If you are familiar with these oils, you already know that they are sweet-smelling oils. However, beyond their savoury smell, they are powerful concoctions that serve as a natural and healthier alternative to the average sleep medication.
Apart from their sedative effect which promotes sleep, they also reduce anxiety and stress levels, while lowering blood pressure.
Usually, we are quick to overlook the effectiveness of scent as a tool for achieving proper sleep. However, with essential oils, you get a load of benefits. Essential oils are cheap and can be easily introduced into a daily or night routine.
There are also a number of these oils that can help you relax mentally and physically, making it easier to fall asleep and enjoy quality sleep. Making a choice of the best oil to use becomes a problem here.
This article contains essential oils that we recommend to boost sleep, relieve stress, lift your mood, and enhance performance. It also contains the benefits of using essential oils for sleep and how scents affect the body and mind.
How Scents Affects The Body and Mind
Possibly, you have experienced a situation where a smell reminds you of something or makes you feel a particular way. Perhaps you always remember your grandmum when you smell a perfume or a motor oil scent reminds you of your ex who was a mechanic.
This is entirely common and is connected to the scent-brain relationship.
It happens because the sense of smell is wired directly to the brain’s seat of memory and emotion. When cells in the nose pick up smells in the environment, the information is sent to the brain through the olfactory nerve.
Also, the cluster of cells at the top of the throat responsible for detecting the scent of the food consumed passes the information to the brain through the olfactory nerve. This information then goes to the limbic system of the brain that comprises of regions such as the amygdala that controls memory and reactions.
This gives the sense of smell uniqueness amidst other senses. In other senses, information take in first goes to the thalamus region of the brain, which acts as an intermediary passing the sensory data to other parts of the brain that produce sensory perceptions.
The sense of smell, however, has a direct passage to the brain’s emotion and memory center. This is why your reactions to smell are quick and strong.
Scientific Benefits of Using Essential Oils For Sleep
For centuries, essential oils have been used to boost relaxation and achieve mental and physical wellness. Today, these oils are being researched by scientist to achieve a more intensive knowledge of the specific understanding of how they affect sleep and health. Here are some results from the studies:
1. For Boosting Sleep: A body of work shows that essential oils can relieve disrupted sleep and boost sleep quality in adults. A 2017 study compared the effects of aromatherapy and acupressure on sleep quality and quality of life of women.
The conclusion was that using a blend of sleep-inducing oils is more effective to do this than acupressure. The blended oil was also more effective than using a single essential oil.
2. For Relieving Stress and Anxiety: Often, the reason why you find it hard to sleep is because of anxiety and stress. People who experience anxiety and stress often find sleeping hard and keep tossing through the night. This leaves them tired and fatigued throughout the next day.
3. Fights Depression: Sleep problems and depression often work together. Several studies have tried to determine the effects of essential oil aromatherapy in people with depression and symptoms of it with or without anxiety.
In the end, an improvement was noticed in both depression and anxiety levels in a group of post-partum women. Another 2016 study shows that aromatherapy can improve symptoms of menopause in middle-aged women.
Where To Buy Essential Oils
Knowing where to buy essential oils is important as some sellers do not sell a pure, organic variation of it. So, while it may look like an easy task, it is often hard to differentiate between sellers who offer the purest variant and those who do not.
This is why I get my bottles of pure essential oils from Plant therapy’s Amazon page. They offer diverse kinds of essential oils at really cheap prices. You can also get yours at the lowest prices you can trust there.
6 Best Essential Oils For Sleep That Fight Insomnia Naturally
Many essential oils are full of diverse benefits for use. Here are the best oils to use for curing sleep disorder and treating insomnia naturally.
1. Lavender Oil
Perhaps the most famous essential oil for inducing sleep and relaxation is lavender oil. It has a soothing smell that helps you relax and improves sleep quality, hence being popular as a natural remedy for insomnia.
A study shows that lavender oil has anxiolytic effects that reduce anxiety and has a beneficial effect on depression. Also, it helps with relieving pain.
