Sleep is so essential, and yet sometimes so elusive, and when we cannot sleep it can be due to emotional, mental or physical factors or a combination of them: stress, work problems, sadness, grief, lockdown, Illnesses, extreme pain, allergies, pregnancy, menopause, the room temperature, noises, dehydration, eating late at night, if you share the bed with somebody that talks, snores, and so forth.
Insomnia, whether temporary or of long-standing, it’s a situation where aromatherapy may really help.
There are many essential oils which help to induce sleep safely and naturally, without any other possible side-effects of sleeping tablets, and the simplest methods of use, such as aromatic bath, application on soul of the feet, diffusing in the bedroom, a few drops on the pillow, are usually very effective.
During sleep, the brain is able to repair and grow cells, tissue, nerves, is able to boost the hormone and immune system. Along with stress reduction, restorative sleep is vital for your optimal physical, mental, and emotional health.
Depending on which factors you recognise or relate to you here are some ideas that might help to better your sleep routine:
Bedrooms are meant for relaxation: don’t pile up clothes to fold, paperwork to sort, clothes to sew, it will remind you of your “pending list” which they are not going to be solved now and yet they stress you out.
Thick curtains, ear plugs, eyes masks.
Journal at the bedside table: for brain dump…. let the papers carry your worries or tomorrows to do list…this is a very effective technique of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) so you can tell your brain back off.
Wi-Fi router not in your bedroom.
Exercising regularly but always at least four hours before sleep.
Less tea and coffee in the late afternoon.
Guided meditation or white noise (plenty of free Apps: calm, Insight timer)
Some people wake up in the middle of night, they might decide to do something instead of staying in bed. Watch TV, doing something you love in the silence of the night, then what message are we sending to the brain?
Do something boring instead so you are not rewarding your body for waking up.
Diffusing calming essential oils, a drop on the pillow or a tissue, apply at sole of the feet, apply topically (rollers or body oils):
Lavender, Camomile, Petitgrain, Spikenard, Vetiver and Neroli, are the essential oils which I have found very effective in helping with insomnia because they are calming, soothing, balancing and relieving anxiety.
More options include:
Benzoin where external worries are at the root of sleeplessness. Lovely for kids because it has a chocolaty aroma.
Bergamot: a good choice where insomnia is linked with depression.
Clary Sage a very profound relaxant which should never be combined with alcohol (as it may generate nightmares).
Trouble falling to sleep? Because we need to stop the racing thoughts…we need grounding oils to still the mind: Myrrh, Frank, Cedarwood, Sandalwood: the tree oils. Vetiver is exceptionally good, not a tree, it’s a grass but with deep roots; and Ylang Ylang because it is an antidepressant.
Petitgrain: for living alone during the lockdown.
Almost any of these can be mixed together in blends, so experiment until you find those you consider most pleasing and most effective for your purpose.
And because is advisable to change the blend after 2/3 weeks you can play with variations of these sedative, balancing oils.
Calming bath before bed with warm water but not too hot.
If you take a bath before bedtime the water shall not be too hot as this can be stimulating rather than relaxing. About 6 to 7 drops is enough for an adult bath. Three or four drops for a child. Remember to prepare the oils beforehand diluted with salts and a carrier oil. No single oil or blend should be used for more than about two weeks at a time, as the body will quickly become accustomed to the oil and he will cease to be effective. And returned to the original choice after another week or two if sleep patterns have not returned to normal.
You can purchase Epsom salts, mix it with organic, solid coconut oil, and add the oils of your choice. It is very simple to make and the results are powerful. Not only for the mind but for achy muscles, dry skin, moody kids, the water really resets our energy!
Blends for relaxation:
Lavender + Petitgrain + Vetiver
Vetiver + Bergamot +Benzoin
Vetiver + Bergamot + Ylang Ylang
Spikenard + Bergamot + Frankincense
Lavender, Petitgrain, Vetiver
Blends for achy muscles and relaxation:
Vetiver + Black Pepper + Lemongrass
Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Benzoin, Lemongrass
You can make these mixtures and put them in nice jars for Christmas presents, for friends, acquaintances, to say thank you to teachers…
Simple foot bath if you don’t have a bath or don’t fancy baths. Add the salts blend, put the feet in for 15 mins. The sole of the feet has 4000 pores, the benefits will be in every cell of the body after 20 minutes.
A good sleep = reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases, improve concentration and energy levels, boost our immunity, improves relationships and we experience a completely different day.
To learn more on how to use Aromatherapy to promote health and wellbeing: