Essential oils do wonders for our body. There are so many oils and their benefits I could talk about, but I wanted to focus on sleep this time. Sleep deprivation is perhaps one of the biggest contributing factors to low mood. Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety and stress but, simultaneously, anxiety and stress can prevent a good nights' sleep. That said, it appears as though we are in a bit of an inescapable cycle - until we take steps to improve our routine. I will be talking more about ways to improve our bedtime routine in a future post, so keep up with me on Instagram to find out when it's available to read!
In the meantime though, let's focus on essential oils. You can find an essential oil for just about everything and many have multiple properties, but I want to share with you some of my favourites and some of the most beneficial essential oils to use to help you off to sleep.
It's at the top of everybody's list. Lavender is best known to help with sleep for its relaxing properties, its ability to reduce anxiety and to promote a restful slumber. I love lavender for its versatility. You can put some drops onto your pillow or in your evening bath, and in a diffuser, it seems to go with just about anything and doesn't need to be overpowering in order for it to do its job.
If ever you've got a nervous tummy, chamomile tea is usually what gets recommended to soften the stomach ache. It is great for reducing irritability and calming nerves. Just what you need before bed when you are finding it difficult to sleep!
I included this essential oil in this list for the hay-fever sufferers and summer-snifflers among us. If like me, you suffer from hay-fever or always manage to develop a cold as soon as the weather gets better, eucalyptus does wonders for your breathing at night. I always dread going to lay down in bed and starting to feel the congestion build up in my nose and throat. Eucalyptus can be found in chest rubs on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies, but unfortunately, these can often include some rather nasty ingredients as well. When put in a diffuser - or when used in a homemade chest rub - eucalyptus can be just as effective at opening the airways and therefore helping you to breathe more easily, so that you can have a more restful nights' sleep...without the other nasties.
There's a Sanctuary Spa Sleep Range that I absolutely love, which uses ylang-ylang. It's a beautiful, soft, floral scent that makes me feel not only calm but also quite luxurious!
For the lovers of woody scents. Maybe it's the enchanting name 'sandalwood', but I quite literally imagine soft white sand between my toes and dusted over rough pieces of driftwood. That in itself is enough to get me dreaming, but the scent of sandalwood is likewise as bewitching. Sandalwood will go with lots of other scents including lavender, so rest well in the lilac lavender fields of Provence or on a tropical island... *sigh*
With a scent similar to roses, geranium can be a much cheaper alternative to rose essential oil, whereby some 10,000 roses are needed for extracting just 5ml of oil! As a result of its floral perfume, geranium is perfect for dropping off to sleep.
Of course, you can mix and match. You can blend certain oils together and make a custom aromatherapy recipe for yourself for a variety of pleasant scents to help you get off to sleep at night. And if you don't have a diffuser, you can apply the oils topically or simply add them to your bath.Just take caution that you do read the safety advice on the bottle and do your research. Many oils are not suitable to use neat on the skin, so must be diluted first with water or carrier oils. If you're pregnant or have young children, it is also good practice to check with a healthcare professional before using any essential oil.
Let me know if you have tried any excellent blends to help you sleep at night. I would love to hear your thoughts.