How To Sleep Better with Essential Oils
In ancient times, sleep was considered the greatest cosmic gift - the body's ultimate daily reward for practicing sound health principles on a consistent basis.
The problem today, is that too many people don't get enough good quality sleep. And this has a negative and far reaching impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
Your body needs 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to recuperate, rejuvenate and allow you to function at your best.
And if you're not achieving this on a regular basis, chances are you'll suffer from:
- A Weakened Immune System
- Weight Gain
- Poor Heart & Cardiovascular Health
- Mental Fog
- Moodiness & Irritability
Whether you simply have trouble falling asleep, or suffer from more serious disruptive conditions like insomnia or irregular sleep/wake cycles, one of greatest natural aids to help you sleep better are pure Essential Oils.
It’s been known for thousands of years that certain plants and herbs have properties to help calm and relax the body and mind and essential oils are the gateway to these properties for better sleep.
Essential Oils are the concentrated extracts from the leaves, stems, bark and roots of plants, and they contain powerful constituents for both inducing and prolonging sleep.
An additional bonus is that Essential Oils are a completely natural health solution, which unlike synthetic pharmaceutical sleeping pills, will not cause any harmful side-effects.
Why Do Essential Oils Help for Sleep?
Thanks to their natural botanical make up, pure Essential Oils contain potent properties that interact with and soothe the body and calm the senses on a number of different levels.
When the scent of an essential oil is inhaled aromatically, it triggers neurological responses in the brain and nervous system, which then influence other systems and parts of the body.
Certain essential oils contain certain compounds, which make them ideal for creating an environment that promotes a state of relaxation, priming the body for sleep.
How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep
The most common way to use essential oils at bedtime is to diffuse them with an Aromatherapy Diffuser.
These permeate a mixture of water and the essential oils in the form of mist into the room allowing you to enjoy the aromatic and therapeutic benefits for hours while you rest.
You can also massage a few drops directly onto the skin, or dilute the essential oil with Fractionated Coconut Oil or another carrier oil, especially if you have sensitive skin. The carrier oil also helps to liberate the oil more evenly across the surface area for greater benefit.
Using essential oils topically is also beneficial because your skin will absorb whatever you put on it, allowing the nutrients to permeate into your bloodstream giving you cellular benefits.
Good areas of your body to apply Essential Oils to topically are:
- Soles of the Feet
- Back of the Neck
- Solar plexes
- Wrist & Hands.
Alternatively, you can rub a few drops into your hands, cup them over your nose and mouth and inhale deeply through the nose, before exhaling out into space a number of times.
Other ways you can use Essential Oils to help you sleep better include:
- Hot Bath Soak - Add a few drops of the oils along with a cup of Epsom Salt and or Baking Soda to your bath;
- Mist Spray - Mix a few drops into a spray bottle with water to spray onto your pillow or into the air in your bedroom;
- Respiratory Cleanse - Boil up some water and place in a large bowl and add 10 drops or more of oils. Then with your head draped over the bowl, take deep breaths for 5-10 minutes. You can even place a towel over your head and the bowl for enhanced results.
Three of Nature's Best Essential Oils for Sleep
Broadly speaking, there are 2 main ways Pure Plant Essential Oils can help with sleep:
- Calm the mind and body and decrease anxiety levels
- Clear the airways and respiratory system which helps with snoring and sleep apnea.
Lavender is probably the most well-known essential oil for its sleep-inducing qualities.
Recent studies have verified what has been known for centuries...
In times gone by, a popular folk remedy was to place lavender buds under the pillow and more recently to spray lavender water on sheets and around sleeping areas.
In addition to its aromatherapeutic uses, Lavender Pure Essential Oil is also mild enough to rub into the skin without needing a 'carrier oil', leaving a beautiful and long-lasting fragrance that’ll be sure to calm and relax you into a restful sleep.
- Rub a couple of drops onto the soles of your feet
- Place 1-2 drops on your pillow
- Add to a relaxing hot bath before bedtime
- Diffuse a few drops of Lavender on your bedside table.
Thick, rich and earthy with a strong woody scent, Vetiver Pure Essential Oil is a wonder for “knocking out” restless sleep patterns.
Along with relieving anxiety and feelings of frustration or anger, it’s also a very effective remedy to help reduce snoring.
