We live in a fast-paced world filled with overtime hours at work, errands, family and home, all while trying to maintain self-care via a healthy diet and exercise. Often we are overstressed and overworked, and although we are fatigued constantly, we rarely get a good night’s sleep.
It’s hard to turn off and forget our daily stresses and anxieties before bed, and nine times out of ten we aren’t getting the recommended hours of sleep. Through ages 18 – 64 we should be getting at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep every night. Many times our sleep is restless and in short supply. Luckily, there is a natural and healthy way to aid in a restful and rejuvenating life of sleep.
Essential Oils for Sleep
Essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They are highly condensed extracts from various plant and herb parts, such as leaves, petals, roots, and stems. These fragrant essences are multi-purpose and can be used for cooking, cleaning, perfume, massage therapy, and aromatherapy, all while providing potentially beneficial medicinal effects on the mind and body.
Typically, the needs of the user will determine which essential oils they choose. But each one has multiple benefits. Some of the most frequently used oils are for relaxation and stress-relief, resulting in a more restful home environment and more peaceful sleep. Here are some of our favorites:
Lavender is one of the most widely known and used essential oils. Lavender not only has an incredibly pleasant aroma but also has multiple benefits. Lavender has properties that help to disrupt the survivability of bacteria and other foreign microorganisms, soothing properties that help to relieve feelings of stress, and properties that have a similar effect to some anxiety medication. Multiple studies have also shown that lavender can aid in restful sleep.
We all know about chamomile and sleepy-time tea, and for good reason. Chamomile has calming and relaxing properties as well as a soothing aroma perfect for your bedroom as you drift off to sleep.
Vetiver has a very rich and earthy smell and comes from the root of the plant. It is good for clearing the mind and “turning off” before trying to rest.
Bergamot has a rich and pleasant aroma. It is commonly used in perfumes and candles. It is also found in Earl Grey tea. Bergamot is derived from citrus, and while it is bright, it is also very calming and has mild balancing properties to help maintain that feeling of equilibrium before bed.
Cedarwood has a very earthy, woodsy aroma and is perfect for relaxing and promoting a peaceful mind as it helps the brain to slow down when an abundance of thoughts makes it difficult to unwind. It also mixes well with other lighter floral oils like chamomile and lavender.
While there are many other examples of oils that are conducive to a well-rested night of slumber, any of these oils are great starting points to see what suits you best. Everyone is different, so it is good to experiment with a few different oils until you find what works best for you. Lavender is the most universally used essential oil and is a great place to start. While nothing can replace a good night of sleep, essential oils can help you reach those goals naturally and easily.