Essential oils are the extracted oils of plants. For thousands of years, people have turned to them for various remedies, from aromatherapy to digestive aids. They can be transformed into tea, inhaled or applied directly to the skin. There are more than 90 different types in circulation, all aimed at a particular ailment. One reason that people have started using essential oils is to aid in sleep therapy.
The most popular oils nowadays are peppermint, sandalwood, lavender, and chamomile. Peppermint is widely used for energy and digestion. Sandalwood is a calming agent and helps with concentration. Lavender has multiple uses, such as helping to reduce stress, acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, used as a deodorant, a sedative and helping to cure insomnia. Chamomile is also a relaxant, which is why it too is recommended to be consumed right before bedtime. Lavender and Chamomile teas are widely known for their nighttime consumption.
Research shows that sleep deprivation over a period of time can have drastic negative hormonal effects, in addition to poor cognitive function and ability to exercise. This ultimately leads to weight gain and a higher risk of heart-related illnesses. By contrast, creating a healthy sleep routine causes a positive chain reaction that leads to overall good health. There are many theories and products that are centered around getting a good night’s rest, but advocates of essential oils firmly believe that this is an all-natural cure with plenty of upsides.
Lavender is high on the list because it lowers heart rate, skin temperature, blood pressure and reduces stress. Valerian has a smell that brings about feelings of relaxation. People have been known to massage it into the soles of their feet after a long day. Bergamot, much like lavender, lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and tells your body that it’s time for bed by reducing stress and anxiety. Although technically a citrus fruit, it is the flavor found in earl grey tea.
Clary Sage and Sweet Marjoram are also regarded as effective essential oils to aid with insomnia or sleep disturbances. Clary Sage is a sedative and is a relative of the familiar cooking spice. Sweet Marjoram, in addition to being a sleep aid, also helps boost the immune system, fights infections, and can aid in digestion.
Cedrol, a natural sedative, is found in Cedarwood. Normally associated with the treatment of hair and skin improvements, it is now being recognized as another potential insomnia cure.