Most of us have gone through those restless long nights of staring at the ceiling and the wall clock, tossing and turning from one side of the bed to the other, just hoping to get a few hours of shut-eye.
The more we get anxious about not being able to sleep, the more our mind races and the next thing we notice is the sun shining brightly through the window panes.
Insomnia, or irregular sleep cycles, can result from various factors such as anxiety, stress, depression, caffeine intake, and hormonal imbalance.
For most of us, simply trying to sign off our day and wind down our busy minds can prove intimidating. No matter what the cause is, a deep pain, intense happiness, urgent task or just a missed deadline – if our mind is active, there’s every reason to believe that we’ll have a tough time trying to fall asleep.
A variety of medications can also lead to sleeplessness. Blood pressure, heart, antihistamines, and pain medications are some of the prescribed drugs that contribute to sleeplessness, insomnia or delayed sleep episodes.
Though several medications begin with making you feel drowsy, gradually they tend to trigger anxiety, frequent thirst, or bathroom trips that can disturb your rest. Even those who use mild to moderate sleeping pills aren’t extremely happy either with their sleep patterns as sleeping pills usually lead to dependency and severe bleariness the next day!
Regardless of the reason behind your disturbed sleep, there’s something that needs to be changed.
What is Insomnia?
As per guidelines released by a leading physician association, insomnia is a condition associated with trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep, despite your desire and opportunity to stay asleep.
Individuals with insomnia usually feel displeased about their sleep cycle and patterns and mostly tend to experience some of the symptoms listed below:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low energy
- Decreased performance at school or work
- Mood swings
Insomnia or sleeplessness may be categorized based on its duration. Typically, acute insomnia is often triggered by life conditions (for instance, when you struggle to fall asleep after getting disheartening news or on the night ahead of an examination).
Most of us may have faced this kind of brief sleep disturbance at some stage, and it might not require any medications or treatment.
Typically, chronic insomnia has been described as disrupted sleep patterns that occur a minimum of 3 nights a week and tends to last for around 3 or more months(1). Also, chronic insomnia can have numerous causes such as harmful sleep habits, changes in the surroundings, shift work, certain medications, and clinical disorders that can result in a long-term cycle of inadequate sleep.
Individuals with a chronic sleep disorder may feel better with some treatments aimed at restoring normal sleep cycles. Also, chronic insomnia could be comorbid, which means it can be associated with psychiatric complication, medical issue or other underlying root cause, though it’s often difficult to comprehend the “cause and effect” association.
[Read: Natural Treatment for Insomnia]
How Sleeplessness Affects Your Body?
Sleeping for less than 8 hours is harmful to your body. Less than necessary sleep impacts your cognitive functions, i.e., your short- and long-term memory gets adversely affected.
Your body tends to feel like running on limited fuel, and it won’t surely cover the distance. When plagued with insomnia, people find it daunting even to carry out essential daily activities, and your emotional reactions to things become entirely skewed. And then there’s the list of serious diseases waiting to happen such as cancer(2), diabetes, and obesity.
Also, it is essential to find out the underlying cause behind your sleeplessness and work on resolving it.
Weird Insomnia Hacks
Insomnia is a troublesome and frustrating condition that affects you physically as well as emotionally. In desperate attempts to get rid of sleeplessness, numerous people have tried a wide range of weird hacks.
- Eating fried or raw onions before going to sleep
- Facing your bed northward
- Curling and uncurling your toes
- Massaging dormouse fat on your feet
What Is Banana Tea?
Banana tea, also known as banana peel tea, is made by brewing a whole banana with its skin.
Most of us are not entirely familiar with the immense health benefits that the banana peel has in store for us. To begin with, the peel is an excellent source of magnesium, vitamin B12, B6, and potassium. Unlike other fruits such as pears and apples, you can’t eat the banana peel raw. Also, when subjected to heat, the rough texture of the banana peel is loosened. Therefore, it becomes simpler to digest and chew.
Also, the fiber content in a banana peel can be a trouble. As fiber makes up more than 30 percent of the banana peel in terms of weight, adverse effects such as bloating and stomach ache can manifest.
Therefore, the best way to use the banana peel is to convert it into a simple and easily-digestible drink; thus the concept of brewing banana peel to tea.
Also, you can either use raw (green) bananas or ripe (yellow) bananas, or even plantains for making the tea. Only keep in mind that raw banana peels contain more starch as compared to ripe ones. Also, banana teas exhibit a grey-brown tint that can appear unappetizing, but it is amazingly palatable. The banana peel tea gives the flavor of a muted variant of bananas but no sweetness.
[Read: Amazing Benefits of Banana]
How Does it Help with Insomnia?
Banana peel is widely touted to be an effective and versatile home remedy, mainly when applied topically. It helps whiten teeth, eliminate warts, wrinkles, and pimples, and it is also used for polishing leather and silver.
However, as an herbal tea, an essential benefit associated with a banana peel is its potency to help treat insomnia and generalized sleep disorders.
This tremendous potential in banana tea is attributed to two minerals, namely potassium and magnesium. Both these minerals have long been associated with improved sleep patterns and are touted to help prompt relaxation in your muscles and blood vessels. Also, they fight a wide range of negative consequences of the stress hormone cortisol.
Along with improving sleep, banana peel teas are known to offer a wide range of health benefits, such as:
Eases Depression and Stress
Banana tea consists of dopamine and serotonin – the potent “feel-good” neurotransmitters touted to regulate stress and boost mood.
Supports Bone Health
The manganese and magnesium in banana peel tea can help boost bone mineral density to keep your bones strong and healthy.
Supports Digestive Health
Potassium and magnesium help boost muscle functioning, particularly in your digestive tract. As a result, banana tea helps in promoting regular bowel movement, and relieve abdominals bloating, cramps, and constipation.
[Read: Home Remedies for Bloating]
Boosts your Immune System
Vitamins C and A are both vital antioxidants that help increase our immune function, fight free radicals, and reduce the oxidative stress in the brain to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including cancer.
2 Simple Recipes of Banana Tea
1. Cinnamon Banana Tea
The cinnamon banana tea takes around 10 minutes to be brewed and can be sipped each night slowly before going to sleep.
Ingredients you will need:
- 1 organic banana
- Dash of powdered Cinnamon (optional)
- 1 small bowl of water
How to prepare:
- Cut both the ends of the banana and drop it into boiling water
- Bring it to boil.
- Pour the concoction into a bowl using a colander.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon (optional)
- Sip it warm around 1 hour before going to sleep.
If you are worried about wasting the boiled banana, sprinkle cinnamon powder and have it. Consuming the gooey, warm fruit and the peel with the tea adds to its soothing effects. Also, it makes a delectable dessert!
2. Creamy Banana Tea
Here’s another effective banana tea recipe that helps soothe your mind and induces sleep without causing any adverse effects.
Ingredients you will need:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon carob (caffeine-free substitute for chocolate)
How to prepare:
- Add all the ingredients to a mug of water and bring to boil.
- Strain, and drink 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep.
While there are several claims that banana peel tea has helped people resolve their symptoms of insomnia, it is a matter of preference, and the results are likely to vary from person to person. Also, overconsumption of banana tea can lead to potential side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, and hyperkalemia. If you are concerned about the use and impact of banana peel tea, it makes sense for you to discuss your options with a registered medical practitioner.