Essential oils to help you relax and sleep
Sleep. We all know it plays a vital role in good health and well-being and yet one in three people in the UK struggle to get good quality sleep.
In my previous blog about sleep, I shared my journey with sleep, my challenges, my small wins and the many times I fell off the bandwagon. Sleep deficiencies have been linked to a myriad of psychological and physical issues from depression to high blood pressure.
With a young son to take care of and a business to run, I knew I had to get to grips with my sleep issues and find a solution that would work. For that, I turned to what I know best, Aromatherapy. In this blog I will share with you my recommended oils and blends to aid sleep and the science behind sleep and Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to enhance both physical health and well-being. As a non-invasive and effective practice, it has been proven to be an appropriate intervention for improving the overall quality of sleep.
And after many years on my sleep journey, here are the best essentials I’ve found to aid sleep:
This is by far the most common oil to use in sleep. In a 2015 study Lavender essential oil was found to increase the quality of sleep and reduce the level of anxiety. But did you know too much Lavender can give you nightmares or vivid dreams? It can also have the opposite effect and keep you awake.
How to use - An hour before bed, diffuse lavender oil in your room. You can also put one or two drops on your pillow. But remember, a little goes a long way.
In aromatherapy, Roman Chamomile is extensively used for it’s stress relieving properties.
How to use - Before bedtime dried Roman Chamomile can be brewed into tea or mixed to make aromatic bath salts to relax both mind and body and bring on sleep.
Often used in religious ceremonies for its meditative properties, Frankincense can aid in creating a relaxing sleep environment.
How to use - Frankincense can be blended into rollerballs giving off a slow- release of oils for optimum relaxation.
This is particularly for male clients due to its earthy tones and sedative properties. It’s also a good alternative for those who don’t like floral scents
How to use - Blended with Lavender and black pepper, create a pillow mist for your bedding for a restful night’s sleep, alternatively it can be used in face or body oil blends.
Though a citrus oil and used to uplift, it has soothing and calming properties.
How to use - Added to diffuser blends along with complementary oils, Sweet orange can provide the perfect way to unwind before bed.
These are quite heady essential oils, helping you to relax and making you very
sleepy. Ylang ylang and Neroli are great examples of this.
This is at the top of my list as it reduces cortisol levels and blood pressure. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 2008 found that inhaling the aroma of ylang ylang essential oil helped increase feelings of calmness. Another research also found that absorbing Ylang ylang essential oil through the skin may help reduce stress levels.
How to use: Blended into massage oils, give yourself a 15mins self massage before bed. You can also diffuse Ylang ylang in your room to create a calming environment.