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Review Article Open Access
Prevalence of various types of sleep disturbanceshave been increasing at an alarming rate in the past few decades and have also been associated with several physiological as well as psychological problems. Pharmaceutical hypnotics have been the first-line of pharmacotherapy to be used for the treatment of such sleep disturbances. However, in the past two decades, complementary and alternative therapies have gained grounds in this field and reviews have been done on some of these therapies. Some of the notable therapies that have been reviewed extensively include homeopathic remedies, ayurvedic preparations, acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy. However, the literature lacks an extensive comparative study of the physiological explanations behind these alternative approaches to enhance sleep and this study aims to fill in that gap. Various studies pertaining to alternative approaches to enhance sleep such as nutritional interventions, herbal medicines, essential oils, acupuncture, bright light therapy, music therapy, massage and touch therapies, yoga and tai-chi are reviewed here, thereby providing a potent source of information for both clinicians and patients on these specific alternative therapies to alleviate sleep disturbances. The physiological basics of homeopathy and Ayurveda are beyond the scope of this review. Apart from reviewing the physiological elucidations behind the simpler alternative therapies suggested, their effectiveness over a wide range of people is also reviewed in this study.
Sleep disturbances, Alternative therapies, Homeopathic remedies, Ayurvedic preparations, Acupuncture, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Sleep Disorders Treatment, Sleep Disorders