A recent study shows that doing aromatherapy with lavender oil reduces the need for pain medication in a group of 6-12-year-old kids that are recovering from having their tonsils removed.
It also has sedative effects that directly help you to sleep easily. Other studies show the effect of lavender in boosting sleep quality, increasing sleep amounts, increasing daytime alertness. This works for people with insomnia.
2. Ylang Ylang Oil
This is an extract from the Canaga tree branch that is native to Indonesia. Its flowers produce the oil that has sedative effects on the body. This not only helps you sleep better but when used in aromatherapy, it also reduces stress and anxiety levels and lowers hypertension.
Also, ylang-ylang oil has a beautiful scent that is a light floral aroma that works as a natural air freshener or perfume.
Note that on no account should ylang-ylang oil be applied directly to the skin. To use, dilute with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil. You can also mix it with a moisturizing cream before topical application.
3. Citrus Oil
This class of scents is stimulating and promotes sleep. However, this depends on your body’s reaction and the type of citrus oil you use. Bergamot oil, which belongs to this group has been proven to relieve anxiety and boost the quality of sleep.
Another in this class of scents is lemon oil which has been shown by research to relieve depression and anxiety.
While citrus oil may help some people sleep easily, other people may find it to be relaxing but not sleep-inducing. If you find it stimulating, avoid using them at night before bed. Rather, use them during the day to help you stay refreshed and relaxed throughout the day.
4. Roman Chamomile Oil
Chamomile is a popular natural sedative that makes it one of the best essential oils for sleep. Whether it is the tea or oil extract, it has been used for centuries as a sedative and is very popular for fighting insomnia. Studies prove that its potency is not hearsay, seeing as it shows effectiveness in dropping stress and anxiety levels.
5. Neroli Oil
The potency of neroli oil for boosting sleep is often overlooked. Despite that this oil extracted from the flower of the orange tree has a citric scent that makes it a popular ingredient in the production of perfumes.
A study notes that neroli has the ability to produce a calming effect on the body, especially when mixed with chamomile and lavender oil. It also showed potency in reducing stress and blood pressure in women.
6. Vanilla Oil
Many people find the sweet scent of vanilla oil and it has a history of inducing relaxation and providing relief from stress. It also has a sedative effect on the body and can reduce restlessness and hyperactivity.
The oil also helps to quiet the nervous system and lower blood pressure level. With a combination of inducing relaxation and uplifting mood, the oil helps to relieve depression and accompanying symptoms while warding off anxiety.
How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep & Relaxation
For many people, the dilemma of using essential oils for better sleep is knowing how to use it. Here are some easy ways to use the oil and how to:
1. Taking A Bath: This is an effective way to induce relaxation and sleep. With this method, you are enjoying aromatherapy while enjoying the sleep improving benefits of taking a warm soak.
To use, drop several drops of your chosen essential oil in your bathwater. Then soak in it for 60-90 minutes before bedtime.
2. Diffusing: By using a diffuser, the oils get dispersed into the air in your room. Depending on the kind of diffuser, you might have to add water to the oil in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruction.
3. Make A Mist: In an atomizer or spray bottle, combine your oil choice and water and spray around your room. You can also give a light mist to your bed linens to help you sleep.
If you are adding it to bed linens, spray the underside of your pillows to avoid irritation of the skin. To do the mix, mix a half cup of water with 4-5 drops of essential oil. You can use fewer drops if the scent is too strong.
4. Topical Application: This means applying the oil to your body directly. Some prefer massaging the oil into pressure point like the wrists and behind the ears while others prefer massaging their body with the oil.
While using these oils for sleep, pay attention to your body and how you feel. This is because the scent is an individual experience and each person’s reaction to smell differs. In some people, a scent can induce sleep while in others, it will only induce relaxation.
Hence, you may have to first test different oils to determine which works best for you before adding the use of it to your nightly routine. If you realize that a scent makes you alert and awake, do not use it for inducing sleep. Rather, stick to using it to increase alertness during the day.