We all know it’s important, but for most of us, we’re just simply not getting enough. In fact, approximately 33% of American adults don’t get enough sleep at night. The reasons vary - from having too much to do, worrying, being in pain, and much more.
For most of us, it’s not that we don’t want to sleep and rest, it’s that we are unable to. Lying in bed, tossing, and turning. Waking up at 3am for no apparent reason and just thinking of how we need to get to work the next morning creates the perfect situation for not getting the zzz’s we so desperately need.
Why do we need sleep?
While we’re sleeping, our bodies are still doing important work. We process information and develop memories during our sleep. Sleep is also when the majority of waste products are removed and our metabolism has a chance to rebuild itself.
Lack of sleep can lead to car accidents, being less effective at work, and not having the energy during the day to do the things we need to do. There’s also a risk of your immune system becoming suppressed, and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Studies have also shown that sleep deprivation and mental illness share overlapping pathways within the brain.
What can you do to get good quality sleep?
Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils, can help us to get more sleep. When using essential oils for sleep, the two best ways are to diffuse 3-5 drops of essential oils 30 minutes prior to bed, use a personal inhaler and take a few deep sniffs prior to bed, or making a linen spray that you can spray your pillows and bedding with prior to sleep.
Which essential oils to use and avoid for sleep?
Not only does it help to know which oils can help you sleep better, it’s also important to think about the ones that you want to stay away from closer to bedtime. Using an essential oil that is stimulating (such as peppermint, spearmint, and lemon) aren’t going to be your best bet. These oils are better used earlier in the day where you’re looking for a boost of energy and focus. The oils that are going to be best for sleep are the ones that are relaxing and calming. These essential oils can help calm the nervous system and allow you to get into a relaxed state that will help promote the best sleep possible.
Essential Oils for Sleep:
- Lavender 2. Patchouli 3. Sweet Orange 4. Vetiver 5. Roman Chamomile 6. Sweet Marjoram 7. Bergamot 8. Petitgrain 9. Sandalwood 10. Valerian
One particular study using lavender in the ICU concluded that
"Lavender essential oil increased quality of sleep and reduced level of anxiety in patients with coronary artery disease"
As with anything with essential oils, you may want to play around to find the oil, or combination of oils, that works best for you. You’re definitely going to want to like the smell of the oil(s) you choose for best results.
Other Sleep Tips:
- Make sleep a priority.
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
- Try to keep consistent bedtimes and wake up times.
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Limit caffeine intake and avoid caffeine later in the day.
- No screens 60 minutes before bed, or at the very least, use blue light filtering glasses.
- Don’t lay in bed frustrated. If you can’t sleep, instead of tossing and turning, get up and do something relaxing (such as reading) and go back to bed when you feel tired.
- Consider an app like Headspace to help you relax. My favorite is Rain Pipes that lasts 45 minutes and I can play to get back to sleep.
- If pain is what wakes you up consider Aromalief in Lavender to ease the pain and calm the mind.
I hope these tips help you to start getting a better night sleep. Good sleep is absolutely crucial if you want to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
This blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure illnesses. Please consult a medical professional.
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