Trouble Sleeping – which essential oils should you use?
If you, or anyone in your household, have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep there are some fantastic essential oils that can be very useful.
Why is this important?
Because sleep is SO crucial to overall wellbeing. If we don’t get enough sleep then our brains cannot function effectively. This has an impact on our ability to concentrate and make decisions. In turn this can then increase the risk of incidents and accidents and of course it can have a negative effect on all aspects of our lives – work, relationships, motivation to exercise and eat right.
Even worse are the effects of chronic sleep deprivation, which include increased incidence of depression and anxiety, as well as numerous other physical health conditions such as heart disease, weight gain, diabetes and infertility. Most worrying is the reduction in the effectiveness of the immune system caused by not sleeping enough on an ongoing basis. So not only is sleep deprivation not helping to improve your overall wellbeing, it is actually actively working to reduce it!
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are volatile aromatic plant compounds that have been used for thousands of year and have effects on all energetic levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. For this reason they can be amazingly effective in assisting with improving the quality and quantity of sleep.
Different people react to the multiple properties of essential oils in various ways, which is why I am recommending three (3) oils here and if you don’t find one particularly helpful, or you just don’t like its aroma then try one of the others!
How to use essential oils to improve sleep
In order to use essential oils to improve sleep you can apply them in a couple of different ways:
- Aromatically: diffuse the oils beside your bed, or somewhere in your bedroom. It is best to put the diffuser on 15 minutes or so before you want to get to sleep. The bubbling brook sound effect of a diffuser can also be very relaxing! Oil burners are not recommended, firstly from a safety perspective that it is not a good idea to be burning candles of any kind whilst you are asleep, and secondly, oil burners to not allow for the aromatic compounds to be released nearly as consistently and broadly as diffusers.
- Topically: put the oil on your temples, the back of your neck – right up high, close to your skull and brain stem, on the bottoms of your feet – this is really great because there are large pores on the bottoms of your feet (hence the fact that feet are so sweaty!!) and this allows the oils to be quickly absorbed into your system. The added benefit of foot application is that you can use an oil whose aroma you’re not particularly fond of because you then don’t smell it under the covers! If you don’t want to put oil on yourself you can also put it directly on your pillow or a tissue under your pillow.
Which essential oils to use to improve sleep
Soothing and calming to body and mind, this is a beautiful sweet floral oil. Lavender is a very gentle oil and can be used neat on most people and is therefore also a great one to use in the bath. Lavender is also known to promote increased feelings of love peace and wellbeing, as well as creativity – so you’ll be sure to have fabulous dreams!
Rich and woody, cedarwood has a warm aroma that is very calming. It is often used in yoga practice. Cedarwood is recommended to be diluted when being used topically on sensitive skin (including children). Please note that Cedarwood is NOT recommended to be used during pregnancy.
Earthy and smoky, vetiver is so calming that it is also recommended to use for ADHD and recovery from shock. Vetiver is a really viscous oil and you only need a very small amount of it. It is very gentle and can be applied neat. Vetiver should only be used during pregnancy with caution.
Screens and Sleep
I couldn’t write an article about sleep without mentioning screens. It is really super important to not sleep with your device!! Charge your device over night in another room. Buy an old fashioned alarm clock. If you want to listen to a meditation app at night or first thing in the morning put it on that old iPod that you have sitting in a drawer somewhere. For more information about this have a look at Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global.
If you would like any other information about these essential oils, or about improving your sleep then please contact me. The links in the sections about each oil will take you to my online store where you can purchase the oils for less than RRP.
To make an appointment for Reiki – which is also a fabulous tool to improve sleep quantity and quality – click here now!