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Home / News / Does Kava Work for Insomnia
Health & Wellness

Does Kava Work for Insomnia

Diana Grace image

By Diana Grace

Published December 31, 2021

“I can’t sleep.”

How many adults have never said this? For that matter, how many young kids and teens have never said this? Probably not too many. 


Finding yourself completely exhausted with eyelids that refuse to relax, a brain that won’t shut off, and a body that feels like it’s squirming on the inside is way beyond frustrating. You’re laying there, ready to sleep, but your body and mind will not cooperate. 


Do you keep laying there, praying for sleep to come? Do you watch a movie and hope that it distracts your brain enough to lull you into a deep slumber? Drink warm milk? Take another dose of melatonin? Lavender oil?


Maybe you have tried and tried again to do your relaxation techniques. Maybe you have tried over-the-counter sleep aids for weeks, only to feel groggy and foggy throughout your days. 


Losing sleep night after night stinks. It is especially challenging when it’s a chronic problem like insomnia.


What Is Insomnia?

Chances are that you know what insomnia is, or at least you think you do. It’s a pretty common sleep disorder that negatively affects your sleep. It can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

People with insomnia don’t typically feel too great during the daytime because their energy level is low, their mood is sullen or cranky, and their body just doesn’t feel good. 

This frustrating sleep disorder causes millions of people to lose sleep. As many as thirty percent of adults suffer from short-term insomnia at some point. Some of these people fall asleep at work or while driving. 

And about ten percent of Americans suffer from insomnia that lasts for a longer period of time. That means that millions of people deal with insomnia for years. 

Just imagine waking up throughout the night and struggling to fall asleep for seven days in a row. Then multiply that by fifty-two. That’s what insomnia for one year would be like. Now multiply that. 

Holy smokes. 

Most sleep specialists suggest that adults sleep somewhere in the neighborhood of seven hours every night. Of course, this depends on our age. The older we get the less we sleep until we start getting closer to retirement age. Our grandparents are getting more sleep than we are!


How Do You Know If You Have Insomnia?

Insomnia is not something you want to ignore if you have it. You really need to go see a doctor to find out if you are actually dealing with insomnia. Just like so many of our other medical conditions, insomnia needs to be officially diagnosed by a medical professional in order to have access to the treatment necessary to finally sleep through the night again. 


You need to find out if your insomnia is rooted in a physical or mental issue, or if it happens to be caused by a bit of both. As of today, insomnia is considered a sleep-wake disorder by the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).


The DSM-5 lists the following as criteria for insomnia:


  • Problems with sleep that affect a person at least three nights per week for three continuous months
  • Daily life is negatively impacted by a lack of sleep because it causes extreme stress
  • Sleep quality and duration due to problems falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up much too early have led to major life frustrations
  • Even when you set yourself up for a successful night of sleep, a crappy night’s sleep still happens


Wow. Insomnia sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Yeah … let’s not sign up for it.

But if you already think you have it, you need to get your tail to a professional and be prepared to answer questions about your daily intake of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, your stress levels, which medications you are taking, your typical sleep habits, whether or not you snore, etc.


There Are Different Types of Insomnia. 

Primary Insomnia

Primary insomnia doesn’t last too terribly long. It only plagues you for about a month or so. It’s brought on by the stressful junk (yep, that’s the technical term) some of us deal with in our lives. What kind of stressful junk?

  • Poor sleep habits, such as heading to bed much too early or late, or taking naps regularly
  • Work and travel transitions
  • Extreme stress
  • Big life changes

Secondary Insomnia

If it’s not primary insomnia, something else must be causing your sleep issues. That’s when it’s labeled secondary insomnia. It’s typically caused by things like:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Menopause, perimenopause, or imbalanced hormones
  • Heartburn
  • Chronic pain
  • Psychological conditions
  • RLS (restless leg syndrome)
  • Asthma

Health problems and insomnia. There’s a winning combination for you. Fun stuff.

What other conditions tend to be coupled with insomnia?

  • Stress can lead to adjustment insomnia.
  • Kids with deficient sleep habits can end up with behavioral insomnia of childhood
  • People with high levels of anxiety may find themselves with psychophysiological insomnia.
  • Many women know that pregnancy can also cause insomnia for multiple reasons. 

What Causes Insomnia?

Schedule: If your travel or work schedule is wonky it can really mess with your sleep-wake cycle, body temperature, and metabolism. This means that your circadian rhythms are off. 


When your circadian rhythm is out of whack, chances are that insomnia will follow. People who have worked a job that changes shifts regularly have probably experienced this. Or, the other scenario happens when people have jetlag.


Eating Habits: Do you have a habit of eating late at night or right before going to bed? You can enjoy a little snack, but indulging in a bulkier amount of food just before laying down can cause some major stomach discomfort that keeps you awake.


Bad Sleep Habits: If you do not have a bedtime routine, it can affect your sleep in negative ways. Those bad sleep habits probably include things such as overstimulating activity at bedtime, screentime, working in bed, napping, or an environment that makes you uncomfortable.

