One of The Well Essential Elements that I have always struggled with the most is rest. I have suffered from insomnia for years, and while it comes and goes in waves, there is nothing that disrupts my life and health more than not being able to sleep.
After trying a variety of over-the-counter medications to help me achieve a better nights sleep such as Tylenol PM, NyQuil, Unisom, and some more natural varieties like Melatonin, and Sleepy Time Tea, with mix-results, and some poor side-effects (such as vertigo) I decided to go a more alternative route.
I have always been interested in essential oils and how vitamins, minerals, and certain herbs can impact sleep (I will talk more about those in another post) but it wasn't until I really started experimenting and learning more about essential oils, that I began to realize the true healing powers they possess.
Specifically when it comes to sleep and relaxation, essential oils have been used for centuries, and for me personally bring about a very immediate feeling of comfort and relaxation. Personally, my favorite of all time essential oil is lavender. I even will carry it with me on airplanes to help with my new discovered flying anxiety. But there are many other essential oils that can have equally powerful relaxation effects, and have been know to help achieve a more restful nights sleep.
5 Essential Oils For A Better Nights Sleep
- Chamomile: Roman chamomile has been found to have sedative properties and when mixed with lavender can help individuals achieve a more deeper state of relaxation, helping to achieve a better nights sleep.
- Clary Sage: This less common essential oil works by affecting GABA receptors in the body, which have been found to be positively linked to sleep. Clary Sage has also been found to act as an anti-stressor and can be used by rubbing a few drops in-between the hands with about a 1/2 tsp of coconut oil and breathing deeply.
- Lavender: Ahh of course I couldn't leave out my favorite. Lavender is an incredible essential oil for its relaxation benefits and is common used around the world. Aromatherapists will use lavender in inhalation therapy to treat anxiety disorders, headaches, sleep disorders, and generalized exhaustion.
- Frankincense: Probably my second favorite essential oil has got to be frankincense. While not commonly used in the United States, Frankincense throughout history has been combined with other essential oils such as lavender to help treat skin conditions, in addition to chronic stress, and anxiety which are commonly associated with poor sleep.
- Lemon: When I was traveling in Southeast Asia I began to notice that absolutely everywhere we went there was lemongrass. It was in the soap/shampoo in every hotel, it was in the soups, and sprayed into the cold towelettes at restaurants, and was the only sent ever found in car/van air refreshers. I honestly had never experienced such a universal alliance to a specific scent and knew that there had to be a reason why it was so commonly used. Well I was right, lemon is a powerful essential oil that has been used to calm digestive issues, induce relaxation, and has been used to help those who suffer from insomnia achieve a more consistent nights sleep.
If anyone reading this is struggling with issues sleeping, I urge you to try incorporating some of these essential oils into your nightly routine. They may or may not work for you, but there is virtually no harm in trying. Please note however, that most essential oils are not for ingesting, and many should be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or rosehip oil as essential oils on their own can cause skin irritation.
It also is important to make sure when purchasing essential oils that you purchase a therapeutic grade oil, as not all essential oils are created equal. Some brands I use and recommend are: Aura Cacia, Heritage Oils, NOW, and Mountain Rose Herbs. I also would recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for buying bulk herbs/spices.