them right before going to sleep. Though there is no definitive evidence to suggest the proper amount of cherries to eat, researchers believe that a handful of cherries before bedtime should be adequate to gain the benefits of the melatonin.

Though cherries as a cure for insomnia may have never crossed your mind, the research has shown that the high levels of melatonin in cherries is more than enough to help people suffering from insomnia. So, the next time you have a bit of trouble sleeping, give cherries a try.

About the Author
Jonathan Townsend writes about The Link Between Cherries and Insomnia for The Insomnia Project - understanding the causes of and cures for insomnia. (ArticlesBase SC #121972)
Article Source: - The Link Between Cherries And Insomnia

Insomnia Help Video - Sleep Problems

Insomnia image10 Things you need to know about Insomnia.

In this video tutorial we are going to introduce ten video lessons on how to conquer different insomnia types. In the resent world most of us lead incredibly hectic lives. And if you are anything like me, getting enough sleep is a big problem. On average, a person needs between seven and nine hours of solid sleep a night. It is important to your general well-being that you get enough of quality sleep, as sleep deprivation is a very common occurrence, with one in three people experiencing insomnia at some time.

Getting enough sleep on a regular basis can make us a better version of ourselves. And even though we usually wish to have more time in the day it`s better to feel good and perform well after good night sleep than get to be a crankier, impulsive, sick version of ourselves for a few extra hours a day. So in this program we are going to look at ten different ways in which science can help insomnia sufferer to get a decent night sleep.

In the next video clips you are going to watch:

1. Bath Before Bedtime;

2. Sleep Restriction Therapy;

3. Sleep Studies or When to Nap;

4. How to Stop Snoring;

5. Sleep Cycle;

6. The Power of Daylight;

7. Eat to Sleep;

8. Beating Jet Lag;

9. Relaxation Tips;

10. Herbal Remedies.

We hope that in the one of the presented video clips you will find a solution to your insomnia symptom.

Wulong Tea For Insomnia? Why not?

Wu Long Tea - Natural Insomnia Medication.

Could oolong tea be an effective insomnia cure? Some findings seem to point in that direction. But since oolong tea contains caffeine then it should be avoided if you have insomnia? The good news is that if you drink a few cups of regular oolong tea throughout the day and decaffeinated tea at night, this can have a surprising impact on whether or not you fall asleep at night.

Insomnia medications imageOolong tea is experiencing an amazing popularity over the last few years. Many celebrities like Oprah Winfrey have openly endorsed this magical tea. Oolong tea is also known as Wu long tea or Wulong tea, named after its originator. Other names for oolong are brown tea and rock tea, the most popular varieties are Wu-yi tea, Formosa oolong, Ti Kuan Yin, and Pouchong. Oolong Teas are the most expensive because they are semi-fermented and made in a more elaborate method. The color of this tea is usually a light yellow.

Chinese Wulong Teas were a well known drink, before eventually it came to be known as an herbal remedy. Try oolong tea for insomnia treatment. Wu long tea may be alternative to the sleep aids because of the natural healthy elements it contains.

Wu long Tea is good for insomnia treatment because it relaxes you. The substance that is responsible for the sense of relaxation is called L-theanine. L-theanine is a natural amino acid found almost solely in tea plants and is the primary component in wulong tea. This main component is actually responsible for the exotic taste of the wu long. While L-theanine has been shown to reduce stress, promote relaxation without drowsiness, ease nervousness, irritability and lower anxiety, it can also safely and effectively promote the sound sleep.

What is so remarkable about L-theanine is its peculiar paradoxical effect. Taken during the day, wu long promotes a focused, alert sense of calm without feeling drowsy. Yet because it induces a state of relaxation, L-theanine can also help to fall asleep at night without drowsiness the next morning, a common side effect of many sleep aids. Not only does L-theanine encourage relaxation but it also has a significant effect on memory and learning ability.

Wulong tea imageDaily stress can trigger the insomnia symptoms. But oolong tea lowers the levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol, by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. L-theanine affects emotions by interacting with neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters, like Serotonin, need to be at a high level to combat things like depression, insomnia, suicide, and other stress related conditions.

Keep in mind, however, that green tea also has diuretic properties. You will wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom if you have more than one cup. Drink the wu long tea at least an hour before bedtime to minimize the diuretic affects.

What we eat and drink can positively affect our minds, emotions, and bodies, and help combat insomnia symptoms . Wulong tea is a drink that has an effect on all three states of existence, in a positive way. Wu long tea may offer great health benefits, creating a positive mental state and bringing some peace of mind to your life.

