STRUGGLING TO SLEEP? OR WAKING UP FEELING SLUGGISH AND LIKE YOU NEED MORE HOURS OF ZZZ?
Not only can it be frustrating lying awake at night and feeling tired the next day; the lack of a good night sleep can lead to further health problems too. A weakened immune system, weight gain and memory loss are a few health problems that can arise, not to mention more serious long term chronic diseases associated with our heart.
With more of us wanting to turn away from pharmaceuticals and use natural remedies which are better for our health, it's no surprise essential oils are growing in popularity. It's a well-known fact that lavender essential oil is one of the best and most effective essential oils for aiding relaxation and sleep but let's explore why and which other oils and products can help you doze off much easier.
Essential oils contain aromatic compounds that stimulate the olfactory system in the brain, which is responsible for our sense of smell. Through inhaling and/or topical application, essential oils can have a direct impact on our nervous system and help reduce stress, worries and thoughts and promote relaxation.
Using essential oils regularly in your sleep routine can lead to a better night's sleep. Once it becomes a habit, your brain will build a mind/body association with that specific scent and will instantly recognise that it's time to wind down, so you can condition your brain to sleep with a certain scent.
SLEEP INDUCING OILS
- LAVENDER - Lavender essential oil is famed for promoting relaxation and better sleep. Not only does lavender essential oil improve mood, research has also shown that it increases our deep, restorative sleep which is the most important stage of sleep we need for our physical and mental recovery.
- BERGAMOT - Unlike other citrus fruits, bergamot is unique in that it has a calming effect and lowers heart rate and blood pressure, which is incredibly important for overall health and wellbeing.
- FRANKINCENSE - Frankincense oil has a grounding, calming effect on the mind and body, helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Frankincense oil can also help support respiratory health, which can be beneficial for those who snore or have sleep apnea.
- CLARY SAGE - A natural sedative, clary sage has antidepressant properties and reduces the levels of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress.
- VETIVER - With a deep earthy scent, vetiver is often called the oil of tranquillity and is an oil worth having. It's composed of multiple sesquiterpenes, giving vetiver oil a grounding effect on emotions.
- CHAMOMILE - Although often noted as an oil for sleep, the effects of chamomile on the body are more minimal than others in this list. However, that being said, the subtle floral aroma has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS AT HOME
There are several different ways to use essential oils at home to help you sleep. Here are a few of my recommended methods:
- DIFFUSION/INHALATION - You can use a few drops of your favourite blend in a water diffuser or inhale the scent directly from the bottle. The Unwind Essential Oil Blend contains both lavender and bergamot and is the perfect oil blend to doze off to.
- TOPICAL APPLICATION - You can apply diluted essential oils to your pulse points, typically temples, wrists and soles of your foot. If you're after a convenient and low maintenance way of applying essential oils to your body, roll on my Snooze Rollerball, which contains lavender, clary sage and vetiver oils diluted in organic jojoba oil.
- BATH - Taking a bath before bedtime is a great way to prepare your body for a restful sleep. Adding bath salts that are rich in magnesium is a great way to relax tired muscles and tension. My Botanical Bath Salts combine lavender and frankincense essential oils with Himalayan and Epsom salts, which are mineral rich and known for their soothing and relaxing properties.
- EYE PILLOW - Naturally weighted and infused with dried lavender this organic eye pillow lowers your heart rate and provides comfort around your eyes. The gentle pressure triggers an oculocardiac reflex which puts your body and mind at rest.
Why not try some of these tips and let me know what works best for you?