Many people have sleep problems, and if you are one of them, you have come to the right place. Your sleeping problems can be solved. There are no doubts about how a lack of sleep or inadequate sleep affects a person’s daily activity and productivity. Some people who even get the right amount of sleep do not get quality sleep, and this affects their daily activities the following day. Essential oils for sleep are useful and effective.
People use essential oils for many reasons like reducing stress and losing weight. But essential oils are useful for other things apart from those, but many people don’t consider that. Essential Oils help with sleeping when you use them with other healthy sleep practices. Essential oils can help you get the right amount of sleep you need to stay healthy and productive.
How exactly do essential oils help sleep?
Essential oils smell nice, and the scent from them can induce us into a relaxed and restful state that will prepare us for sleep. The sweet smell also helps improve the sleep experience. By making essential oils part of your bedtime rituals, you will accustom your mind to the scent and falling asleep afterward.
Many people choose essential oils over sleep medication because essential oils do not have the side effects that sleep medications have. Essential oils are natural and do not cause effects like daytime drowsiness or other sleep-health related problems. For instance, in a 2010 study, Jasmine was discovered to be effective in calming the nerves just like a sleeping pill would but without any side effects associated with sleeping pills.
A lot of essential oils have an adaptive characteristic, also known as adaptogens which makes them adapt to the body system of the person using them. What this means is that they have varying effects on different people. For instance, for some people, vetiver oil cures insomnia while some people use the same oil when they feel exhausted because it rejuvenates them and keeps them alert. Although, some oils have specific effects on some people while some have the same effects on everybody such as lemongrass and energizing tangerines. These have activating effects and should never be used as sleep aids.
Talking about essential oils for sleep, there are two major categories. The first category of oils is the one that cures insomnia by keeping the mind calm and less anxious while the second category of essential oils fixes the problem of snoring and sleep apnea by keeping the air passageways clear.
Overall, the area of essential oils and sleep still needs to be explored by researchers. However, with the findings thus far, essential oils can help cure minor sleep problems.
The best essential oils to make sure that you sleep well
There are lots of essential oils that work effectively alongside traditional tricks that aid sleep. Not everyone is lucky to find the essential oil that works for them on the first trial, but by the time you find out which essential oil works for you, your sleep will improve tremendously, moving forward.
Essential oils perform a lot of functions which all come together to ensure that you sleep well. They work as a mild sedative and help the body relax, keep the body calm and reduce stress. Also, essential oils are also useful for reducing pain and tension in the muscles as well as helping you spend more time in the restorative sleep phase, thereby reducing how frequently your sleep will be interrupted during the night. You should also make sure that the essential oil you buy does not have “perfume oil” or “fragrance oil” on its label. Fragrance and Perfume Oils are most likely synthetic oils and will not help you sleep better. They may have a pleasant scent, but their scents do not have any health benefits and will not help you get the sleep that you need. Instead, look for essential oils that say “100% essential oil” or “pure essential oil.”
The best essential oils you can get to alleviate your sleep problems
This oil is well-known for the treatment of insomnia, and it comes in different species. Roman Chamomile is the most effective for treating insomnia. Chamomile works like a sedative and relaxes the body and mind. To treat insomnia, tension, and stress, Chamomile is an excellent recommendation that will make sleeping through these conditions incredibly easier. Roman Chamomile has a sweet scent that even children will enjoy. Research has also reported that it helps reduce hysteria in children and the frequency of nightmares generally. It remains unclear how chamomile essential oil has all of these effects; however, the positive effects it has on the body looks to be psychological.
True lavender which is Lavandula Angustifolia is useful for helping you fall and remain asleep throughout the night. It consists mainly of alcohol and esters which help the body relax and offer a lot of other therapeutic effects. Out of all the lavender essential oils that exist, true lavender is the most effective. There are other variants of lavender such as lavandin and spike lavender, but these are not as effective as true lavender.
Lavender is highly versatile because it can be used for different purposes and not limited to only sleep. It is good for body and mind relaxation, headaches, anxiety, muscle aches, asthma control, and digestion. The Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine, it was reported that patients who had sleep troubles experienced improvements in their sleep when they used lavender essential oil.
This essential oil is gotten from citrus fruit, and that is the reason behind the pleasant smell it has. Bergamot has been proven to improve mood and reduce anxiety. It also reduces cortisol level in saliva and helps keep you sedated. Bergamot has a wide range of medical benefits part of which is working as a sleep aid. Some of the common uses of bergamot essential oil include;
- Pain relief.
- Antibacterial functions.
- Reduces scarring on the skin.
- Sedates and relaxes the muscle and nerves.
- Helps reduce fever.
- Works as a deodorant.
Overall, bergamot helps you spend more time in the restorative phase of sleep which leads to a high-quality sleep and a refreshed feeling when you wake.
This essential oil works on a mental level and its primary function is to reduce stress and heal emotional problems. It is also known to improve a person’s mental well-being which can ease the stress of the mind. If you have a hyperactive mind and this overactivity of your mind makes it difficult for you to sleep, Ylang Ylang is the essential oil that you should use.
Marjoram even has more profound effects than chamomile and lavender which are the most popular choices of sleeping aid. It is effective for tackling insomnia, lowering the blood pressure, improve mood, sedate the nervous system and ease tension and anxiety.
You, however, have to make sure you get the right type of marjoram which is sweet marjoram (Origanum marjorama). Sweet marjoram is the type of marjoram essential oil that works for sleep.
This essential oil contains Valerenic acid which is known medically to make people sleep easier and better. With this acid, you get to fall asleep more easily, sleep deeper and through the restorative sleep phase for a more extended period and reduces how frequently you may have to wake up throughout a single night.
This essential oil gets you into a meditative state, reduces anxiety and is used to treat chronic insomnia. It also helps ease muscle cramps which may be preventing you from sleeping well at night. If you have a lot on your mind and are looking for ways to sort them out, this oil is suitable for you.
Frankincense works on the limbic system which is the part of the brain that directly affects the nervous system. Frankincense sends calming messages to the limbic system which in turn improves mood and makes you feel less stressed. It also cures symptoms of indigestion, relieves cold or flu, reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation. Frankincense also helps treat snoring as it can clear air passages which allows you to breathe properly while asleep.
Clary Sage essential oil has some properties that help improve the mood and is an effective treatment for depression. In comparison to lavender and chamomile, Clary Sage essential oil is a more effective stress treatment.
Exploring essential oils as a medical solution for sleeping problems
About 90% of people who found it hard to sleep after undergoing cancer treatment after using a mixture of some essential oil were able to sleep afterward. These essential oils are powerful enough to eliminate anxiety and tension and enable you to sleep throughout the night. To make an effective mixture of essential oils, you will need to use the following;
Use equal parts of each of these oils and mix them in a bottle and shake. Pour the mixture into your oil diffuser and put close to your bed. Turn it on moments before sleeping.
Cedarwood has a woody scent that keeps your mind and body calm, which keeps you relaxed and helps you get through the night. Cedarwood also stimulates the production of serotonin to release melatonin which is responsible for getting you sedated enough to sleep.
Essential oil that you can use for children
As much as essential oils help with sleeping problems, you cannot use all of them for children. You have to do your research to know which oils are safe for children. To make a suitable sleeping aid for children, mix the following in equal parts;
Mix about 8 to 10 drops of this mixture with the water in your diffuser and place close to your children’s bed. If you are sensitive to some smells or essential oils, you can also go for this option.
Essential oil that you can use for a deep sleep
If you keep having trouble sleeping or you are always waking up, there is an essential oil mixture that you can use to achieve a full night sleep. Below is the recipe for a do-it-yourself essential oil mixture.
- Mix Valerian oil and Lavender oil in equal parts.
- Mix 8 to 10 drops of the oil mixture with water in your water diffuser. Turn on the water diffuser before going to bed and inhale the scent before retiring to bed.
- If your diffuser has the intermittent feature, this setting will make the scent last throughout the night.
Essential oils that keep the mind calm
If you need to relax after a stressful day, using an essential oil two hours before your bedtime can help you feel relaxed. A do-it-yourself recipe to make a calming essential oil is below;
- Two drops of lavender essential oil
- Three drops of sandalwood essential oil
- Three drops of frankincense essential oil
Mix them in a bottle and add about ten drops of the mixture into a diffuser. Once you inhale this mixture before you sleep, the effect is felt in the brain, and your body will be sent into a state of rest.
Methods of using essential oils for sleep
When using essential oils as a sleep aid, there are four known methods.
Topical use of essential oil involves using a carrier oil to dilute your essential oil. An example of carrier oil is coconut oil. Using a pure essential oil without diluting it can damage your skin if it makes contact with it.
You can choose any carrier oil to mix your essential oils with, and you can use this mixture in different ways. You can use it to massage your muscle or your forehead. You can also pour your essential oil in a glass roll-on bottle to apply it to the desired part of your body.
Using with a diffuser
To use a diffuser, you must follow the instructions of the manufacturer. 8 to 10 drops of your essential oil added to water should do the trick. The diffuser then releases the scents of the oil into the air so you can breathe them in.
Using in a spritzer
Mix your essential oils with water in a spray bottle. Spray your pillows with the mixture get to bed. From the moment when you get on your bed to the moment you will fall asleep; the scent of the oils wafting through your nostrils will help you to fall asleep and sleep better.
Using essential oils in a bath
Add about six drops of your essential oil into a warm bathtub some hours before you go to bed and have a warm bath. You can add bath salts to the tub or other oils as you wish.
How to use essentials oils for children safely
If your baby is having sleep difficulty and you are thinking of using pure essential oils for him or her, make sure the oil does not contain synthetic ingredients or additives. Babies can be allergic to peanut oil, so check if the essential oil does not contain it. You should also always make sure you dilute the essential oil you want to use for your baby because the undiluted ones can be harmful to your baby’s skin.
If your baby is not up to 6 months, do not use essential oils for them. Get in touch with your pediatrician first to know what you can use for them. And before you start using essential oil for your baby regularly, test it for a day or two by applying on your baby’s arm or leg. If there is an adverse reaction, then do not continue using the oil for your baby.
You should also make sure you dilute essential oil for your baby with a carrier oil. With carrier oils, you can make sure the essential oil does not have any harsh effects on your baby and is more evenly distributed. Babies react in different ways to essential oils just like adults, although babies are overall more sensitive. An effective dilution ratio for your essential oil should be around 0.4 to 2.5 percent according to The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.
Essential oils that you should no use for sleep purposes
Some essential oils will never work as a sleep aid because they are known to increase alertness and to keep the mind active. Here are some of them;
Vetiver: It is an essential oil that was tested on an animal and was found to increase waking time and reduces the chances of sleeping drastically.
Petitgrain: It was used to test stress level, and work performance showed that it made subjects more alert.
Sandalwood: Inhaling Sandalwood keeps humans more alert when it was studied in relation to cognitive function.
Sage: Sage essential oil raises blood pressure and the pulse in the body.
Side effects of essential oils and staying safe while using them
Some people are allergic to essential oils, and the side effects can be severe in these people. Before using any new oil, it is imperative that you test it first. Essential oils are very potent; therefore, you should be cautious when using aromatherapy. First off, mix your essential oil with a carrier oil so it can be diluted and its potent effects will be minimized. Examples of carrier oil include coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil. You can use any of the three to dilute your essential oils. Do not apply essential oils directly to your skin unless you have diluted it and do not use them in high amounts.
Also, do not ingest essential oils without prescription from a medical professional. For pregnant or breastfeeding women, see a doctor before using any essential oil. If you are experiencing some sleep difficulties and you are considering using aromatherapy, discuss with your doctor first to know if it is the right treatment for you.
Essential oils FAQs
Aromatherapy - what is it?
This is the use of aromatic essential oils which are extracted from plants to improve your psychological or physical health. Aromatherapy has existed as an alternative medical treatment for hundreds of years, and it has been used under safe conditions to treat and cure various ailments. Aromatherapy involves the extraction and distillation of essential oils from specific plants which results in a concentrated oil formula filled with healing benefits.
Using essential oils for aromatherapy sends messages to the brain which in turn bring about some healing effects to the body. These oils help maintain hormonal balance in the body, reduce depression symptoms, correct digestive disorders and help make you feel less anxious. Aromatherapy is a recognized and legitimate medical treatment. Also, using essential oils topically makes it faster for the bloodstream to absorb them through skin tissues. Essential oils containing dyes and synthetic chemicals will not be as effective as pure essential oils. This is why you must look for natural and pure essential oils when choosing essential oils.
How do you apply essential oils?
The way and method of using essential oils depend on the reason you are using the essential oil for. For mood disorders and skin problems, topical use is the most effective method. Some essential oils that work better when ingested such as peppermint essential oil. It can cure stomach cramps and gas cramps and can serve as flavoring agents in bath water by adding them to water to give the water a sweet scent while providing the body with beneficial vitamins in the process.
If you are using essential oils without ingesting it for a psychological disorder or imbalance such as depression, anxiety or stress, you may be wondering how a particular oil can affect your brain. Using essential oils for anxiety and other brain disorders is best done using a hot bath or a diffuser. The oil gets into your body system when you breathe it in, and it has effects psychologically. Scents from essential oils work in two ways – sweet smells make us feel good normally and can relieve the nerves and brain while on the other hand, the chemicals from the essential oils when inhaled get into the bloodstream and keeps the hormone levels balanced.
When using essential oils topically, some essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil because of their high level of potency and effects when pure. Tea tree oil works well for fungal infections, but when it comes in contact with areas with sensitive skin such as the genital area, the oil can irritate the skin. For this reason, you may need to mix the oil with a carrier oil.
What is carrier oil?
Carrier oils are used to dilute an essential oil to reduce its strength so it can be used directly on the skin. Carrier oils increase the level of absorption of essential oils and reduce the sensitivity level of the skin. Some examples of carrier oils include jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.
What are the other benefits of essential oils?
Essential oils can affect your skin in different ways; therefore, you may need to carry experiment with a few of them. For example, if you are treating a fungal infection on your skin, you may want to try out some essential oils on other parts of your skin to see how it will react to the oil. Below are some of the other benefits of essential oils.
Essential Oils Improve your mood
Sweet scents are powerful stimuli that go directly into the brain to trigger intense emotional responses. When you inhale essential oils, it sends some emotions to your brain which make you feel optimistic and energetic, and generally leave you with an improved mood. You can add these oils to your hot bath or put them in a diffuser so they can be sprayed all over your home.
Types of essential oils that improve mood.
Essential oil gotten from eucalyptus works as a natural stimulant that keeps you active, energetic and makes you feel good on a whole different level.
Jasmine essential oil has been found to reduce stress, make you feel better and more alert.
Grapefruit essential oil is an energizer.
Other essential oils that improve mood are sandalwood, orange, vanilla, and jasmine.
Rosemary essential oil reduces stress as well as improves cognitive performance. If you need to study, rosemary essential oil can help.
Essential Oils relieve Inflammation
Some essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce skin inflammation and irritation. These oils are often used with a carrier oil and applied to the skin directly.
Types of Essential Oil that can be used to treat Inflammation.
Tea Tree Oil: Effective for the treatment of skin inflammation and acne. It gets rid of the redness that comes with skin inflammation.
Peppermint Oil: Effective for intestine inflammation and digestive disorders.
Eucalyptus and Rosemary Oil: Effective for treating throat and sinus inflammation. They are also effective in opening blocked air passageways thereby acting as a remedy for snoring or sleep apnea.
Rosemary essential oil has been useful in the treatment of scalp irritation, itchy scalp, and dandruff.
Thyme essential oil is potent for treating inflammation. It also reduces the inflammation of the respiratory tracts.
Essential Oils relieve Pain
Aromatherapy is an effective pain reliever as the skin absorbs the oil when used topically. This method of using essential oils for pain treatment is safe and works fast.
Types of Essential Oils for relieving pain.
Frankincense, Myrrh and Ginger essential oils are useful for anybody who has arthritis. These oils can give relief to the tendons, muscles, and joints.
Helichrysum Oil helps fix muscle tissues that are damaged. It also relieves any pain caused by fibromyalgia.
Chamomile Oil is useful for digestive inflammation, menstrual cramps, muscle pain, and lower back pain.
Peppermint essential oil relieves indigestion, nausea and gas cramps.
Lavender and Rosemary essential oils have relived migraines and headaches when applied to the side of the head or by inhaling them.
Essential Oils boost the Immune System and Prevent Certain Illnesses
A lot of essential oils are powerful enough to tackle bacterial and fungal infections as well as inflammation thereby preventing the occurrence of some serious illnesses. When you inhale an essential oil, it gets absorbed into your bloodstream and as a result, gets into the immune system to make it stronger.
Types of Essential Oils that boost the Immune System
Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils help fight against cold. All of these essential oils are powerful enough to keep your air passageway and respiratory tracts clear.
Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Sage, Cinnamon, and Oregano essential oils, when inhaled, can boost the immune system.
Tea tree oil wards of bacterial and fungal infections.
Clove essential oil has been used for patients with Lyme disease by boosting their immune systems.
Oregano oil is an antibacterial that can be used to treat infections all through the body, so they do not advance into more severe conditions.
Garlic essential oil also wards off bacterial and fungal infections.
Essential Oils heal Skin Irritations
Essential oils that take powerful actions against bacteria and inflammation are effective in treating any type of skin irritation. By applying topically to the skin, the skin absorbs the oil and gets healed from any form of irritation.
Types of Essential Oils that heal skin irritations
Tea tree essential oil helps kill the bacteria on the face that causes pimples and acne. It is also useful for treating eczema, sunburn and insect bites.
Lavender essential oil, when applied to cuts can heal them quickly. The oil has antibacterial properties which help heal wounds on time.
Lemongrass essential oil also helps get rid of acne.
Basil essential oil reduces the irritation and itching that comes with eczema and insect bites.
Rosemary essential oil is a known anti-inflammatory oil. Carrot seed essential oil helps fix sun damage.
What can you use other than incense and candles?
One of the safest ways of making your home smell nice is the use of aromatherapy. Some of the conventional methods such as scented candles and incense that people use are not safe as your home is at the risk of catching fire. If you also have pets or little children, these options can be dangerous for them. But with an oil diffuser, you can minimize these risks and keep your home safe while making sure your home gets a sweet smell.
An oil diffuser is a device that you place in a part of your home. It can be likened to a humidifier (a miniature humidifier), and its work is to fill the room it is placed in with water vapor or steam. Fill your oil diffuser tank with water and about 8 to 10 drops of your chosen essential oil to the water. Once the water vapor diffuses, the fragrance from the essential oil will be released into the air around your home, and thus, you will be able to enjoy the benefits that the essential oil offers.
Summing it up
We expect that you have found this article on essential oils and their benefits useful. When you know the benefits of essential oils, you will be able to use them in the right way to heal your body and mind in the best possible ways. Aromatherapy has been in existence for centuries and has proved to be an effective treatment option for a deluge of ailments and illnesses.
Do let us know about any questions you may have about aromatherapy or the benefits of essential oils and we will help you understand better. You can also share your thoughts and personal stories about essential oils.
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