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.
Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, or roots of a specific plant. They are highly concentrated and you won’t need to use much to reap their benefits.
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.
Know the Best Essential Oils to Aid Sleep
Each essential oil has a different effect on the body and mind. Learning about the different essential oils will help you identify which ones may help you sleep.
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. Lavender essential oil is an excellent choice to relieve stress, but can also be used as an anti-depressant, and sedative.
Valerian essential oil can help relax and calm you and may aid occasional insomnia. 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.
We all know the benefits of a soothing chamomile tea, but did you know that it can be found in an essential oil too? Chamomile essential oil is a powerful calming agent. It can also help lift mood and aid depression.
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 ant depressive properties, plus some people view it as an aphrodisiac too.
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.
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