Can Aromatherapy Help You Sleep?
Absolutely! That is the very short answer. There are some essential oils used in Aromatherapy that help you fall into a nice relaxing sleep and improve the quality of sleep through the night.
Roman Chamomile is considered to be a natural sedative. It has an instant calming effect on the nervous system which makes it perfect for winding down at night (and also beneficial for anxiety and depression).
Lavender is the most well known of the relaxing oils. It is an amazing oil with so many therapeutic properties. It contains both Linalool and Linalyl Acetate, and when an oil has both of these it makes it a wonderful regulator, helping with stress, insomnia and fatigue.
Neroli is another beautifully calming oil and well known for its effect on anxiety. It is another natural sedative and it is claimed to be ‘nature's Xanax’.
Spikenard is a lesser known oil but very powerful in calming the nervous system. It comes from the same plant family as Valerian and is sometimes called ‘false valerian’. It’s not the most pleasant smelling oil so would usually be blended with Roman Chamomile and Lavender.
Any combination of these oils, or on their own, will help to achieve a good night's sleep. They can be used diluted in a bath (don’t have a hot bath right before bed as hot water can increase circulation making it difficult to fall asleep), diffused in a bedroom, in a spray on a pillow or bedclothes, or a few drops on a tissue under a pillow.
Make sure you like the oils you will use as there’s no point trying to sleep with a smell you’re not enjoying!
Diffusing the oils in the room is my personal favourite. We have a diffuser with Roman Chamomile and Lavender in our kids room at bedtime and it has changed their bedtime routine for the better! I recently met a friend who got a diffuser with a timer as a gift. She says she always woke around 3am so she sets it to start at 2.30am and she no longer wakes needlessly. I’m dying to try this one!
Of course chronic insomnia should be checked out by a doctor before getting started with Aromatherapy but these oils can have an amazing effect on minor sleeping problems.