According To John Hopkins Medicine "more than 60 million Americans suffer from poor sleep quality"...and I often get asked "which essential oils will help me sleep" or "do essential oils for sleep really work"?
A study published by Biomedcentral concluded that "aromatherapy with lavender and peppermint essential oils can improve the sleep quality of cardiac patients"....and a review published on PubMed (A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep) that evaluated studies published between 1990-2012 stated "a majority of the study findings suggested a positive effect of essential oils on sleep"......
Great news for those of us who can have trouble sleeping! Now, you may be wondering how do we use essential oils for sleep?
First, let's look at the whole picture. There's a long list of things that can interfere with our sleep. Physical problems like hormonal issues, psychological problems like stress and anxiety, environmental problems like EMF's, medications, and even genetics....can all cause a lack of sleep or trouble sleeping. It's best to dig deep and seek medical advice to rule out those circumstances and know exactly what's going on. In the meantime essential oils may help. Let's also look at some ideas to implement as well as the use of essential oils.
Routine-Keep a consistent sleep schedule
Having a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on your days off, is one of the most important steps to mastering a perfect night of sleep because it helps set the pace of your body’s circadian rhythm. It also trains your body so it knows when it’s time to sleep. Once your body is used to the routine, it knows when it’s bedtime.
Avoid artificial light 2-3 hours before bedtime
Blue light is the light emitted by our computer, cell phone, TV and other electronic devices and it wreaks havoc on our ability to sleep. Light exposure before bedtime suppresses melatonin by more than 50 percent. This means limiting or avoiding all screen time 2-3 hours before bed or use blue light
Minimize your EMF exposure
Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are a HUGE cause of poor sleep because they interfere in your body’s electrical system, including your brain waves. Protecting your body from EMF’s entails unplugging anything electrical near your bed, especially near your head, not sleeping with your cell phone near your bed (ideally a few rooms away in airplane mode), moving your computer to another room, and turning off wireless internet at night when you sleep.
Sleep in complete darkness
Even a small amount of light at night can disrupt circadian rhythms and sleep quality. Just one pulse of light can suppress melatonin production and wake you up. Create darkness by using a sleep mask and sleeping in a darkened room. Consider using blackout curtains. Remove or cover nightlights, LEDs, and alarm clocks. Don’t turn on lights if you get up to go to the bathroom and resist the urge to look at your phone!
Other helpful tips:
Keep your room cool
invest in a mattress and pillow that works for your body
Get some exercise during the day but at least 2 hours prior to bedtime
Make a chamomile tea ...(for an essential oil twist, try adding 1 drop of German Chamomile Vitality™ to a teaspoon of honey, then add hot water...)
So which essential oils might be good for sleeping?
Lavender, Rose, Roman Chamomile, Jasmine, and Ylang Ylang are all mentioned with links to studies in an article (How Smell Affects Your Sleep) published by Sleep Foundation. Other essential oils I like to include on the sleep list are Valerian, Vetiver, Frankincense, and Cedarwood.
Now, how do we use those essential oils?!
Investing in a ultrasonic diffuser is my favorite way. It's cost effective, and can easily become a part of that bedtime routine. Many diffusers are on the market and some will even run for 8-10 hours which I find can work well if you tend to wake up during the night or have trouble falling asleep once you wake up. You can check out my favorite diffuser from Young Living™ HERE. While it says its for kids-lol-It's my fave. It's easy to use, has a white noise addition, a low mode which runs for 8 hours, and you can turn the lights off! And, how fun to have 'Feather the owl' watching over you as ya sleep-haha! It evens includes a bottle of Lavender essential oil for you to try!
Here are a few of my favorite essential oil diffuser blends for sleep:
2 Drops Cedarwood
2 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Vetiver
2 Drops Frankincense
2 Drops Ylang Ylang
2 Drops Vanilla Oleoresin
3 Drops Roman Chamomile
3 Drops Ylang Ylang
For a free PDF with 8 of my best essential oil blends for sleep, click HERE
Everyone can respond differently to essential oils, and we all like different smells, so have fun experimenting. Try diffusing a single essential oil like Lavender or Frankincense...then if you don't get the desired result, pick another or try one of the blends listed above.
No diffuser, no problem, try these hacks: (But trust me, you're gonna want one, invest in yourself!)
Use an essential oil spray by adding essential oils to a spray bottle. Then fill the spray bottle up with water. Shake well and mist your pillow. If ya want a step by step guide to making' a 'spritzer', click HERE
Make a roller bottle by adding essential oils to a 10 ml roller bottle, available on Amazon. Then fill up the roller bottle with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil or olive oil. Then try rubbing on the bottom of your feet before ya go to bed, or the back of your neck, or even your chest. If ya want a step by step guide to making' a 'roller', click HERE
Add a few drops to your pillow or sheets
Add a few drops to a cotton ball on your nightstand
Rub a few drops onto the bottom of your feet, I think Frankincense works really well for this
Or add a drop to your palms and run thru your hair…
Sleep affects everything! From how we feel the following day to our ability to stay above the wellness line. It touches every aspect of health. Why not give essential oils a try!
Be sure to grab my free PDF of my best sleep diffuser blends HERE