Sleep Supplements - the Healthy Way to Sound Sleep

There are broadly two types of insomnia supplements. The first type helps in addressing the biochemical problem. It boosts the levels of melatonin and serotonin which in turn promotes better sleep. The second category helps in decreasing your stress levels. When the stress levels are reduced, you automatically tend to get a sound sleep.
Deficiencies in certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes may be a cause of a sleep disorders. Calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, folic acid and melatonin deficiencies may become one of insomnia causes.

sleeping imageTryptophan (L-tryptophan) is an amino acid that plays a key role in the repair of protein tissues and in creating new protein. In the brain, tryptophan is converted into serotonin, a natural sleep-inducing chemical. It also enhances the brain's ability to produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates your body's natural inner clock and sleep cycle. It is a key amino acid for sleeping problems.

Tryptophan supplements were banned in the United States by the FDA after a contaminated batch from a Japanese manufacturer was suspected of causing a serious blood disease in several people. There is no risk though associated with eating tryptophan-rich foods. L-tryptophan is found in foods such as milk and turkey.

Clinical studies showed that L-tryptophan produces only modest effects in the treatment for insomnia. More importantly, research showed that L-tryptophan can reduce REM sleep while increasing the time spent in non-REM sleep.

Serotonin is an important initiator of sleep. Our body makes serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan. Taking tryptophan will raise serotonin levels and promote sleep. Tryptophan is more effective for cases of sleep-onset insomnia, since its greatest effect is to shorten the time required to fall asleep.

Phosphatidylserine is an amino acid that helps the brain regulates the amount of cortisone produced by the adrenals. It is helpful for those who cannot sleep because of high cortisone levels, usually induced by stress.

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a form of tryptophan that is one step closer to serotonin administration. 5-HTP has also been found, in several clinical studies, to decrease the time required to fall asleep and decrease the number of awakenings.

5- HTP provides the quickest, most effective, and most consistent overall results in treating insomnia. It is an effective alternative for dealing with sleep problems in a safe and natural way compared to sleep medicines. 5-HTP improves the quality of sleep. More importantly, clinical studies show that 5- HTP is also useful in the treatment of sleep disorders other than insomnia.

5-HTP increases REM sleep significantly (typically by about 25 percent) while increasing deep sleep stages 3 and 4 without increasing total sleep time. 5-HTP achieve this by shortening the amount of time you spend in sleep stages 1 and 2, which in certain ways are the least important stages of the sleep cycle.

Sleep medications imageThe impact of 5-HTP on sleep stages is dose-related; taking higher doses produces a somewhat greater impact. In most cases, the lower dosage is adequate. Higher doses may lead to a greater number of disturbing dreams and nightmares due to abnormally prolonged REM sleep. It can also lead to mild nausea.
To increase the sedative effects of 5-HTP, take it with a food high in carbohydrate such as fruit or fruit juice near bedtime.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted naturally by the pineal gland. Melatonin is the sleep hormone. It is said to induce sleep without any negative side effects. In several studies, melatonin has been found helpful in inducing and maintaining sleep for both people with normal sleep patterns and those suffering from insomnia. It is also useful in banishing jet lag.

However, it appears that the sleep-promoting effects of melatonin are most apparent only if a person's melatonin levels are low. In other words, taking melatonin is not like taking a sleeping pill or even 5-HTP. It will only produce a sedative effect when melatonin levels are low. Melatonin appears to be most effective in treating insomnia in the elderly, as low melatonin levels are common in this age group.

Safety: Studies of melatonin's safety are limited, with isolated reports of exacerbation of depression, fatigue and restriction of coronary arteries.


Calcium, especially when contained in food, has a sedative effect on the body. A calcium deficiency causes restlessness and wakefulness. Liquid calcium has been shown to have a relaxing effect.

Insomnia drugs imageMagnesium can help induce sleep. Magnesium deficiency is responsible for nervousness that prevents good sleep. Magnesium-rich foods include kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, and brewer's yeast.

The lack of calcium and magnesium can cause leg cramps during the night. Calcium and magnesium produce calming effects on the brain.

B-Complex: B vitamins have long been known as the “Anti-Stress Vitamins.” B vitamins are essential also in fighting against anxiety and depression.

The higher metabolism and stress level, the faster B vitamins are used up. If high amounts of stress are present in your life, it is very essential to increase the amount of B vitamins in your diet. This is important as stress is one of the major factors that lead to insomnia.

Vitamin B6 supplements can help to prevent insomnia. A tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast is an excellent Source of vitamin B6. Stir it into a glass of juice.

Vitamin B12 is another important supplement for treating insomnia.

Vitamin B 5 (Pantothenic acid) can serve as an effective anti-insomnia vitamin regimen. The B5 is good for relieving stress. The best food sources of the B vitamins are liver, whole grains, wheat germ, tuna, walnuts, peanuts, bananas, sunflower seeds, and blackstrap molasses.

Vitamin B8 (Inositol) possibly alleviates insomnia. It is known that B8 influences the ability of the “calming” neurotransmitter named GABA to bind to its receptors and this action of inositol (which is similar to that of valium) may influence sleep. Some researchers claim that B8 enhances REM sleep.

Chromium is often effective for someone with a blood sugar problem that is keeping them awake at nights. Brewer's yeast is a good source of Chromium.