Sleep is required for proper brain function. Sleep is considered to be a psychiatric “vital sign,” requiring routine evaluation and treatment whenever sleep disorders are encountered. The homoeopathic dilution of passiflora incarnate has a quieting effect on the nervous system and produces normal sleep, no disturbance of cerebral functions and neuroses of children. So it can be used as an effective drug in sleep disorders without any side effects.
Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
The hypothalamus, act as control centers of sleep and arousal. The supra chiasmatic nucleus (SCN) receive information and control behavioral rhythm. Brain stem, communicates with the hypothalamus to control the transitions between wake and sleep. Sleep-promoting cells within the hypothalamus and the brain stem produce a brain chemical called GABA, which acts to reduce the activity of arousal centers in the hypothalamus and the brain stem. During REM sleep, the thalamus is active, sending the cortex images, sounds, and other sensations that fill dreams and pineal gland produce melatonin
Sleep is divided into two broad types: non-rapid eye movement (non-REM or REM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Non-REM sleep occurs first and after a transitional period is called slow-wave sleep or deep sleep. During this phase, body temperature and heart rate fall, and the brain uses less energy. REM sleep, also known as paradoxical sleep, represents a smaller portion of total sleep time. It is the main occasion for dreams (or nightmares), and is associated with desynchronized and fast brain waves, eye movements, loss of muscle tone and suspension of homeostasis.
Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight. Sleep problems including snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome, are common. Most people occasionally experience sleeping problems due to stress, hectic schedules, and other outside influences. Depending on the type of sleep disorder, people may have a difficult time of falling asleep and may feel extremely tired throughout the day.
- Allergies and respiratory problems
§ Stress and anxiety
§ Sleep apnea
§ Restless leg syndrome
- Lifestyle changes
- Sleeping pills
- Medications for any underlying health issues
Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines antihistaminergic medications are consumed as a quick fix to insomnia.Benzodiazepines increase the activity of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) – an inhibitory brain chemical that has a calming effect. After the initial ‘positive’ effects of lowered anxiety and a good night’s sleep, the GABA receptors get down-regulated within a few weeks or even days, becoming less responsive to benzodiazepines due to compensatory changes in the brain
Non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills are equally hazardous. Zolpidem is known to make people do things while asleep that they don’t recall when awake fatal car crashes have also been reported, since they slow down one’s reflexes. Indeed, all of us are at a risk due to misuse of sleeping pills.
ROLE OF PASSIFLORA
People have used one variety of passionflower, passiflora incarnata (p. Incarnata), since the 16th century for medicinal purposes. Passionflower contains GABA and increase levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) so it will help to treat anxiety, insomnia, and certain forms of pain. Gaba is associated with sleep, muscle relaxation, and sedation.The pharmacological studies proved its sedative, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant effects on the central nervous system and its supporting role in the treatment of addiction. In the potentised form it minimising, the toxic effects of the crude drug substance. The process of succussion activated the “vital energy” of the diluted substance.
The homoeopathic dilution of passiflora incarnata have action on sleep and it produces restless and wakeful, resulting from exhaustion.
- Boericke W. Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica & Repertory: Comprising of the Characteristic and Guiding Symptoms of All Remedies (clinical and Pahtogenetic [sic]) Including Indian Drugs. B. Jain publishers; 2002.
- Phatak SR. Materia medica of homoeopathic medicines. B. Jain Publishers; 2002
- Effect of a medicinal plant (Passiflora incarnata L) on sleep- by Fructuoso Ayala Guerrero1 and Graciela Mexicano Medina
- Passiflora incarnata L. Improves Spatial Memory, Reduces Stress, and Affects Neurotransmission in Rats by Katarzyna Jawna‐Zboińska Kamilla Blecharz‐Klin
Dr. Jeenu Joseph MD (Hom)
Dept. of FMT
Yenepoya Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital