As a nation, sleep deprivation and sleep disorders continue to be on the rise. An estimated 50-70 million people suffer from these disorders which negatively impact them physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and professionally.
Sleep is fundamental to our health. However, achieving the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night is a difficult goal to reach. One effective solution for many is the use of essential oils to encourage an all natural sleep in place of prescription sleep aids with worrisome side effects.
Here’s how to use essential oils to induce sleep so you can get the best rest possible.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils are derived from extracts of flowers, stems, bark, roots, or leaves of particular plants. They contain high concentrations of volatile organic compounds, which when inhaled or applied topically, create a positive impact on the body’s support system allowing for optimal health. The scents work on the olfactory system which prompts the parasympathetic nervous system to react when a sleep-inducing essential oil is introduced, which then induces relaxation.
How Do Essential Oils Promote Sleep?
Aromatherapy is a powerful type of alternative therapy that relies on the powerful sense of smell, which lends itself perfectly to the use of essential oils to calm the mind, body, and to aid in more restful sleep. Choosing scents that encourage relaxation ready the body and mind for sleep and enhances the sleeping experience. Once you find the right scents, making essential oils part of your bedtime routine trains your mind to connect that scent with relaxation and falling asleep.
Linalool, a major compound found in Lavender as well as many other aromatic oils, has been hailed for its therapeutic, sedative qualities. Inhaling Linalool increases sedation, sleeping time, and reduces body temperature, creating the right elements for a relaxing, calming, and peaceful night’s sleep.
Best Ways to Use Essential Oils for Sleep
- Dilute essential oil with a diffuser.
- Massage a few drops onto a specific part of the body (diluted with a carrier oil) - forehead, neck, chest, wrist, hands, behind the ears, or soles of feet.
- Rub a few drops into hands and breathe in the aroma.
- Mix a few drops with Epsom salt to add to a hot bath.
- Create a spray to spritz into the air or onto your pillow before bed.
9 Best Essential Oils for Sleep
- Ylang Ylang
- Roman Chamomile
- Juniper Berry
- Sweet Marjoram
With the growing concern over prescription sleep-aids and the worrisome side effects, essential oils are making a major impact as an alternative therapy for restless, sleepless nights. By learning which essential oils induce sleep, you can be prepared to help yourself relax before bed. Reach for some lavender essential oil and get a good night’s sleep starting tonight!