Essential Oils For Relaxation And Better Sleep
Having good sleep hygiene is of utmost importance for the proper functioning of our body and mind. However, a disappointing report from 2018 suggests that one in four Americans suffers from insomnia. The good news is that 75% of people recover from acute symptoms. That said, there are a lot of ways to improve our sleep quality, and one way is using aromatherapy.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a popular treatment using different plant-extracted scents or oils for treating various ailments. Aromatherapy uses both plant-derived essential oils as well as other aromatic components that improve overall well-being. Interestingly, aromatherapy can be used for both physical and emotional ailments. It is believed that aromatherapy treatment has been present for thousands of years. However, only recently have experts discovered its potential to catch greater scientific and medical interest.
Essential oils are beneficial to human health because they work through skin absorption, but they also work through scent. The point of the aromatherapy is to utilize these two methods for healing.
Interestingly, you can use more than one essential oil and you can also combine them. Still, if you react poorly to some of the materials or you’re allergic, you should avoid that practice. Experts estimate that there are almost 100 different types of essential oils. The reason you don’t usually hear their names is that people prefer using those that are the most popular and available.
Where can you get essential oils?
People usually wonder where to get the original, 100% natural oils. It’s extremely important to consult the well-known sources because some shady sellers use additives and potentially toxic and harmful materials. Essential oils don’t fall under the FDA regulators so it’s extremely important to ensure yourself by shopping at reliable producers. Essential oils can be found on online marketplaces such as Amazon, as well as the official websites of the producers. Additionally, a lot of health food stores have their stacks of essential oils, so it’s a good place to go to if you aren’t interested in online shopping.
How do essential oils induce sleep?
A lot of people use essential oils because they help them fall asleep easier. They’re made out of materials that have calming effects and thus, they are a good relaxation method to help you sleep. How do they work? Humans boast special nerve receptors in the mucosa of the nasal cavity, which acts as sensors for the smell that then gets sent as a signal to your brain. Certain scents have calming effects for you simply because a calming signal was received by your brain, previously sensed by the mucosa sensor. Those signals help your brain prepare for sleep.
There’s a research study that showed that smelling jasmine had calming and sleep-inducing effects on many of the study participants. The study also indicated that its effects can be nearly as strong as those of barbiturates or propofol which work for sleep. Keep in mind, however, that essential oils are in most cases adaptogens. So, that means they have different effects on different people. While some oils can help you sleep better, other ones may just induce a relaxing sensation.
Best essential oils for relaxation and better sleep
We’re going to highlight the commonly used essential oils for inducing sleep and relaxation of muscles and nervous system.
Lavender oil is the most popular essential oil in the market. It’s effective for many ailments, but it’s commonly used for relaxation. One study suggests that lavender oil can have beneficial effects on the nervous system and in helping it relax. Additionally, the same study suggests that there is growing evidence in lavender oil being suitable for treating several neurological disorders.
Another study noted the benefits of using lavender oil for improving the quality of sleep in postpartum women. It’s no secret that pregnancy and labor can be extremely stressful for women, after all, it’s a life-changing experience for women. The growing evidence suggests that it can help treat all the sleep disorders that come with the postpartum state.
Lastly, lavender oil works great in promoting deep, restorative sleep, as well as slow-wave sleep. It’s also good for reducing the effects of arrhythmia because it can slow the heart rate, and lastly, it has muscle-relaxing effects.
Peppermint has a lot of health benefits for people. Additionally, the peppermint oil can help soothe infection thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re a snorer, peppermint oil will help you sleep by clearing your airways. This essential oil is also popular among people who suffer from sleep apnea.
A study examined the effects of peppermint oil on sleep apnea and found that sleep and breathing were less interrupted.
Chamomile oil is another popular essential oil for relaxation and sleep. Firstly, it’s known to help people fall asleep easier, and it prevents or soothes insomnia. The reason it’s beneficial towards insomnia patients is that it helps relieve the symptoms of anxiety, as well as depression. Chamomile essential oil isn’t new on the market. People used it thousands of years ago, as it was the pioneer of ancient medicine.
Jasmine oil has a similar molecular structure to those medicines which are used for treating insomnia. Aside from that, jasmine oil has seen its practice be used for other sleep disorders, as well as muscle relaxation. People often combine this oil with lavender to achieve better effects for sleep.
Sweet marjoram oil
Aside from Peppermint and Jasmine oil, you can also use the sweet Marjoram oil for tackling the symptoms of depression and insomnia. Massaging it has shown to have soothing and calming properties and can be used in the evening as part of your bedtime routine. There’s even a study that documented its soothing qualities for sleep, along with other oils.
Clary Sage oil
Clary Sage Oil is known as an anti-inflammatory oil as well as an antidepressant, which makes it ideal for insomnia in people who suffer from anxiety and depression. It works as a natural sleep aid and helps reduce stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol. A study also found that this essential oil helps fight wound-caused infections and can be used for treating bacteria.
Valerian oil is made out of special Valerenic acid which helps break the neurotransmitter called GABA. GABA is responsible for inducing sleep, so it’s important to use Valerian oil to soothe anxiety, stress, or depression and have an easier time sleeping peacefully through the night.
The natural, forest-like scent of the sandalwood oil will help you alleviate the stress and anxiety symptoms. It will help you feel sleepy in no time after using it and work as a natural sedative in preventing insomnia. Its insomnia-treating properties were also documented in thorough research.
Ylang Ylang Oil is extracted from the Canaga trees in Indonesia. Canaga trees offer the ylang-ylang fruit which has soothing and sedating effects that will help you fall asleep easier.
Bergamot is extracted from citrus fruit which helps calm down a raging heartbeat, relax and have an easier time falling asleep and treating conditions like insomnia. Additionally, it helps people with cardiovascular disease, especially when it comes to calming blood pressure. A study found that extracting the Bergamot essential oil had great effects on improving sleep quality and promoting deep sleep.
If you’re allergic to some of the materials used in the essential oil, it could be potentially dangerous and compromise your health. Another important thing to do is to read the specification of the label. There are essential oils for a different use, which is why it’s critical for you not to misuse them.
The best way to apply essential oils is in a topical matter because your olfactory nerve receptors will send a soothing signal to your brain sooner if the oil enters the bloodstream quickly. However, if you’re not sure whether using a certain essential oil is good for you, make sure to apply a small portion on the inner side of your wrist and wait for one day. If you don’t have any unwanted reaction, the oil is safe for topical application.
The development and fast growth in popularity of aromatherapy led to essential oils being used for pretty much everything. Sleep therapy is something essential oils excel at, but it’s still important to be careful about their composition and market you bought them from. Before active application, it’s also important to ensure you’re not allergic to any of its compounds. Other than that, essential oils are safe and smell beautiful. Have you used essential oils before, and which?
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