Sleep is very precious – How Essential Oils Can Help
I always thought that sleep deprivation only existed when you have young children, but I have come to realize that it occurs in all stages of life. Once our children were through the middle of the night wakening, I started to take sleep for granted. That is until I realized that young children are not the only factors that create lack of sleep in our lives. Stress, hormonal changes and many other issues can create restless nights.
Sleep deprivation, as most people know, does not make for an enjoyable day. We lose focus and don’t have the energy we do when we are well rested. We may be a bit crankier (as my family has experienced the last few days), and we tend to be less motivated.
On my list of healthy living factors, I would rate a good night’s sleep very high. The older I get, the more imperative my sleep becomes.
The following are my top 5 tips to create a better sleep routine.
- As an aromatherapist, of course my number one pick is essential oils. Lavender, as most people know, is one of the best sleep aids. There are many ways to use lavender essential oil to help with sleep. Lavender can be diluted in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil or even sunflower oil). You can use this almost anywhere on your body, but my favourites places are the back of the neck or the bottom of the feet (I like to put socks on in the winter). You can also use a lavender linen spray on your sheets and pillows. I usually spray it on my linens, go get ready for bed, and then hop into my lovely smelling bed. Makes sure the spray is made with pure essential oils.
But of course, there are many wonderful brands out there. As an alternative to a lavender spray, you can also put a few drops on a tissue and put in under your pillow.
- Chamomile is a wonderful sleep aid as well. In a tea form, it is very helpful for sleep, but chamomile essential oil is also wonderful for sleep. You can use it in the same way you use lavender.
- One of my favourite solutions for a restful sleep is a rose face oil. Every night before I go to bed, I wash my face and then apply rose face oil. This is a mixture of jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil and rose or geranium essential oil. Not only is it good for your face, but it is great for relaxation and stress relief (which we all know can create loss of sleep).
- Hot baths are a great way to unwind before bed. Add a few drops of essential oils to your bath, and you are sure to be well rested in the morning. My favourites for the bath are sandalwood and vanilla. There is something extremely soothing about these two essential oils. You can also add these essential oils to some full fat cream and then add them to the bath for a more luxurious bath. I recommend 10 drops of each in the cream and then add to your bath water.
- My final tip is fantastic if you have a willing partner. A wonderful massage with essential oils added to some carrier oil (I recommend fractionated coconut oil as it does not stain your sheets) really helps to ensure a restful sleep. It helps you relax and unwind after a long day. My favourite essential oil for massage is once again sandalwood. It is wonderful for sleep as well as relaxation.
Lack of sleep can be caused by many factors and is a very common conversation amongst people, especially moms. One of the biggest factors is stress, so as well as the essential oil recommendations, I also suggest trying to reduce your stress. Perhaps it is possible to incorporate meditation and yoga into your life. You can also diffuse some essential oils while doing either one of these practices to help with your stress. Hopefully these tips will give you at least a few restful nights.