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No, sniffing or eating raw onions won’t cure insomnia

“Onions is the answer” as a “Herbal Cure for Insomnia”, claims a Facebook post from Nigeria.

It reads: “Slice some onions and put it in a jar, close tight. Let it be there for about 6 hours. When it's about 15 minutes for you to sleep. open the jar and sniff it. Also eat freshly cut onions. You'll sleep like a baby.”

Will sniffing the vapour of onions kept in a jar, or eating freshly cut onions, cure insomnia?

 

insomnia_incorrect

 

Stress or underlying illness

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep or both. It’s the most common type of sleep disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Before anyone is diagnosed with insomnia, it must occur at least three nights a week for at least three months and cause problems at work or school, or impair a person’s ability to function in other important areas of their life.

Jesse Otegbayo, a  professor of medicine at the University of Ibadan in western Nigeria, told Africa Check that the Facebook post’s claim was wrong.

“There is no scientific basis for it,” he said. “The substances in onions – such as minerals and vitamins – will not induce sleep.”

He added that insomnia could be as a result of stress or an underlying illness. The best way to get the right treatment is to see a doctor who can diagnose the root cause and prescribe the right treatment.

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