Getting Your Zzzzs with Essential Oils

Getting Your Zzzzs with Essential Oils

Sleep is important. Sleep insufficiency is linked to motor vehicle crashes and workplace injuries. But the most concerning part is this: People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Lack of sleep can also lead to increased mortality, reduced quality of life and decreased productivity. It is estimated that 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorders and 39% of Americans eighteen and over, unintentionally fell asleep during the day, at least once. These statistics are alarming! Why are we not sleeping? The reasons are different for each of us and could include a medical condition, depression, anxiety, food intake or an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

While essential oils can’t add additional hours to our day, they CAN be an all-natural, healthy way to promote a good night’s rest.

Each essential oil has a different effect on an individual’s body and mind. Learning about the different essential oils will help you identify which ones may help you sleep. Keep in mind what may have worked for someone you know might not work for you. Keep trying until you find an oil that is just right for you.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 Essential Oils for Sleep:

1. Lavender
This probably isn’t too surprising. Most people are aware that lavender can help you sleep, but what most people don’t know is that lavender has been studied extensively and its effectiveness is more than just an Old Wives Tale. Lavender is known as a very mild oil, but it packs an impressive (and very scientific) punch in the sleep department. One study done in the United Kingdom showed amazing results in using the aroma of Lavender oil for better sleep. Another study observed that inhalation of lavender improved sleep quality of many ICU patients. Other studies have concluded that a lavender foot bath could increase blood flow and promote changes in the autonomic nervous system that are usually present when people are relaxed. Lavender essential oil is an excellent choice to relieve stress and promote relaxation and can also be used as an anti-depressant.

2. Roman Chamomile
Roman Chamomile essential oil is known for its calming, soothing, and relaxing properties. Roman chamomile has a comforting, sweet, and herby scent. Many families report chamomile is effective with their children as a sleep aid. Researchers also report that it can serve as a mild sedative to calm nerves and reduce anxiety to treat hysteria, nightmares, insomnia and other sleep difficulties. It can also help lift your mood and improve symptoms of depression.

3. Vetiver
Vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of the plant. It has a rich and earthy scent, and it a wonderful oil when you need to help your brain “shut-off” for the night. If you don’t care for the smell of Vetiver you might try mixing it with a “lighter” oil, such as lavender or roman chamomile.

4. Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang is a floral scent with hints of fruit. Studies have established that Ylang-Ylang oil slows down cognitive processing, which can make it a good option for those who struggle to fall asleep becaus