Sleep Disorders

Insomnia harms and treatments.

Sleep disorders

Sleep From Ibn Sina Point of View:

“Sleeping relieves fatigue and traps the substances that have much tendency to discharge. Just some waste materials which are close to the skin are eliminated through the sleep. Sleep makes body sweat. People who sweat a lot in sleep, if there is no other external cause they have indulged in eating food for sure. If someone wake up too much, a disturbance will arise in the brain activity, the brain will dry up, weaken and severe diseases will occur. Since wakefulness dwindles foodstuffs, it causes hunger and increases appetite, but decrease the digestion power.”

Enough sleep is necessary for health and maintaining the normal activities of the nervous system. While sleeping, the nerves are completely getting rid of excessive pressure and fatigue. Researches have proven that if animals are deprived of sleep, they die sooner than those deprived of food.

Sleep should be enough long and deep. Restless sleep, light sleep, and disturbed sleep, do not freshen human as a normal sleep even if they it is long. If the duration of sleep is short, fatigue, heaviness in the head and sometimes headaches will be felt in the morning. As a result, during the day, intellect, intelligence, memory, and concentration work poorly and people become impatient and irritable.

Sleep Duration for Adults

The duration or hours that adults should sleep during the night is not the same. People’s need for sleep is different. But on average, 8 hours of sleep per night is suitable for adults. Unfortunately, some people consider sleep time as useless time in life and think they can use this time to do other works. They are unaware of the consequences of this way of thought. Continuous lack of sleep can cause the following problems:

  • A disturbance occurs in the brain and nervous system function.
  • Decreasing the human ability to work.
  • Anger and bad temper, excuses and inconsistency occur in humans.
  • Fatigue increases in humans and suffering from various ailments will occur more than before.

The Conditions for a Restful and Deep Sleep and Get Rid of Sleep Disorders

As mentioned above, a restful and deep sleep is necessary for the health of the nerves and the health of the heart and blood vessels.

To achieve this goal, the following points should be considered as a useful and permanent habit during life.

  • Dinner should be eaten at least 2 to 2:30 hours before sleep.
  • Intense mental work should be stopped at least 1 to 1.5 hours before sleep.
  • The bedroom should be well ventilated, quiet, and dark at sleep time.
  • Sleepwear should be loose and comfortable so that blood can circulate easily without any obstacles in different parts of the body.
  • The head should never be covered by quilts and blankets, and you should never sleep on your stomach, because this way of sleeping disturbs normal breathing and the entry of oxygen into the body, which causes problems and discomfort.
  • You should always sleep at a specific time.
The Conditions for a Restful and Deep Sleep.

Treatment for Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the sleep disorder that some people get involved with it. It is better to diagnose its cause and treat it as soon as possible.

In most people, this disease is caused by mental preoccupation that manifest themselves at nights, and sometimes it is related to the heart, brain, or nerves, or some kinds of diseases, and it usually has no other causes.

This disease causes loss of thought, reduce appetite, mental slowness, memory weakness, and body weakness during the day.

If you suffer from insomnia or lack of sleep, try to sleep in a small, quiet, and dark place. Also, it is useful to spray some rose water or rose perfume in the bedroom.

In addition, you should avoid consuming tea, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, eggs, and meat at night and use the following foods:

