Aromatherapy for sleep
Aromatherapy is one of the most effective ways to support sleep naturally. So much so that it is one of the leading complementary therapies used by nurses in clinical settings to help patients experiencing sleep disruption and other common issues like stress, pain, and anxiety.
In aromatherapy, the term ‘soporific’ describes a substance that induces sleep. Many essential oils act as soporifics via sedative actions. Sedative oils work directly on the limbic system (emotional brain) through the olfactory nerve, producing calming and relaxing effects that affect vital functions like blood pressure, heart rate, and stress response.
Common essential oils for sleep:
English lavender Lavandula angustifolia
Clary sage Salvia sclarea
Roman chamomile Anthemis nobilis
Jasmine Jasminum officinale
Patchouli Pogostemon cablin
Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides
Ylang-ylang Cananga odorata
Neroli Citrus aurantium
Sweet Marjoram Origanum majorana
Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis
Valerian Valeriana officinalis
Sandalwood Santalum album
Rose Rosa damascena
Want to learn more about “buying essential oils?”
Bear in mind; each essential oil has its own unique chemical composition, scent, and therapeutic benefits. I recommend experimenting with a few different oils so you can determine which ones you like best.
Diffusion carries the lowest risk and is typically recommended for cases involving children. To promote rest, add a few drops of essential oil to an aromatic diffuser half an hour before sleep. Inhaling the fragrant components of soothing oils is claimed to stimulate the release of specific neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins, providing an overall feeling of relief.
Calming blend for sleep
Lavender - 8 drops
Ylang Ylang - 4 drops
Vetiver - 1 drops
Method: Mix the essential oils in an amber bottle with an orifice reducer. Add 3-5 drops to an aromatic diffuser or oil burner.
Alternatively, try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bed pillow half an hour before sleep. A light, colorless oil, it should not leave any stains on your bed linens.
A warm bath is a perfect ritual to ready our bodies for a restful evening. Ensuring that the tub is warm, not hot, is essential. Water that is too hot can have the opposite effect, leaving your body feeling stimulated rather than relaxed. Essential oils are lipophilic substances, meaning that they are fat-soluble. Before adding the essential oils to the bathwater, it is recommended that you blend the essential oils with a carrier oil like sunflower or sweet almond to prevent possible sensitive reactions caused by direct contact with the surface of the skin. Adding the essential oil blend to the bathwater once filled is recommended to avoid the oils from evaporating before you entering the bath.
If you do not have time for a bath, try a warm shower with the blend below. Take the time to massage the mixture from head to toe gently.
Spiritual bath oil for sleep
1 oz sweet almond oil
Clary Sage - 1 drop
Sandalwood - 2 drop
Lavender - 2 drops
Frankincense - 1 drop
Method: One tub is filled, add 6-10 drops of spiritual bath blend to the water, swirl around to incorporate the blend into the warm water evenly. Enter the bath and relax.
Essential oils act directly on the respiratory, circulatory, and central nervous systems through the skin and respiratory tract. Aroma massage is widely used in clinical settings because it combines the positive effects of massage and aromatherapy, resulting in a complementary therapy that is more effective than either method alone! Although nothing quite compares to having someone else massage you, you can undoubtedly achieve relaxing effects by doing it yourself.
According to research, self-massage helps promote your body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is necessary to regulate our sleep cycles. Incorporating self-massage with an aromatic oil into your evening-time ritual may help to promote circulation, digestion, and relaxation, all of which aid in sleep. For best results, a self-massage should be done after your evening bath or shower. I recommend giving it a go with our balms or the bath oil recipe shown above.
Method: Starting at your feet, massage the oil into your skin in stroking, circular motions. Move up your legs, along your arms, your hands, and back of the neck and shoulders, spending a few minutes in each area and reapplying balm or oil, as needed. After five to 10 minutes, finish with a scalp and face massage. Place the tips of your index fingers in the middle of your forehead and gently draw the thumbs out to your temples. Repeat this motion several times, working your fingers from the center of your forehead, above your eyebrows, and out to your temples. This final step may help to relieve tension from the day.