Insomnia, inability to sleep and poor quality sleep are common and very debilitating problems both physically and psychologically. Few would disagree with the view that a chemical solution with ‘sleeping tablets’ is at best unsatisfactory and at worst dangerously addictive.

An holistic view of insomnia sees deep sleep (non-rapid eye movement = nREM), dreaming (REM) and a waking state as different states of consciousness affecting the whole individual. A healthy, psychologically and physically balanced individual is able to slip between the states of consciousness whenever appropriate. A persistent sleep problem implies a subtle imbalance in the whole individual. This may be due to stress or the taking of stimulants such as coffee but often there is no obvious cause.

The treatment of insomnia, holistically, involves trying to improve the general state of health of the individual. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by dumping stress. There are many ex-insomniacs who learned to exercise, or de-stress by learning meditation or Autogenic Training (AT) a very powerful . Holistic tools such as homeopathy and acupuncture can also be very useful as these methods attempt to treat the whole person.

In the case of homeopathy where substances capable of causing conditions are used to treat those very conditions, a remedy made from coffee (Coffea cruda) has often been suggested as a specific remedy for insomnia. In my view this is far too simplistic and in practice only very occasionally successful. Much better results are obtained by listening carefully to the sleepless patient paying attention not only to the sleep problem but to any other physical or psychological problem he or she might have. Finally an homeopathic remedy is chosen to suit the whole picture and here success is more likely.

In conclusion, insomnia, a problem poorly managed with conventional drugs, is often successfully treated with an holistic approach. Best results are obtained by a combined effort of the patient (especially relaxation techniques such as A.T.) and a doctor using a holistic tool such as homeopathy.