How to use essential oils for sleep?
Often smells are overlooked as a tool for better sleep. Inexpensive and easy to incorporate into a daily routine, certain essential oils can help you relax, mentally and physically, help you fall asleep as well as help you sleep deeper and longer.
If you’ve ever seen essential oil displays in health food stores, you may have felt a bit overwhelmed. With so many options, what are the best scents to choose for relaxation and sleep? We present in this article, the best essential oils for better sleep, and how to use them.
1. Warning against essential oils
If you have sensitive skin or allergies, avoid applying essential oils topically. Instead, diffuse the essential oil mixed with a carrier oil, such as organic coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil.
Children should also avoid topical applications, use more dilute amounts than for adults, and should not start using essential oils until they are 6 months old.
Some essential oils are also to be avoided during pregnancy. Consult a specialist before using essential oils, it’s very important!
2. Lavender, an essential oil against insomnia
Lavender has a soothing scent that has long been associated with relaxation and sleep, and is used as a natural remedy for anxiety. Lavender is probably the most rigorously studied essential oil.
Much research has shown that lavender has anxiolytic effects, as well as beneficial effects on depression. Lavender may also help relieve pain.
Plus, lavender has sedative effects, which means it can help you fall asleep.. A number of studies point to the effectiveness of lavender for sleep:
- Improved sleep quality
- Increased amount of sleep
- Increased daytime alertness, including in people with insomnia
3. Sleep better with vanilla
The sweet vanilla scent is loved by many people and has a long history of use for relaxation and stress relief. Additionally, vanilla can have sedative effects on the body.
Vanilla essential oil can:
- Reduce hyperactivity and restlessness
- Calm the nervous system
- Reduce blood pressure.
It also appears to help relieve anxiety and depression, combining both relaxation and mood enhancement.
4. Sandalwood for better sleep
With a rich, woody and earthy scent, sandalwood has an ancient history ofuse for relaxation and anxiety relief. Scientific research indicates that sandalwood may be effective in easing symptoms of anxiety. Research has also shown that sandalwood can have sedative effects, reducing wakefulness and increasing amounts of non-REM sleep.
Importantly, sandalwood has also been shown to increase alertness, even when it causes physical relaxation.
As everyone reacts to smells differently, sandalwood essential oil may provide sleep benefits for some people, while for others it may promote mindful, wakeful relaxation. If this is your case, sandalwood will not be suitable for the night, but you can use it during the day to feel relaxed and alert.
- Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil
- Ideal for relaxation and sleep
- Help with anxiety and stress
5. Citrus could help you sleep better
Much like sandalwood, the scent of citrus can stimulate or promote sleep, depending on your individual reaction and the type of citrus essential oil used.
Bergamot, a type of orange, is known to relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality. Lemon essential oil has shown effects against anxiety and may provide relief from depression.
Citrus may help some people fall asleep more easily, while others may find these fresh, bright smells relaxing, but not conducive to sleep.
If citrus scents energize you, don’t use them before bed, but consider using them during the day to help you feel rested and relaxed.
6. Valerian for better sleep
Valerian root is often considered a sleep aid and is a common ingredient in many herbal teas to aid sleep.
The essential oil contains valerian acid which produces the sedative effects for which the root is known. Several studies have also shown that valerian essential oil improves the quality of sleep.
7. Other essential oils to help you sleep
Vetiver: Vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of the plant. It has a rich, earthy smell, and the smell takes some getting used to. You can try mixing it with a « lighter » oil, such as lavender or Roman chamomile.
Roman chamomile: Roman chamomile essential oil is known for its calming, soothing and relaxing properties. It has a light floral scent and is wonderful for creating a peaceful atmosphere in your bedroom.
Ylang ylang: ylang-ylang essential oil is an excellent choice if you want to improve the quality of your sleep. Its fragrance is very floral, with light fruity notes.
There are many ways to use essential oils for better sleep.. Some of the most common include:
- Dilute essential oils with an essential oil diffuser
- Massage a few drops onto a specific part of the body, such as the forehead, neck, chest, wrist, hands or toes
- Rub a few drops between hands and take a few deep breaths
- Mix essential oil with Epsom salt and add to warm bath water while filling the tub
- Spray essential oils that promote sleep on your pillow or in the air
In addition to essential oils, several other tips can help you: How to sleep well at night?