Stress: Many people have experienced the loss of sleep due to stress from relational issues, work problems, school concerns, health issues, or troubles at work. All of those things can cause your mind to race like a hamster in a wheel, and that keeps just about anybody from sleeping. 

Trauma from losing somebody close to you or experiencing extreme worry regarding a loved one’s health issues can also make it very hard to sleep. Other things like divorce, getting fired, or being laid off can do the same thing to your sleep cycle. 


What About Chronic Insomnia?

Chronic insomnia is awful. It is often caused by another underlying condition. Some of those conditions may be anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

It may also be caused by certain prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, or cancer. 

Or maybe a person’s chronic insomnia is caused by sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Both of these conditions interrupt your sleep pattern. 

If your daily drug of choice is alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine, you can find yourself having a hard time falling asleep on a regular basis. This will hold especially true if you partake in any of these substances later in the afternoon or evening.

You may be thinking that alcohol makes people drowsy, so of course, it must help you sleep. But does it? Well, it helps you fall asleep, but it doesn’t help you fall into a deeper state of sleep. People often wake up throughout the night after drinking alcohol.


How Can You Relieve Your Insomnia?

You can try multiple things to put an end to your insomnia. First, you’ll need to follow our advice and go see a medical professional. You really need to know what’s causing it. 

Once you know what is causing your insomnia, you can do a few things to prevent it.

  • Develop a consistent sleep habit
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don’t eat anything heavy before bed
  • Avoid those drugs of choice - alcohol, nicotine, caffeine
  • Stop napping
  • Read the labels on your medications
  • Create a relaxation routine

Create a relaxation routine? Oh, yeah. That sounds amazing, right? That’s what we’re going to focus on. 

Let’s do this. 


What Type of Relaxation Routine is Good for Insomnia?

Well, the thing about having a routine is that it’s a pattern you take part in on a regular basis. So a relaxation routine must be done consistently to do you any good when it comes to relieving your insomnia. You can’t perform your routine on Mondays and expect to cure your insomnia for the rest of the week.

Turn off those screens, grab a book, listen to relaxing music, light a candle, take a bath … whatever you need to do in order to find your bedtime zen.

And guess what? We can help you find that zen. We have a seriously great addition to your bedtime routine that will help you fall into a deeper, more restful sleep. And that, friends, can be life-changing! 

Kava is great for sleep issues!

Kava is a natural way to change those brain waves that seem to be running around like a squirrel in your mind. It can help with twitching and relax those tense muscles.

The calming effect that kava has can be used to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, restlessness, chronic pain, and sleeplessness. It is able to do this while you sleep and allows you to wake up without feeling like you’re in a groggy fog.

It works because it doesn’t just affect your body, it also affects your mind—both of which need to be calm in order to achieve a night of truly restful sleep.


How Does Kava Relax You Into a Better Sleep?

This plant found in the South Pacific is rich in something no other plant has—kavalactones. These little beauties are compounds that have sedative properties and directly affect the neurotransmitters in our brains.

*It’s important to note that you will want to use only the noble kava variety to achieve the safest results. Its relative, tudei kava, isn’t as safe or beneficial to use.

Insomnia produces a vicious cycle in our bodies and minds. The less we sleep the more anxiety we have during the day. The more anxiety we have, the less we sleep at night. And round and round the wheel of insomnia turns.

Can you take medication? Of course, you can. There are just a bit of adverse side effects that come along with many sleep medications. For starters, they are extremely addictive. Second, those medications often leave the user with rebound insomnia. Rebound insomnia is even worse than the first bout of insomnia!

For those reasons, many people are looking for more natural alternatives. When they do that, kava often makes it onto their list of options. Their research may also show them that most sleep medications reduce reaction time, but kava does the opposite. It relaxes you while making you sharper and more focused. 

Dave Asprey’s “Bulletproof Journal” refers to kava as “Nature’s Xanax” and “chamomile on steroids.” Your grandma just didn’t know that kava beats a warm cup of chamomile tea for relaxing her grandbabies!


Various studies have found that kava supplementation leads to a decrease in our norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine levels by inhibiting monoamine oxidase and that it relaxes our muscles by decreasing beta-adrenaline receptors activity. 


All of this means that kava serves as a great tool for helping with insomnia and stress-related sleep disturbance. What’s more, kava works to block sodium and calcium ion channels to increase its sedative effect. 


Which Kava Should You Use?

It won’t take long for you to learn that there are quite a few types of kava out there for you to sift through. We’ve done all that research and prep work for you. All you need is a four-ounce Ü Relax Calming Tonic.


Our kava blend was created with your needs in mind by our very own Ph.D. with a doctorate in molecular cell biology. Ü Relax combines ashwagandha, L-theanine, lemon balm, chamomile, and noble kava to give you an amazingly balanced kava experience.


In the End …


Kava is a great option for helping with insomnia. Just be sure to check with a medical professional to determine the underlying cause of your insomnia first. 


Then, of course, you want to choose the best kava and we highly recommend Ü  Relax!