We all know how important it is to get a good nights sleep, but often that can be easier said than done! If you’re struggling with poor sleep, you might have tried a range of things to help – like exercise, mindfulness meditation, and lifestyle changes linked to how and when you work, your diet, caffeine intake etc. But did you know that essential oils, like lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile, can actually help you to get a better night’s sleep?
With everything that’s been going on in the world for the past few years, it’s no surprise that anxiety levels are on the rise. Before 2020, mental health disorders were identified as a leading burden in terms of public health issues, with depression and anxiety being the main cause for concern. The impact of the Pandemic on people’s mental health has meant that stress, anxiety and depression are all significantly higher now for a lot of us.
One significant way that stress and anxiety impacts us all is the way that it can change our sleep patterns. High levels of stress can lead to sleep deprivation, because being stressed and in a heightened state of alertness can mean that you have trouble falling asleep, and when you do finally manage to sleep your anxious, troubled thoughts can cause you to wake frequently during the night. That means less sleep. Leading to more anxiety, and so the circle continues. We al know how it feels to wake up in the morning after a particularly bad night’s sleep, but did you know that ongoing sleep deprivation makes you more than just tired and irritable – it can actually put you at risk of much more significant health problems, like heart disease and diabetes.
Given this, it’s more important than it’s ever been that we find ways to support our own mental health and wellbeing. That’s where essential oils can help. There are a number of essential oils that have been shown to have a positive impact on sleep, but Lavender essential oil is at the top of the list in terms of its benefits for helping with sleep. Its medicinal properties have been known for centuries – did you know that Cleopatra reportedly used the oil to help in her seduction of Julius Ceasar in BC47? Lavender essential oil is believed to help calm anxiety symptoms and help with relaxation. It’s also thought to be an effective treatment for anxiety and depression, as well as having sedative properties.
Ylang ylang essential oil is another oil that can be beneficial for sleep. It’s thought to help balance both sides of the brain and help with the processing and release of negative emotions – things that can often get in the way of falling asleep and having a good night’s sleep. The oil lowers blood pressure and heart rate and quite literally sets your body up for a better night’s sleep. Its also got a lovely fruity, pleasant scent which is very calming all on its own! There’s even a study that found that using a blend of lavender, ylang ylang and bergamot oil, reduces blood pressure, pulse, stress, anxiety, and cortisol.
Chamomile essential oil works as a mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer. Its long been known as a good essential oil for helping with sleep, but it can also help to reduce anxiety levels and depression. Chamomile tea is well known for its health properties and the benefits that it can have in terms of helping with digestive issues, but it turns out the essential oil (which is not to be ingested when used in its pure oil form) is also very good at helping with sleep difficulties!
Rose essential oil has been shown in research to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Its one of the recommended essential oils for promoting good sleep because it helps to promote feelings of tranquillity and serenity, making you feel grounded, centred and secure before bedtime – all things that will help you to fall asleep faster and importantly stay asleep so that you can wake feeling rested and ready for your day.
Cedarwood essential oil has been used since ancient times for both medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Its good for the skin and for the nervous system and can have benefits in terms of both sleep quality and depth as well as mood and emotions. Its believed to help detoxify and clear bad energy, making it one of the best essential oils to help you find your calm before bed and get a good night’s sleep.
These days, more and more people are turning to traditional remedies for a wide range of health issues, rather than the medical go-to solutions that have in recent years become standard. With all of the benefits that you can harness from essential oils, and none of the potentially harmful side-effects of some more widely accepted medicines, maybe now is the time to see whether or not you can introduce some essential oils into your health and well-being and self-care routines? After all, you’ve got nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain! You could reduce your stress and anxiety levels in a natural, holistic way through using essential oil infused candles, diffusers, pillow sprays and roll-on’s and get a better night’s sleep, setting you up for better health in the long term and making you much more equipped to handle your every-day stresses, all while enjoying the benefits that essential oils will bring to your environment and secure in the knowledge that its all completely natural!