If you’re tossing and turning at night, you may be losing more than just sleep. Your health and well-being may be at stake, as dangers from lack of quality sleep may creep up on you, causing a weakened immune system, cognitive impairment, weight gain, and risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes, to name just a few ailments.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 40 million people in the United States battle chronic long-term sleep disorders each year, and about 20 million more experience occasional sleep problems. If that’s not enough evidence to – literally – lose sleep over, a study released in February 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed more than one-third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. That’s a lot of sheep counting!
Despite these numbers, there’s good news to put your worries – and you – to rest. Essential oils have been used for centuries for their therapeutic properties to help relax the mind and combat insomnia.
Here are the five best essential oils to help get a better night’s sleep:
Diffused lavender oil has been proven to ease tension, anxiety, and insomnia. A medical study revealed patients were able to relax and sleep easier when resting in a lavender-scented room than one without it.
Valerian has been used for centuries and can either be taken internally as a supplement or used topically. When used as a supplement, it helps provide a sense of calm to ease the mind for helping you fall asleep. Unlike sleep aids that can leave you feeling groggy when you wake up, valerian has no known side effects. When used as an oil, it reduces anxiety and stress, instilling a sense of peace and tranquility.
This ancient oil will relax your senses with its light floral aroma. It can be used in a diffuser, or diluted in a carrier oil and applied to the bottom of your feet before bed. Just a couple of drops will do the trick. To enjoy the benefits even more, try adding a few drops to your favorite shampoo, conditioner, or skin moisturizer.
This comforting oil goes beyond helping to induce sleep. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and antiseptic properties to boot. Used in a diffuser, cedarwood is known to stimulate the pineal gland, which releases melatonin. Plus, just smelling its warm and woodsy aroma can release tension and anxiety in minutes.
If stress is keeping you up at night, then orange essential oil may be able to help. Orange oil is known to help reduce anxiety, thus easing your mind, so you can sleep. It’s also part of the citrus family of oils, which are known to have elevating properties that can help with depression. Keep in mind that citrus oils may cause photo sensitivity within 12 hours of use, so it’s best to use it at night. To use topically, it’s recommended to dilute a couple of drops in a carrier oil and place on your abdomen. Or, for an all-over body experience, try mixing a half-cup of coconut oil with 15 drops of orange oil for a soothing skin cream. Apply before bed, and enjoy a restful sleep.
GENERAL SAFETY INFO: Always consult with a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before taking any essential oils internally. Most essential oils are too potent to be placed directly on the skin and can cause irritation. Test on a small area of the skin or ingest a small amount of oil if using for the first time. For use in children, consult with a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before administering any essential oils. They may recommend the lowest possible dose and gentlest oils.
For questions, comments, or to learn more about essential oils, contact us today!