  • Yoghurt, cucumber, saffron, cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), lemon juice, zucchini potage, onion with dinner, lettuce, carrot juice, horseradish or radish with dinner, warm milk before bed, bread with yogurt, red apple juice at bedtime, orange (Citrus × aurantium) blossom hydrosol at bedtime, poppy decoction after meal, poppy (Papaver somniferum) syrup after meal, Salix aegyptiaca hydrosol at bedtime, poppy flower oil with dinner, poppy seeds, sweet almond oil with dinner, Helianthus tuberosus, coriander (Coriandrum sativum), hazelnut, cinnamon syrup.
  • Every night before bed, eat grated red apple (with skin) which is sweetened with honey.
  • Eat 30 to 40 grams of pumpkin seeds at night.
  • Take the pumpkin juice and cook it with water or milk and eat.
  • At night, cook and eat pounded Persian shallot (Allium stipitatum) in soup.
  • Soak 100 grams of valerian (Valeriana officinalis) in one liter of warm water for twelve hours. Then put it in the refrigerator and drink a cup of its filtered water at night before going to bed.
  • Boil twelve Papaver rhoeas flowers in one liter of water for 10 minutes, filter and sweeten the water and drink after dinner.
  • Boil some lettuce and strain the water and drink it at bedtime.
  • Keep the soles of your feet warm and try not to let any thoughts enter your mind until you fall asleep.
  • Brew 50 grams of Cydonia oblonga flowers in one liter of beer. Mix its filtered water with some orange (Citrus × aurantium) blossom hydrosol and drink it.
  • Infuse 20 grams of Indian lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) in one liter of water for 15 minutes and keep it in the refrigerator. Drink one cup of it after lunch and one cup after dinner every day.
  • Boil 25 grams of dry orange leaves in one liter of water for 15 minutes. Then sweeten its water with honey or sugar and mix a cup of water with three tablespoons of orange (Citrus × aurantium) blossom hydrosol and drink it at bedtime.
  • At night, chew and eat 2 or 3 red apples with the skin or drink a glass of apple juice.
  • If you do not have high blood pressure, pour a teaspoon of licorice extract powder in a cup of warm water at night and drink.
  • Sweeten 40 grams of fresh coriander (Coriandrum sativum) juice with sugar and drink it before going to bed.
  • Eat freshly cooked cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) with bread and yogurt at dinner.

Insomnia in Infants

Insomnia in infants is trouble making, especially in the first months of life. Insomnia is more common at the age under 12 months and the noisy environment will be an aggravating factor in these cases.

Baby’s bed time and sleep duration is different from parents. In many infants, it takes time to establish a compatible sleep pattern which is similar to their parents. A baby sleep pattern is depending on how often he/she needs to feed. Preterm babies often tend to feed more than normal babies; therefore, they have a shorter sleep duration. In older infants, problems may occur through mood, stressful or noisy environment or simple diseases such as cold, heart pain, earache, headache, burning feet, intolerance to cold or heat. Some of child sleep problems are inevitable, which can be distressing for parents. If the problem is not solved, should see a doctor.

If your child’s sleep pattern is irregular from the first, there are some steps you can take which can be helpful. During the day, keep your child awake a lot and try to sleep when the baby is asleep. When your baby reaches 10 weeks old, start fixing the sleeping time. Feed the baby in a dark and quiet room, making sure baby is comfortable, not hungry, and put a soft, clean diaper for him/her before putting to bed. Help baby to sleep by ticking the clock sound or cradling, or by playing relaxing music.

Do not play with baby during night feeding. If you think that the baby awakening is due to a disease, consult a doctor. In most children, insomnia at night gets improved over time. Despite this, sleep disorder may arise again in the future.

Insomnia in Elderly

Elderly people who experience insomnia or lack of sleep should avoid tea, coffee, cocoa, and tobacco. As a treatment, drink one glass of red apple juice before bed. If red apple is not available, orange juice, yoghourt or warm milk also can be used.

Insomnia Due to Thirst

If insomnia is caused by thirst, cook pumpkin seeds with water or milk, and eat.

Insomnia Due to Fever

If you suffer from insomnia due to fever, grind 30 grams of pumpkin seeds very soft and boil with 5 grams of dried skin of young willow (Salix) branches and some milk, then strain and drink.

Insomnia in Hot Temperaments

Insomnia in hot temperament has symptoms such as dizziness, lack of attention, thirst, dryness of the eyes, nose, tongue, and mouth, and heat of the head, sadness, ringing in the head and ears, and long duration of insomnia.

  • To treat this sleep disorder, do hijama first and also drink White Water Lily (Nymphaea alba) syrup before bed and rub violet oil (Viola odorata) in almond oil, or sweet almond oil or pumpkin seed oil or rose oil (Rosa damascena) on the head.
  • Boil lettuce leaves, Bazr al-Bang (Hyoscyamus niger), fresh coriander (Coriandrum sativum) and White Water Lily (Nymphaea alba) in water and do footbath with it before going to bed.
  • Eating lettuce, zicchini, marjoram (Origanum majorana), fresh coriander (Coriandrum sativum), and cucumber will be useful. Showering after dinner is also helpful. You should avoid eating heavy foods, difficult to digest or foods which cause constipation.

