This article is written by contributing writer Ali Lowe.
There are approximately 40 million people in the US with a chronic sleep problem and an additional 20 million people who experience acute sleep problems. Insomnia is the most commonly reported sleep problem and is responsible for an estimated $63 billion in lost work performance every year. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to both physical and mental health problems, from anxiety to diabetes. There are various treatments available for sleep disorders, including cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, and medications. Incorporating essential oils into your sleep routine have been proven to help you relax and aid sleep.
How Do Essential Oils Help?
There are several reasons why people believe essential oils help with sleeping. They promote relaxation and help the body to rest ready for sleeping and the brain can come to associate the smell of essential oils with sleep and, over time, will aid the person to fall asleep. Each oil has its own health benefits and is used for different purposes. Many are also adaptogens, meaning they help the body adapt to stress, which is the main reason why 42% of American adults are up at night, according to the American Psychological Association.
Relax Your Body and Mind
There are more than 400 essential oils, all with different properties and some suitable for aiding sleep. If you have difficulty relaxing at night, then lavender is one of the most commonly used essential oils to help you feel calm and relaxed. Cedarwood has similar relaxation effects on the body and Roman Chamomile will calm both body and mind. If your sleep problems are due to sitting in front of screens too much throughout the day, then vetiver is perfect for relaxing the nervous system to give a restful sleep. Perhaps your problem with falling asleep isn’t your fault though and you have a partner that snores which keeps you up or wakes you through the night. Valor is often used before going to sleep to prevent snoring in the night.
How To Use Essential Oils
There are many ways to use essential oils to aid with sleeping, some will work better for you than others. You can dilute essential oils with an air diffuser, though the smell may last a lot longer than bedtime. You can make it into a spray and spritz the air in your bedroom or on your bed covers and pillow, this way you only get the scent when and where you want it. Massaging drops onto your skin, such as your temples or wrists, is a good way to smell essential oils at night and then can be washed off in the morning, however, some can cause skin irritation so be cautious of this. Taking a hot bath before bed is often associated with sleepiness, so adding some drops into the water can assist this further.
Essential oils are the preferred treatment by many people with sleep problems as they are a natural remedy. They are also ideal for pairing up with other treatments, such as hypnotherapy, for a better chance of success. There are many essential oils to choose from so experimenting with which ones work for you may take a little time but gives you lots of options to find the most effective one.