You may have heard that you can effectively use essential oils for sleep. Relaxing scents and aromas are often overlooked by the sleep deprived masses because we are made to believe that prescription drugs are our only means of relief. Let’s learn about the essential oils that you can start using TODAY to get deeper, more fulfilling sleep.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are basically the oils extracted from certain plants. The oil captures the natural aroma and healing abilities of the plant. You can’t extract oils from all plants, but some of the most popular plants that have oil to extract are lavender, basil, spearmint, rosemary, and sage. The list is much more extensive, but those are plants you’ve probably heard of.
Quick History of Essential Oils
Essential oils and aromatherapy have seen a surge in popularity lately. Evidence shows that they have been used by many different cultures for thousands of years to help soothe the body, mind, and soul.
The Chinese may have been one of the first cultures to use aromatherapy regularly, as they commonly burned aromatic incense to bring harmony to their lives. The Egyptians were known to have used an early version of a distillation machine to extract cedarwood oil.
Essential Oils have always been around, but lately you’ve no doubt noticed a huge resurgence of essential oils for therapeutic benefits. Now let’s learn about why you need your sleep.
Why A Lack Of Sleep Is Bad For You
You’ve probably heard your whole life that you need 8 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy. That number may change from person to person, but it is commonly accepted by doctors that sleep deprivation is unhealthy. And this is true for both the short term and long term.
According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the lack of sleep can be very dangerous. This is true not only for you, but for the people around you.
In the short term, sleep deprivation will make you feel drowsy throughout the day, which could result in “microsleeps,” which are very short periods of sleep while you are awake during the day. This could affect your ability to have clear thoughts, make quick decisions and reactions, and form new memories.
Think about the people you interact with everyday, and how they rely on you. Do you drive your kids to school? Does your boss count on you to be sharp and focused at work? Does your spouse rely on you to provide for the household? Sleep deprivation effects all of these things and more.
Furthermore, the long term effects of sleep deprivation are even more frightening. Studies show that the lack of sleep can result in high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The Science Behind Essential Oils For Sleep
Has a certain smell ever brought back a vivid memory from your childhood? There’s a reason for that, and it’s unique to smells and aromas.
Our sense of smell has a direct path to our brain’s control room for our emotions and memories. All of our other senses are routed through our thalamus, and then routed to other parts of our brain. It’s as if we are buying direct from the manufacturer when we use our sense of smell. And when we use our other senses, we have to go through a less effective middle man.
Studies have been done to show the effectiveness of using essential oils for sleep. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that “the inhalation of aroma essential oil had effects to increase the quality of sleep.”
5 Best Essential Oils For Sleep
First we’ll talk about the 5 best essential oils for sleep. And then we will delve into the best ways to incorporate using those essential oils into your daily routine.
One of the most popular essential oils for sleep is lavender. Lavender is an evergreen plant that can be grown almost anywhere. As a result, it is widely available.
Lavender has been used for thousands of years for perfume, bathing, and cooking. The word “lavender” is derived from the Latin word “Lavare,” which means “to wash.” In addition, lavender is even referenced in The Bible.
Anyone needing to get better sleep should look to lavender first. Lavender is known worldwide for its soothing scent and ability to reduce anxiety by your lowering blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, lavender assists your body in falling asleep.
Jasmine is another flowering plant that produces an oil that has been shown to aid sleep. It calms your nervous system in order to relax your body and reduce stress. Watch out – because it’s also known to be a powerful aphrodisiac!
Sandalwood is most often found in the tropical climates of the earth. It’s distinct aroma is known to aid sleep, reduce sleep and head fogginess. It is also known to shorten headaches.
Ylang Ylang Oil
Normally used to treat stress, anxiety, and depression. The strong sedative quality of Ylang Ylang Oil is a great way to help you fall asleep naturally.
Frankincense is not usually known as a sleep aid. But if you’re having trouble sleeping due to an illness or infection, it could be just what you need to fall asleep quickly.
How To Use These Essential Oils For Better Sleep
We’ve learned about the most popular essential oils for sleep. Now it’s time to learn how to use them properly.
Take A Bath And Add Essential Oil
A warm bath before bedtime by itself is a great way to help you fall asleep, but adding essential oil can make it for effective. Add 10-15 drops of the essential oil of your choice to your bath. The best time to take your relaxing bath is about an hour and a half before you plan to hit the hay.
Apply Essential Oil Directly To Your Body
Only diluted essential oils should be applied directly to your body, because undiluted essential oils are super concentrated and they can irritate your skin. Make sure that you buy diluted essential oils. The packaging will indicate if it is diluted or not, and you need to pay attention to this.
Apply your diluted essential oil to pressure points like your wrists, neck, shoulders, or behind your ears. Have your partner or friend use the diluted essential to give you a nice massage!
Use An Essential Oil Diffuser
An oil diffuser works like a humidifier. It infuses the air with moist air and the essential oil of your choosing. In addition, you’ll breath better. Most importantly, this is definitely one of the easiest methods to get the benefits of essential oils because you can just turn your oil diffuser on and go about your daily routine.
Some people are intimidated by the thought of using a diffuser. Therefore, they never give them a chance. Check out this video on simple they actually are to use!
In conclusion, essential oils have been used for thousands of years for ailments of all kinds. Numerous studies have shown that natural essential oils help us fall asleep. When it comes to getting better sleep, you owe it to yourself and your family to try essential oils for sleep before you pursue prescription drugs.