If to sleep or not to sleep is the question, homeopathy could be the answer. About one in five people has some difficulty with sleeping, and interrupted sleep patterns are a common problem at stressful times in our lives.
Within NHS homeopathic hospitals in the UK, insomnia is one of the most commonly treated complaints. An increasing number of scientific research studies investigating homeopathy and sleep disorders have been published, with studies to date finding that homeopathic medicines affect sleeping patterns in rats, mice and college students prone to coffee-induced sleeplessness (see research fact sheet below).
Homeopaths throughout the UK will be highlighting how homeopathy can help sleep problems in a series of events to mark Homeopathy Awareness Week from June 14 to 21.
Worries can keep you awake during stressful periods such as exams, starting a new job, moving house or before an important meeting. But once the “event” is over, sleep should return to normal.
If the problem lasts for more than a few nights, it could lead to feelings of tiredness in the day, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
When a professional homeopath is consulted by someone wanting treatment for sleep problems, they will look at the whole person, taking into account not just the sleeping difficulties, but a range of other factors such as stress triggers, other health issues and personality traits.
A homeopath will prescribe a medicine (known as a remedy) with the aim of triggering the patient’s natural system of healing. The substances used are prepared in specialist homeopathic pharmacies, using a careful dilution process, and as such they are non toxic.
Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of “like treats like” – that is, a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat similar symptoms in someone who is ill. This principle is sometimes used in conventional medicine, for example, in treating ADHD with the stimulant Ritalin
The mental health charity Mind says: “When people frequently go without sleep, or have many broken nights, they incur a ‘sleep debt’, which eventually has to be paid off. Sleep debt can affect intelligence and control of movement, and can have a bad effect on the metabolism and on hormones. While people are in the sleep-debt state, they are more likely to make mistakes or act irrationally.”(2)
Note: It’s important that any long-term issues are discussed with your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
1. Spence D, Thompson E and Barron S. Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease: A 6-Year, university-hospital outpatient observational study. J Altern Complement Med 2005; 5:793-8.
Research information sheet click here