Aromatherapy is a natural method to combat insomnia that has been practiced for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.
Studies have shown that the human brain, working on a subconscious level can strongly associate memories with smells and other senses in our body.
For example, the scent of freshly baked cookies may instantly bring childhood memories to mind. Many different smells can trigger specific memories, emotions and feelings.
Often the daily pressures of work, relationships, family, finances, illness or death can build up stress inside the body and mind.
Mixing certain aromatherapy oils can create a sense of harmony, well-being and relaxation, which in turn will promote sleep.
Yoga and meditation combined with aromatherapy work to dispel the bad energy from your body and not only help to banish your insomnia but create a healthier lifestyle in general.
Aromatherapy oils come from various plants and may be purchased online, at health food stores or at places that sell bath and body products.
- In your evening bath water. One of the most relaxing therapies for people of all ages is a warm essential oil bath taken at least 60 to 90 minutes before bedtime. Be sure to avoid taking a bath just before you go to bed. Hot water will initially raise your body temperature making it hard to get to sleep. After an hour or so, when your body temperature drops you will start to feel sleepy.
- Use the oils for massage. Even a back or foot rub can be effective. Like bathing, however, massage can be initially stimulating for some people and generally should be avoided immediately before bedtime.
- On a cotton ball by your bedside, on your pillow or lightly spray your sheets prior to bedtime. In Europe, parents sometimes would stuff their children’s pillows with lavender, hops, melissa, chamomile, and dill to help them get a good night’s sleep.
Don’t use stimulating essential oils before bed – certain essential oils can energize and stimulate the senses. Avoid using products that contain oils such as lemon, grapefruit, rosemary, cypress and peppermint just before bed – they might make your insomnia worse!
If stress or tension is causing your insomnia, these essential oils can be used to help you sleep better by relieving strain and producing calmness and relaxation:
- Bergamot comes from the peel of a type of citrus fruit. The oil is refreshing and reduces anxiety and depression.
- Benzoin oil has sedative properties and promotes warmth and relaxation – a good cure for insomnia.
- Chamomile is a therapeutic essential oil also well known as a soothing tea. It is commonly used to help insomnia sufferers.
- Clary Sage calms the nervous system and is useful in aiding depression, tension, stress and insomnia.
- Frankincense helps produce spiritual mental peace and tranquility. That’s why you’ll find it used in religious settings as incense.
- Geranium has a rosy scent and is sometimes called a “women’s oil” because it is effective in alleviating female imbalances.
- Jasmine oil is valued for its sedative and calming characteristics, making it a helpful aid for insomnia, stress and fatigue.
- Lavender is known as a remedy for conditions such as anxiety and depression. It relaxes the nervous system, enabling restful sleep.
- Mandarin oil is used to cure insomnia, stress, PMS mood swings, acne and oily skin.
- Marjoram oil helps remedy anxiety, sleep problems, colds, and muscle and joint pain.
- Neroli has a sweet and flowery scent and is known for its anti-depressant, aphrodisiac and sedative properties.
- Rose essential oil, with its sweet floral fragrance is favored by women and has sedative, calming and aphrodisiac effects.
- Sandalwood is known for its tonic, diuretic, and decongestant properties. It helps remedy insomnia, anxiety and tension.
- Spikenard helps relieve stress, acid indigestion, migraine headaches and sleep difficulties.
- Ylang Ylang can calm and soothe hypertension and palpitations. It is also used in skin and hair care products.
The routine use of these healing fragrances will help relax you in preparation for a good night’s sleep.
Safety issues and buying tips:
Essential oils are very potent and can create skin irritation if applied in full concentration. Because of this, the oils are normally mixed with a carrier oil for topical use.
Like any bioactive material, an essential oil that may be safe for most people could potentially be harmful for women that are pregnant and lactating.
Aromatherapy oils that have been adulterated or are of poor quality will not have the same therapeutic value of high quality oils. These compromised oils will provide little therapeutic benefit or even worse, cause harmful side effects.
Below is a link for essential oils buying guidelines:
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Diet and Insomnia – Foods to Help You Sleep
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