The medical world is quick to hand over a prescription for sleeping pills or other over the counter medications, but studies show that essential oils work just as effectively without the side effects, high cost, or waking feeling groggy and sluggish.
There are many options when using essential oils for sleep. The trick is finding exactly which essential oil or oil blend your body likes best. Since every person is different, an oil that might send one person straight to dreamland, may not be as effective for another.
Typically, more than one oil will work so you don’t have to waste much time figuring it out but sometimes, finding the best oil for your needs takes a little bit of trial and error. Combining a few oils together typically gets the job done the fastest because all your bases are covered.
To get best outcome and avoid actually causing you any damage, make sure that your oil is therapeutic grade with no chemicals. Not all oils are created equal and some can do more harm than good.
Just remember, once you find the right fit for you, your life and your sleep quality will never be the same.
Here are the best essential oils to use for sleeping:
Jasmine – A scientific study in 2002 found that people who sleep smelling jasmine oil experience a more productive, deeper sleep. This enabled them to wake up more refreshed and alert than after sleeping the same amount on other nights. Also, those smelling jasmine oil as they slept reported feeling more alert during the afternoon hours of the next day than after other nights. Furthermore, the study compared Lavender essential oil with Jasmine oil and found that people reported more noticeable results and better quality of sleep with jasmine essential oil.
Lavender – Lavender oil is one of the most common essential oils used for sleeping and also the best researched. Lavender oil is a superstar in the essential oil world for calming the mind and resting the body. Also, taking a healing bath by adding a few drops of lavender oil and one cup of Epsom salts to the bathtub is another effective way to use lavender oil to improve sleep and relax the body.
Studies also suggest that massaging lavender oil on your neck and behind your ears, may result in improved sleep quality, a more stable mood and better concentration the next day, and reduced anxiety. Again, just make sure that the lavender you are using is therapeutic grade. Lavender essential oil is strong smelling. Any lavender oil that smells sweet or ‘nice’ typically isn’t a good quality or contains synthetic products.
Marjoram – Sweet marjoram essential oil is recommended for helping with insomnia because it has a calming and sedating action on the nervous system which helps to lower blood pressure, ease nervous tension and hyperactivity. It can also comfort the feeling of loneliness, grief and rejection – all of which can make insomnia worse.
Petitgrain – Petitgrain essential oil is newer in the essential oil world and obtained from orange trees. This oil is known to have a similar chemistry to Lavender, and can be very calming and soothing. It is also great for healthy blood pressure and can help shorten the time it takes to fall asleep.
Tangerine – Tangerine essential oil is a lesser known option to many thinking about essential oils for sleep. It is rich in esters and aldehydes which are compounds that are soothing to the brain. Tangerine essential oil is also rich in the antioxidant d-linomine which reduces stress and anxiety.
Valerian – During the last three decades, valerian has been clinically investigated for its tranquilizing properties. Researchers have pinpointed the sesquiterpenes, the component of all essential oils that delete bad information in the cellular memory, as the active ingredient valerenic acid and valerone which calms the central nervous system. Valerian oil will help you to fall asleep easier and can increase dreaming and deep sleep, without a groggy feeling in the morning.
Vetiver – Vetiver essential oil is rich and earthy smelling, and helps your brain “shut-off” for the night. It can be strong smelling so you might try mixing it with a “lighter” oil, such as lavender or jasmine.
Ylang Ylang – Ylang-ylang oil has a soothing effect on the nervous system and helps with things like anxiety, tension, shock, fear and panic. A few drops inhaled deeply with promote a more relaxed feeling and ability to let go of negative emotions.
Ylang Ylang is particularly useful with rapid breathing and rapid heartbeat. It can also help with reducing high blood pressure and useful for intestinal infections.
How to use Essential Oils to sleep:
- Topical Use – Applying oil topically can be a wonderful way to reap their benefits. Rub oils on the back of your neck, or on the bottoms of feet before bed.
- Aromatic Use – Essential oil diffusers and easy to find and a great way to purify the air as you inhale. Add just a few drops of any of these oils to a bit of water in your essential oil diffuser, set by your bedside, and you’ll be in dreamland in no time.
- Spray on pillow cases and sheets – Sliding into a warm bed with the sweet scent of essential oils is a great way to set yourself up for a successful night of sleep. Simply place a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil or blend into a clean, glass spray bottle with water. Lightly spray around pillows and at the top of sheets to get he best night sleep you’ve had in a long time.
- In a bath – Heat and water are great carriers for essential oils. Put a couple drops of essential oil in a warm tub with some Epsom salt. The heat and the Epsom salt, which is high in magnesium, will aide in relaxing the mind and the muscles to promote a great nights rest.