Remedies for Insomnia

In my last blog, I mentioned the movie Medicating Normal, in which a woman given sleeping pills becomes terribly addicted; yet, we have easy and nonaddictive ways to combat insomnia. There are four that come readily to mind; they are inexpensive and can be practiced at home or while traveling (often when we most have trouble getting to sleep).


The first and easiest is a pinch of salt.  Keep a small jar of unrefined salt in your bedside table or in your travel kit, and take a generous pinch when you go to bed.  I don’t have a scientific explanation for why this works for insomnia, but it does for many people, perhaps because salt helps us deal with stress.  (Unrefined salt also contains magnesium, a known sleep aide, readily dissolved and absorbed from the tongue.)

Second is homeopathic coffee, called caffea cruda. While real coffee wakes us up and often leads to anxiety and insomnia, the homeopathic remedy based on coffee has the opposite effect; it relaxes the nerves and has a soporific effect. Take two pellets when you go to bed and let them dissolve under the tongue.  A vial of pellets costs less than ten dollars and fits easily in your bedside table or a travel kit.

Third is a natural vitamin C—I like Amla-C, which is simply amla berries, rich in vitamin C, dehydrated and compressed into tablets.  If you can’t go to sleep because you feel tense and anxious, a natural form of vitamin C will help you relax and doze off.  Six to eight tablets is a good dose.  Again, a small container of vitamin C tablets fits easily into a travel kit.

Light TemperaturesThe final of my four simple solutions is a battery-operated LED reading light—a modern version of a bedtime candle with its soft, warm light. They cost about seven dollars on Amazon.  As you are getting ready for bed, turn off all the lights in the bedroom and bathroom and use the warm amber reading light instead.  Go through your bedtime routine of brushing your teeth, pulling back the bed and settling down to some reading by the warm amber light—a color that tells your pineal gland that daytime is over.  Drowsiness soon follows. Likewise, if you wake up during the night to use the bathroom, use the amber reading light rather than turn on the regular bright lights, so you don’t wake up too thoroughly and can easily get back to sleep.

These are the easy and inexpensive remedies.  Others take more planning and effort.  Key to a peaceful night’s sleep is minimizing exposure to electro-magnetic radiation (EMR).  About the only things you can do while traveling is to unplug the electric alarm clock beside your bed and put your cell phone in airplane mode.  At home you’ll want to make sure that you can turn off your house wifi at night and keep all wireless devices out of your bedroom.

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A cup of warm chicken broth (with an added pinch of salt) before bed can be very helpful.  Broth is rich in glycine. The glycine in broth regulates dopamine—if your dopamine levels are too high, you’ll feel wired and getting to sleep could be difficult.  Genuine bone broth will bring those dopamine levels down and help you relax.  Be sure to use organic chickens and chicken bones in making your broth, to avoid exposure to glyphosate.

Warm raw whole milk is another great bedtime remedy.  Set a mug of raw milk in a pan of simmering water to gently warm it.  Since raw milk is so nourishing—and a great source of vitamin C—it is also relaxing. Don’t try this with commercial pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized milk—it might keep you awake all night!

Of course, a good diet throughout the day will nourish all those hormonal systems that help us get to sleep—that means plenty of nutrient-dense food and high-quality animal fats.  Minimize stimulants—coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar–as best you can. If you do drink coffee or tea, try to limit your consumption to the morning hours.

It goes without saying that when you go to bed, you should already feel sleepy; regular exercise in the out of doors and a day full of meaningful work is the best preparation for a good night’s sleep. But if you need a little help—if you find your mind racing or are restless, then the above remedies should send you off to a deep and peaceful sleep.

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Author: Sally Fallon Morell

Sally Fallon Morell is best known as the author of Nourishing Traditions®: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels.

13 thoughts on “Remedies for Insomnia”

  1. Unfortunately, intractable insomnia doesn’t respond to Rxs even, let alone health aids. Having insomnia for mos to yrs at a time, 2-4hrs sleep a night, is a hard hard thing. My heart goes out to all who crave above all else to sleep and yet are denied this simple humanity.
    I know your physical and mental anguish all too well.

  2. Going to try some of these suggestions! Already put phone in airplane mode, but still on bedside table. No electric alarm clocks either. Watched your interview with Mike Adams, it was great information. I listen to Natural News daily. I will subscribe to your blog also.
    Warm Regards,
    Denetta Troxell

  3. Are you sure that the clip-on light you have linked is a red light? When I read the description on Amazon it doesn’t say anything about it being red

      1. Hey Sally,

        I don’t know if you are aware of this or not but your link to the Amla C supplement takes you to one called Amla Plus which contains tannins in it. I bought this at your recommendation and it kept me awake all night long everyday I took it one night till 4am the next till 5am and the last day till 6am! I stopped taking it. Are you sure that’s the correct product you meant ? Amla C and Amla Plus do not sound the same. Help ? Was it a typo?

        1. Thank you so much for emailing me on this. I am very sorry the product kept you from sleeping–I take Amla Plus at night when I need help getting to sleep and it always works for me.

          There is also just the Amla (Amazake without added spirulina)

          but there is no guarantee that it would not have tannins. Most plants have tannins and I have never heard that they prevent sleep. I think in your case you would just need to rely on the other remedies–pinch of seasalt and homeopathic coffee.

          Best, Sally

      2. I’m sure there are other alternatives to LED lights? These are not health promoting as they release short wave pulses. (similar to fluorescent bulbs) Also they are damaging to the eyes (even the amber or red colors).

  4. Thank you for the suggestions. They’re all new to me and easy to implement. I find it strange though that conscious sites like this suggests using Amazon. Bezos is way to wealthy and powerful as it is, and growing more and more so during these difficult times. I know that it’s so convenient, cheap and easy to use Amazon but it would be so great if the tide could be turned and we could be conscious about keeping the smaller businesses afloat.

    1. I agree with you, lady, or sir. We should as much as we can stay away from Amazon, who is demolishing everything good and decent in our culture.

  5. I recommend a busy but not too busy day combined with a final hours of the day sleep routine of activities that when you do them at the end of the day have in the past caused you to feel drowsy (combined with EMF weaning).

    Examples of such activities might be: going for a long drive, sitting on a sofa watching TV but not too close to your actual bedtime because of the bright lights, going for a really long lighter paced walk, reading under dimmer light, standing and moving throughout the hours before bed and resting your body and muscles from all that standing and moving by lying down in your bed (without the intent of going to sleep yet), hours of deep thinking and thinking out loud….

  6. Thank you for your site, and for wanting to help people. The principals of “Nourishing Traditions” are superb. I find drinking Stinging Nettle Infusion on a regular basis, two or more Quarts or Litres per week, nourishes and tones all systems and organs of the body, including the adrenals, such that it is much easier to get to sleep and stay asleep until the time you set.

  7. Thanks for this blog. Sleep is a major issue these days for so many. One question, with LED’s and their disturbances to circadian rhythms I was surprised to see an LED book light among the recommendations. Did I miss something?

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