- Diffuse 3-5 drops together with Lavender next to your bed
- Place 1-2 drops on your neck, wrist or chest before bed time
- Prepare a calming massage oil by combining 5 drops of Vetiver with Fractionated Coconut Oil.
Enjoyed for millennia as a traditional bedtime tea, Chamomile as a plant is widely acknowledged for its qualities in promoting a restful, balanced state.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil is supercharged with the compounds known to calm the mind and body, fight anxiety, depression and symptoms of insomnia.
- Add 1-2 drops to a small amount of 'carrier oil' such as Fractionated Coconut Oil and massage into the feet for a restful night's sleep
- Rub 1-2 drops onto the temples before bedtime
- Diffuse 3-5 drops next to the bed to create a peaceful environment to help calm the body and mind.
Other Essential Oils That Can Help You Rest & Sleep
Of the hundreds of Essential Oils that exist, each has a unique biochemical composition that supports different functions within the body.
Each pure Essential Oil has its own amazing array of other physical, emotional and spiritual benefits aside from just the properties that make them good for sleep and relaxation.
Once you start using essential oils as part of your routine to help you to sleep, more than likely also a secondary benefit will also occur where a “positive association” gets etched into your subconscious mind thanks to the positive results the oils provide. This then reinforces the effect and makes it stronger each time you use the oils.
Other Essential Oils that can help promote healthy sleep patterns, alleviate stress, anxiety and soothe your mood are:
Naturally sweet and light, the unique composition of Clary Sage Pure Essential Oil not only helps you to relax but can also assist with balancing out any hormones that may be causing you to feel “highly strung”, especially around that “time of the month” for women.
Thanks to its calming and soothing citrusy aroma, Bergamot Pure Essential Oil is great to use in order to get some shut-eye as a result of its properties that can relieve anxiety, improve mood and even relieve mild pains.
Most commonly known for its culinary attributes in the kitchen, Marjoram is a herb that is also beneficial for its uses to assist rest and relaxation.
Marjoram Pure Essential Oil has an abundance of calming and relaxing properties that can reduce stress in the body and mind and lead to sleep.
Sourced from a beautiful yellow flower, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil has an alluring fragrance and is powerful to use in aromatherapy to help reduce stress, relieve anxiety and sedate the senses.
A favourite with men, the warm woody fragrance of Cedarwood Pure Essential Oil can instil feelings of peace and calmness as well as promote relaxation.
For the ultimate in a restful night’s sleep, made up of 7 of the powerful essential oils above, dōTERRA Lavender Peace Restful Blend is truly a mix of the best!
Calming the senses and relaxing the body, Lavender Peace carries a beautiful aroma and is made from a combination of the following essential oils:
- Ylang Ylang
- Roman Chamomile
- Hawaiian Sandalwood.
For those scientifically minded, the following chemical groups have been proven to be conducive to quality sleep patterns and are naturally concentrated in many of the above mentioned Essential Oils:
Natural forms of alcohol are commonly found in many essential oils, the benefits of which are useful not only for sleep but also for cleansing and detoxifying, protecting against pollutants and contaminants and improving mood. The specific alcohol compounds that have the potential to support sleep include:
This group of biochemicals is molecularly made up of oxygen and carbon and are often present in essential oils. There are several ketones that are known to have calming and relaxing properties which make them ideal for promoting sleep:
This group of biochemicals result from a reaction between an alcohol, like one mentioned above, and carboxylic acid. Esters are beneficial for inducing calmness, relaxation as well as for soothing negative emotions which makes them ideal for helping with sleep. Some of these esters are:
- Linalyl Acetate
- Iosbutyl Acetate
- Isoamyl Angelate
The Main Takeaway
Sleep is a crucial, natural restorative process that your mind and body require for optimum health and wellbeing.
And essential oils are an effective natural aid that you should definitely incorporate into your sleeping routine, to support ongoing, healthy sleep patterns that will help you rest and rejuvenate each night.
Whilst there are many oils to choose from that can assist you with sleep, it's best to keep things simple by choosing just two or three of the options shared with you here, and using them every night before you go to bed.
Create a pre-bedtime routine that includes essential oils, and you will regularly experience 6-8 hours of peaceful sleep each night that will help you to recuperate and awake each day feeling refreshed, energised and at your best.
For more on why ancient cultures considered sleep a true "gift", go to our blog: Sleep and Dreams: The Greatest Cosmic Gift
Tolman Self Care.