Aromatherapy has been used for scores of years as a holistic or alternative treatment for various illnesses. Essential oils derived from certain plants provide many therapeutic benefits when used for massages, inhalation using diffusers etc. These treatments are used along with other non-traditional therapies like acupuncture to cure people of headaches, insomnia, depression, pain, infections, digestive disorders etc. We will see the benefits of aromatherapy for sleep and some of the essential oils that cure sleeplessness.
Benefits of aromatherapy for sleep disorders
Stress is one major cause of insomnia and there are several essential oils that when used during massages can cure stress. It is a soothing complement to other sleep aids. Essential oils can be used in combination or individually and the choice really depends on personal preference. The major advantage of using aromatherapy for sleep is that it does not produce too many side effects like traditional medication as long as the oils are used as directed on the label or by a qualified aromatherapist.
Essential oils do not make the patient dependent or give the sluggish feeling the next day, like other prescription drugs for insomnia do. Most essential oils do not require a prescription and they can be bought at the local store and are not very expensive. Ensure that all precautions are followed strictly when using these oils.
How to use Essential oils for sleep disorders
Apart from aromatherapy massages, there are several ways that you can enjoy the benefits or essential oils to cure sleep disorders.
Bath time: Essential oils like lavender or Roman chamomile can be added to warm water and used as a footbath or for a full body bath in the bath tub. Apart from bath oils, there are bath salts and moisturizers that provide similar calming benefits.
Diffusers: You can use few drops of sleep-inducing essential oils in a diffuser and place near your bedside. If you use an electric diffuser, the light bulb can act like a night lamp and a diffuser at the same time, wafting out wonderful aromas of essential oils into the bedroom.
Massage: If you do not wish to visit an aromatherapy clinic, you can use massage oils to help improve circulation by gently massaging legs and feet. A blend of 1 ounce carrier oil like sweet almond with 10 drops of sleep-inducing oils like lavender or Roman chamomile can provide a soothing massage.
Drinks: Warm drinks are said to have a sedative effect. So, if you suffer from insomnia, try to drink herbal teas like chamomile tea that has a pleasant flavor and offers many benefits.
Cotton Ball or Sprays dipped in specific essential oils can be placed near your pillow before bedtime. A mild bed linen spray comprising essential oils can also be used on bed sheets before sleeping or spray some on to a handkerchief and inhale the aroma.
Best Essential Oils for Sleep Disorders
- Lavender oil combines well with other essential oils like cedar wood, clary sage, pine, nutmeg and geranium and hence is a popular choice in aromatherapy. Lavender is a widely used in perfumes, potpourris, lotions, powders, infusions, gels and soaps. Lavender is the oil that is most recommended in aromatherapy for sleep, to alleviate pain, nervous tension, treat respiratory and circulatory problems.
- Clary Sage oil has anti-depressant and sedative properties among other benefits. If you need to concentrate, calm down, relax and have an uninterrupted sleep then try clary sage oil for it has a soothing effect as it reduces inflammations.
- Vanilla essential oil reduces inflammations caused by convulsions, fever, anxiety, allergies, blood pressure and stress. It helps to sedate the body and relax the mind, therefore having a tranquilizing effect that induces sleep.
- Melissa oil promotes sleep since it reduces inflammations of the brain caused by trauma, shock, nervousness and anxiety. Reduced inflammation relaxes the mind and body and allows you to enjoy a peaceful rest.
- Cedar wood oil has many medicinal properties as a sedative. It relieves tension, anxiety, itchy skin – all which cause sleep disorders. Insomnia patients are recommended cedar wood oil as a sedative.
- Other sedative essential oils that provide positive results in insomnia patients include jasmine, Roman chamomile, Moroccan chamomile, marjoram, petitgrain, and rose, sandalwood and ylang ylang.
Insomnia can affect quality of life and feelings of well-being and happiness. Hectic lifestyles, depression, stress or some physical illness are the most common causes of insomnia. While aromatherapy for sleep does not cure the physical illness, it does provide a relaxing and calming effect through massages, warm baths or inhalations, or can create the ambience in a bedroom through diffusers and therefore serve as a cure for insomnia. So, try some of the essential oils mentioned here in various blends and enjoy a good night’s rest.