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Cures for Insomnia

Posted by on Apr. 10, 2017 at 10:42 AM
  • 11 Replies

Cures for Insomnia

Smear doggie ear wax on your teeth

The Hair of the Dog might cure a hangover, but back in the day, ear wax of the Dog was the go-to cure for insomnia. According to Gerolamo Cardano (1501-1576), a doctor and mathematician in Renaissance Italy whose other credits included being a founder of probability theory, sweet dreams could be yours by rubbing some canine ear wax across your pearly whites. I'm not sure your teeth (or Fido) would agree.

Bedtime snacks of sea slug entrails

Sushi might be for dinner, but sea slug entrails are for bedtime snacking, according to a Japanese folk remedy for insomnia. Entrails are considered a delicacy in Japan which they extract, salt, and cure. These are the best sleep positions for 11 common health problems.

Knock back the bile of a castrated boar

This unusual libation may have only come in third place on's poll for strangest insomnia cures, but it likely would have been higher if the poll had been on based on gross factor alone. These are the common sleeping mistakes that could be preventing quality z's.

Massage dormouse fat on your feet

A foot massage may be relaxing, but back in Elizabethan England it was thought to cure insomnia if the feet were rubbed with dormouse fat. In his 1621 medical work, The Anatomy of Melancholy English, author Robert Burton advised insomniacs to "anoint the soles of the feet with the fat of a dormouse." Sean Coughlin's modern day book, The Sleepyhead's Bedside Companion notes, "there is a long connection between dormice and sleep right through to the snoozing dormouse in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Another name for the dormouse is the sleep mouse, and in French the equivalent phrase for sleeping like a log is 'to sleep like a dormouse.'" These are the signs you're headed for a poor night's sleep.

Lather your hair with yellow soap

According to the 1898 edition of the Therapeutic Gazette, the Glasgow Herald offered this advice to insomniacs: "Soap your hair with ordinary yellow soap; rub it into the roots of the brain until it is lathered all over; tie it up in a napkin, go to bed, and wash it out in the morning. Do this for a fortnight. Take no tea after 6 p.m." Yellow shampoo might have thought to help you sleep better, but eliminating tea with caffeine actually could.

Lettuce isn't only for salad

Turns out French fries aren't French, but eating fried lettuce was a French folk remedy for insomnia. The ancient Egyptians had their own "green" cure for not being able to sleep. They believed in consuming lactucarium or "lettuce opium," a milky substance secreted from certain varieties of lettuce greens. However, today lettuce opium is known mainly for its psychotropic effects, according to an article in "We've now started wondering whether it's just a coincidence that both the ancient Egyptians and the French in more modern times recommend consuming lettuce in different forms as a way of curing insomnia... or whether there might indeed be some scientific basis to it," says Michael Acton Smith, a founder of, a meditation app to help you sleep.

Eating raw or fried onions before bed

Besides not being quite as yummy as milk and cookies, onions before bed may mean you might have to forego that goodnight kiss. Eating late at night can also mess with your metabolism and your health. If you're going to nosh in the evening, these foods can help promote better sleep.

Pointing your bed Northward

Feng shui anyone? The great Victorian writer Charles Dickens believed pointing his bed northward was the best cure for his own insomnia. These are the habits you might not realize are contributing to your insomnia.

Watching a video of a crossword puzzle tournament

This modern day cure seems more in line with the old wives' tale of counting sheep-boring oneself to sleep. Watching a chess tournament could induce the same inclination. These little changes can improve your sleep in just one day.

Curling and uncurling your toes

Doing toe curls might be the way to go to get some shut-eye. "This is a form of progressive muscle relaxation, which involves deliberately tensing and relaxing certain groups," Smith from says. "There is evidence that this sort of approach does help promote the relaxation for good sleep, especially if combined with taking a deep breath between tensioning the relevant muscles." You've heard of "clean eating"-now try "clean sleeping!"

Drinking cinnamon and banana tea

Both cinnamon and bananas have properties that can help in catching those z's. Cinnamon balances blood sugar levels so your hormones can function in a way that allows for better sleep. And bananas, especially the peel, contain the mineral magnesium, promoting muscle relaxation and stress relief. So don't throw that banana peel out until you've tried this easy Banana Tea recipe 

Would you ever try any of these?

by on Apr. 10, 2017 at 10:42 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Stephanie on Apr. 10, 2017 at 10:44 AM
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Ummmm no
by on Apr. 10, 2017 at 10:44 AM
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Ummm I'll stick to my ambitriptoline (sp?)
by Ronna on Apr. 10, 2017 at 10:56 AM
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my bed does point north ...

by Group Admin on Apr. 10, 2017 at 1:05 PM
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I do have to admit that I have NOT tried most of those remedies!

I have and still do sometimes the progressive relaxation and deep breathing method except I use more than my toes!

Some of those are hilarious, but they do seem to find out that many old time remedies are based in fact. I wonder if they can find any people to test the dog ear wax one! haha!

by Platinum Member on Apr. 10, 2017 at 4:28 PM
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I'll stay awake.

by Jozie on Apr. 10, 2017 at 5:33 PM
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I think I'd rather muscle through and pull an all-nighter.
by Louann on Apr. 10, 2017 at 9:51 PM
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Hmm...never tried any of these and some of them are strange!  LOL

by Lisa on Apr. 10, 2017 at 11:16 PM
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My room is too small to point my bed to the North. I would try watching a crossword viedeo or curling my toes, but nothiing else

by Jeanine on Apr. 11, 2017 at 9:56 PM
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I'll just lie there, thank you ;)

by Member on Apr. 11, 2017 at 10:16 PM
1 mom liked this

I almost barfed when I read the first one.. so no how no way would I try any of those..

If I ate raw onions any time of day I would be in the bathroom and not getting any sleep at all. It would be better to be awake in bed, then awake and going in to the bathroom several times. 

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