A Nifty Guide To The Best Essential Oils For Sleep And Insomnia
Sleep is the most important activity, or should I say, lack of activity we can do for our health. It’s necessary to revitalize our minds, rejuvenate our bodies, and repair any damage done throughout the days, weeks and years of living. In fact, I’d say sleep is the ultimate health supplement!
People often think of sleep as a luxury, usually being the first thing to go when we have a crunch for time. However, it’s been shown that when we lose sleep, we have a higher risk for weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. In fact, over 15% of the human encoding genome is regulated by the sleep-wake cycle, this includes metabolism, immunity, and brain function.
Additionally, losing 30 minutes of sleep per day on weekdays leads to a 19% increase in obesity and 39% increase in insulin resistance! Sleep is absolutely necessary to remain healthy and prevent future disease. It’s a fact that if you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t remain healthy.
When Sleep Doesn’t Come So Easy
However, some of us aren’t so lucky when it comes to getting the proper amount of shut-eye. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) over one-quarter of Americans have trouble falling asleep on a regular basis and around 6% of the population have what’s known as insomnia. If you have insomnia or trouble falling asleep, you know the constant struggle to feel rested and alert, hoping that one night you’ll finally be able to get proper rest. Not to mention the countless numbers of people who suffer from the turbulent, loud snoring of our partners.
And with the numbers of insomniacs and the unrested rising, many are turning to pharmaceutical sleeping pills to help disguise the problem. However, these pills not only have nasty side effects, they also prevent you from entering into REM sleep, or the restful, rejuvenating cycle that aids in memory consolidation and brain-boosting powers.
So what can we do to get better sleep without the side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs?
Essential Oils For Sleep
Essential oils are a wonderful alternative to sleeping pills, providing a natural way to get a good night’s rest. Even better, essential oils don’t have the same negative side-effects to your health or memory as many medications do.
If you are looking for an effective alternative to sleeping pills, why not give essential oils a try? A University of Minnesota review looked at the effects of a few deep breaths of an essential oil before bed. After reviewing 15 studies between 1990 and 2012, the researchers found essential oils to be a useful and worthwhile option to explore after suffering a few nights of restless sleep. There is great potential to be found with many of the oils, proving a wonderful “first-line alternative” to many over-the-counter sleep aides.
With this in mind, what are the best essential oils for sleep? What did the review find, and which oils should be at the top of our shopping list?
What Are The Best Essential Oils For Insomnia And Poor Rest?
|Picture||Essential Oil||Benefits||Find On Amazon|
|Lavender||Eases anxiety and insomnia. Great all-around oil||Find On Amazon|
|Roman Chamomile||Known for its sedating and relaxing qualities.||Find On Amazon|
|Sandalwood||Recent research has shown its benefits to aid in sleep and relaxation.||Find On Amazon|
|Cedarwood||Anti-inflammatory, relaxing, reduces pain as well as calms nervous system.||Find On Amazon|
|Valerian||One of the most well known herbs to treat anxiety, sleep and insomnia.||Find On Amazon|
One of the most recognizable essential oils in the world, lavender is also one of the most effective and useful. Research has shown that the scent of lavender eases anxiety and also insomnia!! One study showed that those who diffuse lavender essential oils in their bedroom while sleeping, sleep on average 20% better than those who do not.
It’s also been shown that lavender increases ‘slow-wave sleep’ the deep sleep where muscles relax and, heart rate slows and your memories consolidate! Have a big test the next morning? Diffuse the room with lavender and you’ll be ready to ace your big exam.
Just place a few drops on your pillow before bed and/or diffuse the lavender in your room while sleeping for the best results.
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Roman chamomile is another well-known herb used widely throughout the world. Its sedative and relaxing properties make it a perfect choice for those wanting to get a good night’s sleep. Mix a few drops with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and rub the salve on the bottom of your feet before bed, and diffuse the essential oil in your room for the best benefit!
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On of my very favorite aromas, I try and use sandalwood at every possible moment! Sourced from the trees in the genus, Santalum, this scented wood offers a ton of health benefits, especially in its essential oil form. It’s great for anxiety and insomnia, offering a calming effect to the user, telling the brain the calm down and get some rest!
In 2007, a study done in Japan showed promise for the use of sandalwood for insomnia, showing that the oil offers sedative effects that would be useful for those suffering with sleep problems.
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Another amazing smelling wood, cedarwood oil offers similar benefits to that of sandalwood. This anti-inflammatory, relaxing, sedative oil will not only reduce pain as you sleep but help you fall asleep in the first place. Inhale a few drops of cedar oil, or diffuse it all night while you sleep.
For pain, mix a few drops of the oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub into the pain. You can’t go wrong with this amazingly scented oil.
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Many herbalists favorite herb, valerian has been used for centuries to help calm the nervous system, quiet the mind and promote sleep. This herb (and the oil) has been endlessly researched, where the main active ingredients have been pinpointed to sesquiterpenes, valerenic acid, and valeronea. These constituents have been shown to have a calming effect on the central nervous system, allowing you calm into a nice and restful slumber.
Valerian root is wonderful for anyone who is under stress has had a few days (or weeks) of poor rest and just needs to be calm and centered.Diffuse valerian in your home, place a few drops on your pillow and find the stress melt away.
Diffuse valerian in your home, place a few drops on your pillow and find the stress melt away.
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Home Made Sleep Blend
For those that enjoy DIY projects, creating your own sleep blend with a mix of various essential oils is the way to go. One amazing blend we have come across calls for 3 different oils; lavender, green mandarin and bergamot. The mix will help relax your nervous system for a better nights rest. The mixing of these three oils will allow you to benefit from all three plants and their sleep-promoting aspects. From relaxing the nervous system, reducing stress, to quieting the mind and promoting a restful sleep, all three herbs together will only enhance these effects. Essential oil blends are a great way to get the most out of every herb as they work synergistically, almost as teammates.
All you’ll need is a 5mL glass orifice reducer bottle (say that ten times fast)! For our calculations, 1ML will equal about 25 drops.
Mix together 1mL lavender oil, 1mL green mandarin, and 2mL bergamot. Use the oils in a diffuser while you sleep and enjoy a wonderful evening of great rest!
Sleep doesn’t have to be an enigma, a mysterious activity which everyone else gets to enjoy. If you are suffering through sleepless nights, a diagnosis of insomnia, or just the occasional bad night’s rest, essential oils can help you sleep through the long night.Don’t go to the store and grab potentially dangerous medications in your attempt for a restful night. Why not try the natural, safe and effective method first!