How Essential Oils May Help You Sleep
Essential oils have been long touted for their wellness benefits, and most recently have had an uptick in popularity as natural sleeping aids and medicinal alternatives go mainstream.
For those that are new to essential oils, here's some background:
Essential oils are extracts from flowers and plants, as well as other natural fragrances, that are believed to have certain physiological effects on the body, such as triggering a relaxation response in individuals.
Essential oils like lavender are commonly used to treat anxiety and reduce stress, but they may have another use too: helping you get to sleep.
Essential oils calm the body by calming the mind.
When you smell a relaxing fragrance like lavender, your mind is going to think that you are in an environment that our evolutionary ancestors would consider to be safe. This triggers the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters that help your body calm down. The body responds by slowing the production of adrenaline and stimulating parts of the brain with reward chemicals, causing your heart rate to slow and your muscles to relax.
People use this to combat the physical responses to stress and anxiety such as elevated heart rate and high blood pressure.
Essential Oils can help you relax before sleep.
Essential oils have also been shown to be an excellent natural sleep aid. Natural fragrances can have a calming effect on the mind, which can help promote melatonin release. There are diffusers which work like humidifiers to spread essential oils as well as perfume bottles which can be used for a more controlled distribution.
They can also help you energize.
While essential oils can help you sleep by calming you down, they can also help you sleep by energizing you. Even though this may seem counterintuitive, the energizing effects of essential oils can be used to help regulate your natural sleep schedule. There are times of the day where you want to feel awake, like right after lunch or in the mornings, and many of us struggle with that.
The natural energy boost provided by essential oils can help you get your day going when it needs to, which will result in you being more tired later when it’s time for bed.
In addition to lavender for sleep, why not try a sleep-friendly blend such as Sleep Well by Saje Wellness, which features lavender as well as Valerian and Roman Chamomile. You can also experiment with different oils for other times of day and seasons such as Majoram, which has a calming, grounding effect or Clary Sage, which can be uplifting and soothing in times of stress.
Elise is a freelance writer from North Carolina that regularly covers health, wellness, and productivity topics for Mattress Advisor. She is especially passionate about understanding and researching helpful tips to getting a great night's sleep, and loves to educate others on the topic through her writing.
There are a lot of different remedies for sleeping and many of them work well, so you have to find something that works for you. Aromatherapy is definitely one of the ones that is the most natural, most accessible and least demanding.