Consider Trying Aromatherapy for Sleep Problems and Improved Rest
Some people find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. As a result, they awaken feeling tired and poorly rested. Using aromatherapy for sleep problems can be one of the simplest and most natural ways of helping you get the rest you need to wake up refreshed each day.
Although the human body is a fantastic biological machine, it is not designed to easily cope with many of the extraordinary stresses of modern life. Sleep difficulties arise for a variety of reasons and there are many ways to treat them.
If you are experiencing sleep problems, you first need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider. If it is determined that your sleep issues are not linked to a medical problem, discuss with your doctor the option of trying aromatherapy to improve your sleep.
Scents That Make Sense
The most effective scents for sleeping are all natural and recognized for their calming effect. Essential oils are usually the best way to get unfettered access to these scents without any unwanted additives.
Lavender is generally considered the king of oils for improving sleep. In particular, use true lavender rather than spike lavender or lavandin. Sweet marjoram and Roman chamomile are also effective for relaxation and rest.
Some aromatherapy enthusiasts promote their favorite oils as panaceas that help with any problem. This is not the case when it comes to regulating the sleep cycle. To drop off to sleep quickly and benefit from better rest, certain energizing oils and scents should be avoided. Lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and grapefruit are all terrific scents for getting stimulated at the start of the day. But, they can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Methods for Using Aromatherapy for Sleep
There are many different ways to use aromatherapy to promote sleep. The easiest approach is putting a drop of essential oil on a cotton ball and placing it on your nightstand before bedtime. A similar but more intense effect can be created by preparing an aromatherapy solution of essential oils diluted in water and using it as a linen spray for your pillow or sheets.
With more time and effort, more potent techniques can be used. A pre-bedtime bath can turn into an aromatherapy session with the addition of a few drops of oil. Essential oils combined with bath salts are often a winning combination. A gentle massage (especially on the legs and feet) with an oil-infused lotion can work wonders.
Finally, many calming scents can come from the aromas given off by herbal teas, such as chamomile tea. So sipping a cup of herbal tea before bedtime can help you relax.
Create the Right Conditions and Habits
Ironically, it can take a lot of hard work to relax and fall asleep. Although aromatherapy can be an effective weapon to promote restful sleep, it can rarely win the battle on its own. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is essential. Make your sleeping environment and bed as comfortable as possible. Be sure the room is dark, cool, and quiet when you are ready to turn in for the night.
In addition, keep potential stress sources at bay prior to going to sleep. Avoid technology and screens (computers, televisions and phones) for an hour before bedtime. Instead, engage in a quiet, relaxing activity like reading or needlepoint before you go to bed.
Healthy living is important to maintaining restorative sleep, as well. Eating healthy foods (although not too close to bedtime) and getting plenty of exercise will go a long way towards solving sleep problems.
Complementing Good Sleep Habits with Aromatherapy
People who are struggling with sleep can try using a combination of aromatherapy techniques,. Examples include an herbal bath, massage, and using an aromatherapy diffuser. When an effective combination is found, it can be refined and simplified without losing potency.
Then, once a healthy sleep cycle is established, this routine can be streamlined. Aromatherapy is a particularly good way of helping with sleeping problems because the mere presence of a familiar scent can be enough to remind one of more intensive relaxation techniques. Coupling the right scent with a proper bedtime ritual can make it easy to fall asleep – and awaken refreshed and energized.
It is important to note that Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Chief Medical Adviser for Consumer Reports magazine, advises that there isn’t enough solid evidence to back up most health claims for essential oils. "And do not trust any aromatherapy product that claims to treat a specific illness.”
Content for this article was written by Shana Smith, a natural health enthusiast and business owner.