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Sleeplessness ( insomnia ) is a disorder characterized by the fact that disability can not sleep or no sleep. In the long run, 10-15% of the population, more women, the elderly and the mentally ill suffer from insomnia. Disability complains that they can not fall asleep, even if they lie in bed, they wake up too soon, or that sleep is not refreshing, although sleep time is long enough.

Permanent lack of sleep (chronic insomnia) is much worse than transient insomnia, which we all know. Patients with chronic insomnia have a bad mood and overall deterioration over the day, which affects their family and surroundings. They also have more injuries, traffic accidents, suicide, depression, anxiety, and immune system disorders . These textbooks can be found anywhere, for example in Saddichha2010dtc . Chronic insomnia is also a risk factor for obesity .

Transient insomnia caused by stressful experiences we all know. We also all know that there is a natural biorhythm of sleep and waking that we have to respect. If our rhythm of sleep and wakefulness moves, we can adjust it with the right diet . Transient insomnia can be caused by caffeine or too much evening meal.

How to get rid of insomnia

When you come to a doctor with insomnia, you will most likely get so-called sleeping pills - GABA receptor agonists . These are really sedative and help you sleep. But it does not solve the cause of insomnia, which is sometimes deeper ...

Identify the cause

The first step is to distinguish long-term insomnia from the problems of principally others. People often say "I can not fall asleep" when they really suffer from depression, failure, unhappy love, etc. If we have these kinds of problems, we have to concentrate on solving them - the sleep problems are solved by themselves. (I 'm dealing with cases of depression here .)

Watch for sedatives

A naive person at the end of the 1960s might say that medical science in the 21st century will offer patients an effective and harmless cure for insomnia. When we come to the pharmacy, it looks like it at first glance - the choice of sedatives is enormous. But reality is quite different. Thousands of different sedatives have a single effect: activation of the GABA receptor, or the alcoholic drunk receptor. Like alcohol, these drugs sometimes cure. But there is also a threat to the same dependence. These drugs are unfortunately very profitable.

Natural Alternatives to Insomnia

Medicinal plants with sedative effect are a lot. After all, ethanol, which works just like diazepam and zolpidem, is a natural product. But we are interested in those plants that will not only succumb, but also improve the sleep mode in the long run.

Ginseng improves sleep

Ginseng is known as a mental stimulant , so it definitely does not belong among the hypnotics as such. Although panaxosides act on GABA receptors as well as other sedatives (diazepam, Rohypnol or alcohol), their effect is only modulated. From personal experience, I have the impression that ginseng allows sleep to be suppressed. Unlike other stimulants, however, ginseng is a calming and sleeping cycle and does not interfere with waking but improves. This was demonstrated in animals ( Lee1990cip , Huong1998aem ) and humans ( Han2013erg ).

According to TČM, ginseng is soothing ( Cho2010heb ). In animal experiments it reduces anxiety from negatively motivated tasks ( Churchill2002npg , Churchill2002npg ). The calming effects of ginseng are explained by its neurosteroidal action on GABA receptors, whose ginseng activity stabilizes. At GABA receptors, the ginseng has a double, opposite effect - Yuan1998mag ginseng acts both against the increase in the activity of GABA receptors by muscimole and the reduction of their activity by bikulins. According to Tsang1985gsi, the ginseng extract slows GABA reabsorption to synapses, thus prolonging the duration of GABA on the synapse. Ginsenosides Rb 1 , Rb 2 , Rc, Re, Rf and Rg 1reversibly bind to GABA A and GABA B receptors, thereby increasing the effectiveness of sedatives ( Kimura1994igw ). According to Takagi1972psp, the mixture of ginsenosides Rb 1 , Rb 2 and Rc prolonged hexobarbitol sleep and had a calming effect in mice. In addition, according to Cho2010heb , the sedative effect of ginseng plays a role in its action on serotonin receptors.

The words of the Attele2000tia review , "the results of several studies suggest that the effects of ginseng can at least partly contribute to maintaining a normal sleep and wake cycle." Ginseng is not addictive - by its effects on dopamine receptors, narcotics addiction decreases ( Kim1995ibg ).

Other adaptogens to improve sleep

Hypnotic effects are just as easy in the plant kingdom as sedatives in pharmacies. Many plants contain GABA receptor agonists that act heavily and sedationally. Among the natural sedatives originates, for example, the heady peppermint (kava-kava) or the beer yeast , which is our favorite source of natural ethanol sedative. Popular beer yeast products are also popular with hops revolving from the miraculous family of cannabis ( Cannabaceae ) , whose positive effects on sleep confirm dozens of studies, such as Franco2012seh. When you give yourself a small, well-brewed beer in the evening before bed, you do not need a sedative or a sweet-hearted pepper. Satisfaction will also be provided by sage , lavender , St. John's wort, and the medical calf . Another complement of quiet sleeping can be the bayalis , the sedative TČM herb also acting through GABA receptors ( Chang2011beb ).

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