As you’ve probably experienced yourself, a night of poor sleep can make a world of difference in your mood, ability to focus and overall health.
Studies show that a good night sleep not only improves learning, but also helps you manage stress, be more creative, and keep your motor skills sharp (1).
On the other hand, too little sleep can result in an increased risk of heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Additionally, it can negatively impact your immune, respiratory, and digestive systems (2).
While sleep is an essential healing mechanism, it isn’t always easy to get enough of it. Factors such as stress, over exhaustion and overuse of technology can severely impact your ability to fall asleep as well as the quality of your sleep.
5 Essential Oils For Sleep
To get the most out of your sleep, keep these oils by your bedside.
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Lavender oil has been used for decades as a relaxing aroma and is often utilized in beauty and bath products. During the middle ages, lavender was considered an aphrodisiac while the 17th saw a increase of the use of lavender oil to treat headaches.
Researchers have found that the scent of lavender helps to ease anxiety and insomnia. One study from Britain’s University of Southampton tracked the sleep patterns of 10 adults for a week and found that sleeping in a lavender-scented room could improve sleep quality by up to 20%. This is because lavender increases slow-wave sleep, the very deep slumber in which the heartbeat slows and muscles relax (3).
2. Roman Chamomile
Chamomile has been known for its soothing effects, especially when steeped as a tea. In fact, roman chamomile has sedative and relaxing properties that help cure insomnia.
The oil can also be used to help treat stress, anxiety and nervous tension. For a good night’s sleep, make yourself a cup of camomile tea 2 hours before bed and apply chamomile essential oil to the soles of your feet just before dosing off (4).
Marjoram not only has the ability to soothe you into sleep but also has the power to improve blood flow and help reduce hyperactivity. In fact the blend is so effective that it is often used to help relieve the symptoms of ADHD (5).
Marjoram is also useful in treating menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms that affect sleep quality (6).
Due to the photosensitive nature of the oil, it’s advised to keep the oil on areas of the skin that are not exposed to direct sunlight. It’s also important to keep your bottle of oil in a cool, dark place (7).
5. Ylang Ylang
The exotic floral scent of Ylang Ylang is perfect for relaxing your way into sleep or deep meditation. In addition to it’s calming effect, the oil also helps balance hormones and stabilize mood (8).
How to Use Essential Oils
Make sure to always use high quality organic oils when using any of the methods listed below (9).
Diffusing can change the entire atmosphere of your home, and perfume any room with the benefits of essential oils all day long. You can even fill it with energizing or stimulating oils in the morning to help you get ready for the day ahead.
You can find oil diffusers in drug stores and health food stores. If you’ll be using the diffuser while you’re sleeping or leaving it on when you leave the house, it’s best to purchase an automatic one.
Adding a few drops of relaxing essential oils to a warm bath is the perfect way to inhale the oils, as well as absorb them into your skin. For a good night’s sleep, combine ½ cup of Epsom salts with a few drops of essential oils and soak for 30 minutes before getting into bed.
Combining 5 drops of essential oils to ¼ cup of raw organic extra-virgin coconut, jojoba or almond oil is the perfect way to make a DIY bedtime lotion. Simply apply the lotion to your neck and lower back or use them to massage your sore muscles before bed.