What Causes Insomnia And How Can I Address It Naturally?

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If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or are waking very early and not able to fall back to sleep, then you may be suffering from insomnia, or a sleep deficit.  You may not be getting enough (quantity) sleep or the quality of your sleep may be compromised with interrupted sleep patterns.

Many factors may be contributing to your insomnia.   It’s important to identify what’s causing your sleeplessness and try to address the root of the problem. 

You may actually be creating the insomnia through unhealthy sleep habits.  A few small changes to your daily routines may bring surprising results! 

Consider which of the following may also be affecting you and try a natural approach to addressing the underlying cause before you resort to medication. 

Causing insomnia

Natural approaches to address insomnia

Anxiety – feeling tense, helpless, worried, afraid and uncertain due to social stresses, relationship problems, financial worries and work issues.  Often feel anxious about not sleeping and clock watch all night

  • Massage – particularly with essential oils which relieve anxiety
  • Breathing exercises, muscle relaxation techniques and visualisation techniques
  • Creating a restful bed time routine 
  • Yoga & meditation
  • Cognitive Behavioural therapy or talking to someone who can help you
  • Turn the clock face away from you and place it on the other side of the room and do not look at it during the night!
  • Examine your sleep hygiene (just a fancy word for sleep habits)

Depression – characterised by feelings of sadness, discouragement, hopelessness and despair

Stress – how you cope with physical, social, economic and other factors that require a certain response

Jet Lag Travelling across different time zones can change a person’s body clock /circadian rhythms and can cause insomnia

Night Shifts – Different working hours or long working hours can cause troubles in sleeping habits

  • Yoga & meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Establishing a regular pattern/routine when your sleep is due and try to keep your sleep time consistent (even on weekends or days off)
  • Block outside/daytime noise with earplugs and daylight with an eye mask
  • Invest in blackout curtains
  • Try to sleep at a time that minimises the separation between you and your family so you still have time to spend with them and be part of their lives
  • Limit sleep to one big block rather than many short naps as much as possible

Adjustment Sleep Disorder – This is caused by a traumatic event such as an illness or a loss of a close person. This can also be triggered by minor events such as arguments

Environmental factors - such as noise from a partner snoring, temperature and other factors of the environment can also cause sleeplessness.

  • See stop snoring tips
  • Examine your bedding – is it too warm? Too cold? Not comfortable? Are you allergic to it?
  • What are you sleeping in? Sleepwear made from natural fibres which does not restrict your movement and allows your skin to breathe is best.
  • If your room is too light try an eye mask or if there is external noise around use earplugs.  Invest in blackout curtains
  • Ensure your bedroom is not too hot or cold
  • White noise – some people find it comforting to have a fun or dehumidifier running while they sleep. This blocks out surrounding noise and helps them to relax for sleep

Hormonal fluctuations - women experience hormonal changes brought about by menstruation, pregnancy, lactation and menopause which can affect sleep.

Age – as we grow older the production of melatonin (the hormone that controls sleep) decreases and has a detrimental impact on our sleep

  • Natural melatonin in found in Tart Cherries
  • Herbal supplements
  • Try not to sleep too much during the day!

Genetics - some people are just predisposed to developing insomnia.


  • Try natural and homeopathic remedies to relieve symptoms and where possible address underlying cause of illness
  • Yoga & meditation

Insomnia can severely affect one’s mood, energy and ability to function during the day. In fact, severe insomnia may even cause other health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.  There is no need to live with it!  Small changes can make a huge difference and break the negative cycle you may be stuck in.