How to Increase Deep Sleep

  • To make your sleep heavier and deeper, drink a glass of tangerine juice (Citrus reticulata) before bed.
  • Pour forty grams of grinded fennel in one liter of cold water and boil for 10 minutes. Brew it for 10 minutes. Then filter the water and sweeten it with honey and keep it in the refrigerator and drink a cup of it at night after dinner. (This prescription is for women)

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea during sleep is temporary and repetitive. This sleep disorder is more common in children and adults (between the ages of 40 and 60) and in men. The genetic factor is also effective in this case. You should know that obesity, alcohol consumption, and smoking are also risk factors. In this disease, breathing stops during sleep for at least 10 seconds and at least 5 times in an hour.

The mild type of sleep apnea has few symptoms and complications, but its severe condition may cause a lack of oxygen, which can have dangerous complications. This disease is more common in smokers, people who are alcoholics or overweight. Sometimes this happens at high altitudes.

Sleep Apnea Can Be Divided Into Two Main Parts:

1- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

This sleep disorder mainly occurs in men between the ages of 40 and 60 and occurs when the upper airways in the respiratory system close during sleep. Very commonly, this obstruction occurs due to the loosening of the soft tissues of the larynx and the closing of the airway. This obstruction prevents breathing until the reduction of oxygen in the blood causes the person to react and wake up, and this is done with a loud and deep snoring.

Overweight (especially having fat around the neck area) or having a large tongue or small mouth can also cause or aggravate this condition. In children, enlarged tonsils or enlarged adenoids are the main causes of obstruction that can cause OSA. Symptoms of OSA develop gradually, and spouse or family members may first warn the patient.

2- Sleep central breathing interruption

In this rare disease, the area of ​​the brain and nerves that regulates breathing does not work normally and causes irregular breathing. The causes of this type of sleep disorder include brain damage due to concussion or stroke. The symptoms of the second type appear suddenly and depend on its reason. The symptoms and complications of both types of disease are:

  • Sleep discomfort
  • Inability to sleep during the day
  • Poor memory and lack of concentration
  • Morning headache
  • Loud snoring
  • Personality changes
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Impotence in men

Severe insomnia can lead to car accidents. Taking sleeping pills and drinking alcohol can aggravate the symptoms and complications. If this condition is not treated, problems such as irregular heartbeat or pulmonary hypertension will arise. There is also a high risk of high blood pressure. The severe form of insomnia may be life-threatening.

If you suffer from mild OSA, you should avoid sleeping pills and alcohol. If you are overweight, lose weight. You should try to sleep on your side to reduce symptoms and complications. If this condition occurs due to altitude, it will be resolved as soon as you return to a lower altitude.


In order to not having nightmares, eat dinner at least two hours before going to bed and eat foods which are easy to digest. Avoid eating leeks and beans. Drink a cup of Valerian root decoction at night before sleeping.



Snoring is a loud breathing during sleep, which may be a symptom of a more serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (described above).

Also, being overweight, alcohol consumption and smoking are risk factors. Snoring is a sound produced by the vibration of the soft tissues at the end of the mouth. Although it is usually not considered an acute problem, the discomfort, and problems it makes have negative effect on the person and the people around them.

Soft surface vibration may be due to obstruction or narrowing of the nasopharynx (the path that reaches the pharynx from the back of the nasal cavity). If you are overweight, this area may become blocked.

Sleeping on your back can make snoring worse by narrowing the pathway. Also snoring can be caused by alcohol or sedative drugs. Inflammation may also be due to pharynx infection or irritation of the soft area of ​​this part due to smoking. Snoring can also be caused by congestion due to a cold or flu. Sometimes an abnormal position such as deviation of the nasal wall may cause snoring. In children, this condition is usually due to large tonsils and adenoids.

If you have other complications and symptoms such as lack of concentration, you should consult your doctor. Otherwise, a series of personal aids can give you some relief. If you are overweight, lose weight and stop smoking. Reduce or completely stop drinking alcohol. Avoid taking sedative drugs or alcohol at least before going to bed.  In addition, you can reduce snoring by thickening or narrowing the surface of the pillow.


1- Daeratol Maarif Giah Darmanie Iran (Noskhehaye Shafabakhsh), by Haji Sharifi, Ahmad (Attare Esfahani)


Medical Disclaimer