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Incorporating an essential oil into your nightly routine may be the answer to keeping you from tossing and turning at night, and even working to correct a skewed sleep schedule.
Sleep expert Ray Soberano from BestMattress-Brand.org describes them as a natural alternative to sleep aids, offering a variety of therapeutic benefits to relax the mind and body.
Its powerful scents work to relieve sleep disruptions such as snoring, sleep apnea, and nighttime congestion.
The expert said: “Essential oils are the liquid compounds extracted from plants, acquired through steam distillation or other mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. While in oil form, the aroma of the plant becomes more prominent and is effective in preparing the body for rest.
“The powerful aromas of essential oils stimulate parts of the limbic system, a sector of the brain responsible for emotions, behaviors, the sense of smell and long-term memory. Some essential oils have relaxing effects, so when you smell these fragrances, your body’s receptors send calming signals to your brain to help your body decompress.”
But which scent is right for you? To help you find the right essential oil, BestMattress-Brand.org have revealed which scents to try to address a variety of sleep problems.
Lavender Oil – Helps with stress and anxiety
Lavender is the most researched sleep herb and is revered for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. As an essential oil, it is known to relax the muscles in the body to promote rest, which leads to more slow-wave sleep, and slow-wave sleep is the most restful type of sleep and allows the brain to recover from activities daily.
Vanilla Oil – Helps with snoring and sleep apnea.
As one of the most recognizable fragrances, vanilla is a powerful antioxidant and relaxant. Vanilla contains proven anti-inflammatory properties to help people breathe easily at night, making it an especially good choice for those with sleep apnea and snoring.
Cedarwood oil: helps with joint pain
Cedar is known for its woody aroma and has been characterized as a warm and comforting sedative. Like lavender, cedarwood oil also relieves pressure on your joints to give you a more restful sleeping experience. Additionally, this essential oil stimulates blood circulation and helps prevent numbness, tingling, and muscle cramps during sleep.
Chamomile oil: helps with restlessness
Chamomile is a plant extract that contains apigenin, a chemical compound that can induce drowsiness when it binds to receptors in the brain. Additionally, apigenin increases serotonin levels, a chemical responsible for regulating your body’s internal clock. Your body uses serotonin to make the sleep hormone melatonin, as this helps fight restlessness.
Bergamot Oil – Helps lower blood pressure
Bergamot oil is an extract produced from spiny trees called bergamia citrus, native to the tropical climates of Southeast Asia. While some citrus oils may be too stimulating for sleep, bergamot is unique in that it relaxes the body by lowering blood pressure. These calming qualities ease racing thoughts and allow sleepers to rest peacefully without feeling anxious.
Ylang-ylang oil: helps stabilize the heart rhythm
Ylang-ylang oil is an extract from the fruit of the Indonesian canaga trees. It is a beautifully fragrant oil known to improve the health of the nervous system by reducing the stress placed on the nerves and stabilizing the heart rhythm. Not only is this beneficial in promoting rest, but it also reduces the risk of hypertension and other heart-related diseases.
Jasmine oil: helps fight insomnia
Jasmine is another popular essential oil used to address sleep disruptions. Its powerful fragrance stimulates the limbic system by promoting feelings of calm and helping people fall asleep faster. What sets this essential oil apart from others is its molecular structure, which is similar to insomnia medications. Research suggests that jasmine is just as effective as prescription insomnia remedies.
Peppermint oil: helps with congestion
The anti-inflammatory qualities of peppermint are helpful in reducing obstructions like nasal congestion and inflammation. Peppermint oil can be beneficial for allergy sufferers because the uplifting fragrance clears the nasal passages and allows for more airflow.
Peppermint contains the organic compound menthol. When menthol is inhaled, it stimulates the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for mental clarity, and can improve memory in some people.
Geranium Oil – Helps calm nerves
The light floral fragrance of geranium oil acts as an antidepressant to relieve stress caused by insomnia. Struggling to fall asleep each night can increase levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for regulating stress. However, inhaling geranium can lower cortisol in the body and keep your nerves calm. In this way, you can get a good night’s rest without worrying thoughts haunting your rest.
How to use essential oils at bedtime
Essential oils are incredibly versatile and you can incorporate them into your bedtime routine by adding them to a warm bath or even a diffuser.
Many people find it relaxing to rub a few drops of the oil on their chest, wrist, neck, forehead, hands, or feet. Before applying your essential oil, mix it with a carrier oil such as olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil because the skin is sensitive to undiluted essential oils and irritations may develop.
Another way to reap the relaxing benefits of essential oils is to soak them in a warm bath. Most people combine 5-20 drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil before adding the mixture to the bath. As you dive, the oils absorb through your skin to help you decompress and release tension. Not to mention, they offer a pleasant scent to enhance relaxation.
It is important to remember that many essential oils are adaptogens, meaning they adapt to different people. Some fragrances, like mint or citrus oils, can be too stimulating for sleep and can prevent you from falling asleep. It is best to try its oil for a couple of nights to make sure your body is relaxed and the quality of your sleep improves.