Sleep Better With These Essential Oils
If you're not getting enough sleep, then you're not alone. Millions of Americans have reported in sleep studies that they aren't getting enough time snoozing. Within the last 50 years, fewer adults than ever are getting the daily recommended amount of sleep, which is between seven and nine hours, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Why People Aren't Getting Enough Sleep
A good night's rest eludes many people due to health issues that include body aches, sleep apnea, congestion, and anxiety just to mention a few. Parents of newborns and infants also lose sleep over nighttime care of their children. Other reasons the general population is losing sleep include:
• Demanding work schedules
• Artificial lighting
• Energy drinks
• Juggling extracurricular activities
• Too much screen time: television, computer, smartphones
• Videos and online games that excite brain activity
Problems Caused by Insufficient Sleep
Too many sleepless nights not only makes you grumpy, but sleep problems can interfere with your job performance, concentration and reflex ability, which puts you at higher risk for being involved in a car accident. Additionally, the alarming trend of sleep disorders in America links to several health risks such as:
• Type 2 diabetes
• Lowered immune system
• Increased risk of stroke
• Heart disease
• Alzheimer's disease
The Trouble with Sleep Aids
Billions of dollars are spent every year on pharmaceutical sleep aids, revealing the exhausting truth that way too many sleep-deprived Americans are seeking relief. However, sleep aids present a host of complications, including:
• Prolonged drowsiness
• Risk of kidney or liver disease
• Diarrhea or nausea
• Allergic reaction
• Performance and memory difficulty
Essential Oils for Better Sleep
In recent years, more people are looking to the use of essential oils for better sleep as research studies continue to substantiate the benefits. While essential oils can also present harmful side effects (if misused), more people prefer them over manufactured sleep aids to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders.
So, what are some essential oils that can help promote better sleep? Check out the following list:
Lavender oil, lauded for centuries, is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. The ancient Romans used it for cooking, bathing, and air purification, and it's no wonder that people today recognize lavender for its versatility, including its antioxidant, sedative, and antidepressant properties. Clinical studies have reported that merely inhaling the oil's vapors can alleviate stress, soothe nerves and even ease migraines, all of which promote a better night's sleep. Due to the popularity and many benefits of lavender oil, many people blend it with various other essential oils to achieve enhanced results.
A well-known essential oil mentioned in Bible text, frankincense prompts relaxation by reducing heart rate and blood pressure, which then boosts restful sleep. Additionally, when used in aromatherapy, frankincense also helps to diminish pain levels, eases anxiety and opens airways, creating a more snooze-inducing state.
3. Roman Chamomile
Used by some women to relieve PMS symptoms such as inflammation, muscle cramps, and depression, Roman chamomile also contains a calming agent that promotes sleep, especially when blended with lavender.
Often favored for its warm, woodsy scent, sandalwood possesses both medicinal and sedative properties. This fragrant essential oil is known to soothe the nervous system and reduce inflammation, stress, and anxiety so that you can drift off into La La Land more easily.
Marjoram, an herb most often associated with cooking, yields an oil that is wonderful for relaxing joints and muscles. Its warm, spicy fragrance calms the mind and stimulates sleepiness.
The great outdoors naturally has a calming effect on people, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the earthy scent of cedarwood oil relaxes the mind. If you use it in aromatherapy, the scent stimulates the release of serotonin, which converts to melatonin in the brain, causing drowsiness. What's more, cedarwood derives from conifer trees, which are known to contain cedrol, a natural sedative that is a much better alternative to a sleep aid.
Used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine, patchouli components are today used in the chemotherapy drug, Taxol, due to its therapeutic qualities. The robust and romantic scent of this essential oil activates the brain's release of dopamine and serotonin levels, decreasing anxiety and sadness so that you can let go of your worries and drift off to healthy sleep.
8. Orange Blossom
Often used as a natural therapy to stop smoking, orange blossom essential oil has an appealing aroma that relieves stress, enhances your mood and inspires feelings of happiness, allowing you to slip away into dreamworld. Use orange blossom oil with lavender oil for an even better sleep experience.
Bergamot essential oil incorporates several flavonoids which serve as potent antioxidants that boost the immune system. Bergamot is often used to treat insomnia due to its natural sedative qualities that lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety and depression. Many people enjoy blending bergamot with Roman chamomile for maximum results.
The sweet-smelling floral scent of geranium oil has long been used to aid women in childbirth due to its calming effects. According to a study managed at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Korea during 2015, geranium oil was noted to improve the sleep of participants suffering from allergies. Geranium oil is also known to lessen fatigue, promoting better sleep.
Sometimes used as a rubbing ointment on the chest to relieve colds, eucalyptus is suitable for those who suffer from sleep apnea because the sharp fragrance opens air passages. Additionally, massaging the oil onto your legs can relax muscles, which is especially useful for people whose sleep is disturbed by Restless Leg Syndrome.
Rose oil has been the main ingredient for thousands of years in both beauty products and health treatments of various ailments that include menstrual problems, digestive issues, postpartum depression, and insomnia. When absorbed through the skin, rose oil can lower breathing rates, induce relaxation, and calm anxiety so that you can enjoy an overall improved sleep experience.
When using essential oils, you should know that not all of them work the same for everyone. For this reason, it is a good idea to experiment with different ones as well as blending two or three to achieve the maximum results.