What works for insomnia?

A dear friend is suffering badly from insomnia, unable to get a full night’s sleep without taking something. She is exasperated by chiropractors who say they can help her, take her $200, and she’s still not sleeping.

I would be too.

I had one period a few years back when I didn’t sleep well for months. I remember how dreadful that was. I felt tired, cranky, and tense all the time. I tried supplements, which weren’t very effective. Listening to a delta brain wave CD helped, but it required falling asleep with headphones on, which was awkward.

Eventually something shifted, and I slept well again.

If you have any experience or have heard of effective remedies for insomnia (that don’t include pharmaceuticals or Benadryl or anything OTC with “PM” in the name), would you mind sharing in the comments?

Thank you.

8 thoughts on “What works for insomnia?

  1. MaryAnn! Your know and have all the answers already. Really, you must have more faith in the wonderful work you do. Here are a couple of quick notes:
    1. Massage. ANY kind of massage, once you’re not pulped into bruises. With reflexology, clients are often in a very deep sleep, with in 10 or 15 minutes.
    2. TRE is terrific. Before bed if you really need to. Otherwise, in the middle of the night, or early morn if it’s still too early to get up. Guaranteed.
    3. Alexander Technique Constructive Rest Position (15 minutes), best described by our friend Richard Brennan, at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watchfeature=endscreen&v=Iehtr8X3qMc&NR=1 Actually it’s easier for me to have my feet UP on a chair, at a 90 degree-angle.
    4. Have a foot bath. Throw in a spoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).
    5. Whilst bathing the little feet, enjoy a cup of warm milk, or chamomille.

    I’m sure you know many more MaryAnn. Cheers. Raymond


    • Yes, I know what’s worked for me (Rescue Remedy Sleep, melatonin, valerian, and calming my bodymind with breathing so I can drop from beta into alpha into theta into delta waves).

      I also had brainwave optimization. I didn’t have insomnia at the time, but it has now been scientifically shown to have helped 9 out of 10 people with moderate to severe insomnia. It’s expensive, though.

      My friend is suffering from much worse insomnia than I’ve had, and this is for her benefit. I’m hoping maybe someone who has recovered from serious, prolonged insomnia can share what worked for them. Ironically, she’s a massage therapist.


      • Of course, that was only stating the obvious: various ways to soothe the heart, to cope with the stress and emotional tension some people have to endure. Many have turned to therapy, even to leading-edge “technologies”. So when people are STILL not sleeping well, still upset, uptight and agitated, what do we do then, when everything seems to have failed?
        Time maybe to just drop a hint, and introduce : ALICE MILLER.
        Start reading (or look at the website) – or read again.


  2. I don’t know about insomnia, but when I can’t sleep I do these things. First, I stretch before I go to bed. Then when I get in bed, I imagine a golden light over my head that flows into my head down my shoulders and the rest of my body to my feet. This golden light relaxes me, so I have to imagine being relaxed and letting go of tension in the parts of my body that the light is passing over. I might do this 2-3 times. Then if I’m still awake, I visualize 3 things, listen for 3 things and then feel 3 things in my body. When that is done, I visualize, listen for and feel 2 things. Then 1 thing. Usually I’m gone before I reach the one thing. What I actually find more effective is to try to listen for and feel in my body at the same time. If I’m feeling really tense or anxious, then I would do a tense my whole body and release once or twice before I do the golden light. Don’t know if this will help those with hardcore insomnia.

    Some say that L-Theanine helps. Surprisingly I had one person suggest that I take Tums, and when I took one close to bedtime, I woke up less often. I have no idea why.


    • Thanks for sharing, Peggy. I love the visualization of relaxing golden light and the see/hear/feel. These exercises get you present rather than “being thought” and the anxiety that often goes along with the mind running away with you. Being present is relaxing.

      Now I’m curious about L-Theanine (which I thought was in tea, a stimulant — Wikipedia says it promotes alpha waves in the brain) and definitely about TUms! Never heard of that before!


    • Update: I told her two readers recommended TRE. She’s familiar with bioenergetics but not TRE, so I lent her my Berceli video. She told me tonight she had watched it and done the exercises last night, and she fell asleep and stayed asleep afterwards. So thank you, readers who suggested that!


  3. MaryAnn!! Melatonin, that’s cheating…. ;)) Better to “encourage and stimulate” melatonin production, by shading out the light. For people who have trouble sleeping with lights on (any kind of light), then the black eye patch is a MUST. Also, for you people living in hot climes: when I was in the tropics, and NO air-conditioning, I found out eventually that I had to let my body Rest Slow/Wind Down, if sleep was to come. The answer was to lie in my bed, but not to ‘expect’ sleep right away. Give myself a chance to COOL DOWN by resting still. Reading a book comes to mind of course, and close second (but only a dream…) a nice foot treatment…… Otherwise. Well, a little TRE there and then is fine too…. No exercises, just into butterfly pose straight away….


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