A good night’s sleep contributes to a healthy life. Insufficient sleep puts you at higher risk for both mental and physical health problems, including impaired cognitive function, weight gain, and increased risk of diabetes. Insufficient sleep also weakens your immune system, contributes to poor job performance, and is becoming a public health issue, causing occupational hazards and drowsy driving accidents.
You can get better sleep, naturally, with essential oils. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 18to 64 need between seven and nine hours of sleep for a healthy waking life. Here are five of our favorite essential oils for sleep. Use these and getting seven to nine hours of sleep is a breeze.
Relax with Ylang Ylang Oil
Some natural sleep solutions help you stay asleep. Ylang ylang oil helps you get to sleep. Derived from a Southeast Asian tropical tree, ylang-ylang oil calms the nervous system, leading to lower blood pressure and heart rate. The major study on the effects of this essential oil used transdermal absorption as the method of application, but it also works when diffused into the air.
Soothe Yourself with Yuzu Oil
Japanese tradition holds the yuzu, a citrus fruit with a pleasing smell, in high regard when it comes to its soothing effects. A 2016 study shows that its benefits aren’t just tradition—the fragrance of yuzu oil contributes to the improvement of parasympathetic nervous system activity and decreases mood disturbance, two factors leading to better sleep.
Use an aromatherapy diffuser for best results.
Love your Sleep with Lavender Oil
Research from the National Institutes of Health provides insight into how lavender oil helps you sleep better. It lowers your blood pressure and heart rate and, most significantly, cools your skin temperature to an ideal for remaining at rest. Try applying the lavender on a supportive pillow to diffuse throughout the night as you sleep. A contoured pillow will provide support for your neck, while the aroma of the essential oil will continually calm your body for sleep.
Reduce Anxiety with Orange Oil
Anxiety and depression both contribute to insufficient sleep, with seven out of 10 anxiety sufferers reporting sleep troubles. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night worrying, use orange oil as a natural sleep aid. Dilute two drops of orange oil in a carrier oil and place it on your abdomen to wash away the anxiety that’s keeping you up at night.
Relieve Pain with Marjoram Oil
Pain interrupts sleep at least three times a week for as many as one in four women in the United States. Unique among natural sleep solutions, marjoram oil relieves stiff and painful joints with both sedative and anti-inflammatory effects. Apply through massage or soaking in the bath to alleviate pain and help with sleep.
In addition to the use of essential oils, you can sleep better and live healthier by practicing sleep hygiene—put simply, engaging in behaviors associated with better sleep. Avoid caffeine close to bedtime, avoid nicotine and alcohol altogether, exercise, and avoid eating two hours before bedtime.
Better sleep means a better, healthier you.