It’s not that out of the ordinary to want the best things for yourself, and a good night’s sleep definitely goes a long way toward living a happier, healthier life. But all too often agents of discord such as stress, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure can rob us of the rest we so need, disrupting that delicate balance between total wellness and perpetual exhaustion. It’s never a bad idea to ask for help, particularly when it comes to your rest and health—but did you know which essential oils to use for sleep?
What Are The Best Essential Oils to Use For Sleep?
Have you ever smelled a certain flower and been taken back to your childhood home in the summertime? Scent memory is the process of associating certain smells with memories or emotions, and it’s a powerful way to elicit positive responses in the body. Scents that generate calm and relaxation prepare our bodies for sleep and by placing them in a restful state. It’s easy to condition your mind to associate certain scents with falling asleep to make the process easier.
Sleep-Inducing Essential Oils:
Essential oils not only reduce insomnia and provide a deeper sleep—they also alleviate sleep apnea and snoring by clearing airways and easing swelling in the nose, throat, and sinuses. To say essential oils are versatile is the understatement of the year.
Quite possibly the most well-known oil for sleep aid, lavender oil is a veritable unicorn as far as good sleep goes. Not only does it reduce anxiety and treat insomnia, it’s commonly associated with lowering blood pressure, skin temperature, and heart rate. It sharpens awareness during the day, calms the nervous system, and is known to alleviate pain, which can often be a significant sleep preventer.
Used for generations as a common sedative, cedarwood oil produces an earthy scent that calms and comforts. An effective sedative, it’s been proven to lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate, as well as ease hypertension and anxiety.
If you’re looking to fall asleep faster, Ylang Ylang is the oil for you. It acts as a strong sedative that works quickly to lull you to sleep. Another combatant of hypertension, Ylang Ylang also treats depression, eases tense muscles, and helps lower stress levels.
Valerian is commonly used as a sleep supplement, which makes it a popular ingredient in herbal tea. As an oil, it produces valerenic acid, which acts as a sedative and helps you fall asleep faster and
An old Italian holistic remedy, Bergamot oil has both mental and physiological effects: it induces a sense of calm within the mind (goodbye, pesky thoughts keeping you up at 3 a.m.) and reduces your heart rate and blood pressure as you’re preparing for sleep. This oil can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so use with caution if you’re applying it topically.
Surprise—chamomile can be used for something other than tea!! It’s one of the best known and most widely used natural sedatives, and when it’s not steeped in steaming water it can take the form of a strong oil that helps ward off insomnia. Gentle despite its potency, it’s often used to soothe babies to sleep, and according to some researchers might reduce the frequency of nightmares.
Best Oil Application Methods
Use a diffuser.
This is probably the most common way to use essential oils effectively. All you have to do is combine your oil with the required amount of water in the diffuser to properly dilute it, and you’re on your way to filling your home with its calming scent.
Add the oil to your bath.
Adding a few drops of oil into your bathwater an hour or so before bedtime can work wonders in promoting relaxation before you fall asleep. The oils disperse throughout the water and soak into your skin, leaving you calm and refreshed before you even climb into bed.
Create a misting spray.
Combine essential oils with water in a spray bottle for an instant air freshener and sleep aid. You can spray it in the air around a room, on furniture, on your clothing and skin, or spritz some onto your pillow before bedtime.
Use topically on your skin.
Applying essential oils to pulse points such as the temples and neck or pressure points such as wrists and behind the ears is extremely common. You can also rub a few drops on your hands and inhale deeply, letting the oil settle into both your skin and airway. Always be sure to dilute the oils before applying them. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can irritate your skin.
Place some oil on your pillow.
Putting a few drops of essential oils on your pillow before you go to sleep allows you to breathe in the undiluted aroma all night long. It’s best to put the drops on the underside of the pillow, as again, you don’t want the oils to cause any kind of irritation. That would defeat the purpose entirely.
Essential oils are a 100% natural way to promote rest and get your body into a healthy sleep cycle. All of the things that keep sleep at bay—stress, anxiety, irregular heart rate and breathing, depression, and pain—can be targeted and alleviated. Essential oils have become a lethal weapon in the ongoing battle of insomnia. With so many different kinds at your fingertips, the question isn’t whether you should use essential oils to fall asleep, but rather, which one?