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Did you know that essential oils have been used as a sleep aid for hundreds of years?
Those of us suffering from insomnia usually turn to the medicine cabinet when we want a good night’s sleep.
But taking sleeping pills can carry nasty side effects, easily morph into an addictive behavior, and also cause a hangover-like lull the following day.
If you’re looking for a natural alternative that will send you straight to sleep, essential oils are worth experimenting with.
Certain distillation and blends will give off aromas that will work to quieten your mind, quell any anxiety and propel you into a deep state of relaxation.
Let’s find out more.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are simply natural oils that are distilled from certain plants, naturally infused with the aroma of the plant they’re distilled from.
Lavender oil, for instance, smells like the lavender flower as that is where it’s distilled from.
Their use dates back to the Ancient Egyptian times, and in Ancient Greece, they were known as ‘quintessential oils’, being as they represented the quintessence of the plant and a spirit. This was later shortened to simply ‘essential.’
While they were used medicinally in history, now essential oils are used for a number of day-to-day needs, including as bug repellant, cleaners, in aroma diffusers, in baking and, of course, in aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is exactly what it sounds like — therapy, massage and spa guided by the aromas of certain essential oils.
Different aromas can relax, inspire, energise, soothe, calm and rejuvenate your mind and body.
For sleeping, you should choose the essential oils that are best are relaxing, calm and soothing.
How to Use Essential Oils for Sleeping
Essential oils can be used in a number of diverse ways and you should experiment to see what works best for you.
For sleeping, most people like to experience the essential oils via a diffuser, incense burning, added to a bath, in a pillow spray or even dotted on the temples (if the oil is suitable to be applied to the skin).
You can just use one essential oil at a time, or create your own blend with a number of different oils.
The Best Essential Oils For Sleeping
Lavender is probably the aroma most associated with peace, relaxation and calm, and so is naturally the essential oil most people turn to when it comes to sleeping.
Various studies have been conducted proving lavender’s effectiveness when it comes to promoting sleep, so you can be assured that this isn’t just some airy-fairy ‘woo-woo’ but is actually a viable alternative to sleeping pills.
Our Product Pick: Majestic Pure Lavender Essential Oil (Therapeutic Grade)
Sweet and floral, ylang ylang is another calming and relaxing essential oil that’s not quite as well known as lavender. Its aroma is thought to enjoy antidepressive properties, plus some people view it as an aphrodisiac too.
As well as lowering the blood pressure, it’s known to quell any anxiety, stress and anger you may be experiencing.
Our Product Pick: Undiluted Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: Cananga Odorata (Therapeutic Grade)
Clary sage essential oil is often used as a natural antidepressant although throughout history it has primarily been used for improving eye health and vision.
It’s thought to relieve anxiety, restore hope and mental clarity, while also working as an aphrodisiac to boost desire. Clary sage’s first port of call is to enhance the GABA chemicals of the central nervous system, which play a role in controlling anxiety and fear.
Our Product Pick: Clary Sage Essential Oil by Plant Guru (Therapeutic Grade)
Valerian, just like clary sage, is another essential oil that works to support the GABA chemicals in relieving stress and anxiety, while also acting as a mild sedative. It’s a very popular ingredient in sleepy time tea.
Valerian root is commonly prescribed to patients suffering from insomnia for its potent sleep promoting properties, and can even ease muscle spasms and cramps, and lower blood pressure.
Our Product Pick: Valerian Essential Oil By Scential Health (Therapeutic Grade)
We all know the benefits of a soothing chamomile tea, but did you know that it can be found in an essential oil too? Ideally, you should look out for Roman Chamomile, a strand that has been used throughout history to calm the nervous system.
Again, this lightly floral aroma promotes relaxation and a sense of calm, while also claiming some benefits to be made in your immune system too.
Our Product Pick: Roman Chamomile by Healing Solutions (Therapeutic Grade)
Frankincense isn’t just the gift of choice by one of the three wise men, it’s also an essential oil notable for its anxiety and depression quelling properties. Perhaps because of its religious history, it’s thought to strengthen the user’s spirituality and earthly connections.
Its fresh, earthy and almost spicy aroma is at once delicious and soothing, and it’s also known to replenish cells and support the health of your skin and hair.
Our Product Pick: Frankincense Essential Oil by Radha Beauty (Therapeutic Grade)
Cedarwood essential oil is commonly used as a sedative as its aroma is known to promote the release of serotonin, which is then converted into the hormone melatonin, a natural sedative. It’s also known to relieve tension and anxiety.
Cedarwood’s deliciously earthly aroma also has health benefits beyond just helping you sleep: it also reduced inflammation, relieves muscle spasms and removes phlegm and hacking coughs.
Our Product Pick: Cedarwood Essential Oil with Dropper by Fab Naturals (Therapeutic Grade)
What’s your favourite essential oil for a good night’s sleep?