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Q. Please suggest a natural remedy for my sleeping issue.

Answered by
Dr. Geetha Priyadarsini Kamminana
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 01, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am now 35 years old. In my early twenties, I was a marathon runner. Now I go a few times per week, one to five times to run after my office hours. I run about 10- 15 km a few times per week.

I used to run intensively and to sweat strongly. My heart rate goes up. My problem is that I cannot fall asleep. When I come home, I am so terrified that I do not feel sleepy for hours. Sometimes, I do not sleep the whole night.

The result is, that on the next day I feel very horrible and my whole circadian rhythm is misconfigured. In the end, I just run 90 minutes but those 90 minutes change my whole circadian rythm. What are the possibilities to fall asleep in about two to three hours?

In general, I prefer natural solutions. In the coutnry, where I currently live, the warm water is inexpensive. Maybe I should lay in the bathtub for 30 minutes with hot water? What about natural sleeping tea?

I once tried sleeping pills, but I abused them and had temporary but shocking consequences. I would not like to take serious medicines regularly because of this idea of going to run.

Dr. Geetha Priyadarsini Kamminana

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to

Prior to my answer to your query, I have some queries to be answered.

Do you have thyroid problems or gastritis? Any anxiety or depression? Significant psychological stress? For how long you have been witnessing sleep problem? Do you have difficulty falling asleep? Are you waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep or waking up too early in the morning? Do you take any medication? Noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that interfere with sleep?

Let me tell you it is not the quantity but the quality of sleep is all that matters. Good sleep is like a cure for day time fatigue and tiredness.

Well I will share few tips:

Avoid Napping.

Regular exercise helps you to fight bad sleep or insomnia but avoid exercise late in the evening as it activates metabolism and also releases hormones that may not help you to sleep.

Avoid bright screens like laptops, late night television, mobiles, tabs and all.

Keep your room dim and dark as darkness stimulates brain to release melatonin that helps you to sleep (avoid gadgets for the same reason). Book reading helps. You can do that in kindles too.

No brainstorming activity prior to sleep.

Keep your room clean, cool, and calm.

Maintain room temperature at about 65-70 F for good sleep.

Do not have tea or coffee or any stimulants.

Do not smoke.

No alcohol and cold drinks.

No big meals, spicy, or junk food.

Do not drink too much water or any liquids as they will wake you up and make things worse.

There is nothing quite like sinking into a warm tub everyday with a few drops of essential oil like lavender oil.

Drink a glass of warm milk 30 minutes prior to your sleep time.

Also, eat cherries and bananas which are the rich sources of tryptophan a molecules that transforms to the sleep inducing molecule melatonin.

Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.

I hope I did not load you with too much of advice. I come across with many patients having sleep problems that which effect their day badly.

Well, you require six hours of good sleep for a good routine. Just switch your biological sleep accordingly and sleep by 10 PM.

As you have aptly quoted, it is always wise to follow natural ways to sleep. Taking sleeping pills only act acutely and on a longer run further complicate your sleep cycle and cause memory problems, confusion, and day time sleepiness.

I hope this helps.

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