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8 Essential Oils For Deep Sleep And Relaxation

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8 Essential Oils For Deep Sleep And Relaxation January 4, 2019

Who doesn’t treasure a good night’s sleep? It not only peps you up for the day ahead but also gives your body the much-needed rest at the end of a tiring day. Many things can screw up your sleeping pattern – it could be staying awake late in the night or simply stressing about the little things in life. This is where essential oils come into the picture. To know how these miracle ingredients help you sleep better, read on.

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What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural oils extracted from plants by distillation. They often carry the aroma of the plant they are derived from. Unique aromatic compounds in each essential oil give it its characteristic essence.

Distillation is one main process used to extract essential oils. But the oils can also be derived by mechanical methods like cold pressing. Once the essential components are extracted from their respective plants, they are combined with a carrier oil to produce a ready-to-use product.

The method of manufacturing essential oils is of great significance as the ones produced via chemical methods are not considered true essential oils.

Aromatherapy using essential oils is a popular home remedy used in treating various ailments. It is a form of alternative medicine. Their aroma is either inhaled, or they are applied topically on the skin to avail their functional properties.

Among the many benefits of essential oils are their stress-relieving, calming, and sleep-promoting properties. Let us take a closer look at how essential oils can help promote sleep.

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How Can Essential Oils Promote Sleep?

Essential oils help reduce stress, depressive feelings, and anxiety. They stimulate certain areas of your limbic system that are a part of your brain. This part plays a significant role in controlling your emotions, behaviors, cognitive abilities, and sense of smell.

The limbic system is also responsible for controlling some of your unconscious physiological functions like breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

It is this function of the essential oils that also promotes sleep by helping you feel relaxed.

There are over 90 types of essential oils, and each has its unique aroma and health benefits. The following are the most effective essential oils that help stimulate relaxation and deep sleep.

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8 Best Essential Oils For Sleep And Relaxation

  1. Lavender Oil
  2. Frankincense Oil
  3. Cedarwood Oil
  4. Ylang Ylang Oil
  5. Roman Chamomile Oil
  6. Jasmine Oil
  7. Bergamot Oil
  8. Marjoram Oil

1. Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3 drops of lavender oil
  • A diffuser
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill a diffuser with water.
  2. Add three drops of lavender oil to it and switch it on.
  3. Inhale the diffused lavender aroma.
  4. Alternatively, you can also pour a drop or two of the essential oil on your pillows so that you can inhale the aroma throughout the night.
  5. You can also prepare a mist with lavender oil and water and spray it as and when required.
Why This Works

Lavender oil was found to have an inverse effect on anxiety and depression (1). Consequently, it can help enhance sleep and cognitive abilities (2).

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2. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of frankincense oil
  • A diffuser
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three to four drops of frankincense oil to a diffuser filled with water.
  2. Switch the diffuser on and inhale the pleasant aroma.
Why This Works

Frankincense oil has many therapeutic properties, one of which is its ability to reduce fatigue. It also improves symptoms of anxiety and depression, thanks to its anxiolytic and anti-neurotic activities (3). These properties can help you stay relaxed while also promoting sleep.

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3. Cedarwood Oil

Cedarwood Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3 drops of cedarwood oil
  • A diffuser
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three drops of cedarwood oil to a diffuser filled with water.
  2. Switch the diffuser on.
  3. Inhale the soothing aroma.
  4. Do this right before you hit the bed.
Why This Works

Cedarwood contains a compound called cedrol that exhibits sedative properties when inhaled. It can help you sleep better (4).

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4. Ylang Ylang Oil

Ylang Ylang Oil Pinit

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You Will Need

2-3 drops of ylang ylang oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Pour a few drops of ylang ylang oil on your pillow right before your bedtime.
  2. Alternatively, you can also rub a drop of the oil on your wrists.
  3. If you have sensitive skin, mix the essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil.
Why This Works

Ylang ylang oil alleviates symptoms of stress and depression and exhibits a relaxing effect upon transdermal absorption (5). This, in turn, can also help you sleep better.

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5. Roman Chamomile Oil

Roman Chamomile Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3 drops of Roman chamomile oil
  • A diffuser
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three drops of Roman chamomile oil to a diffuser pre-filled with water.
  2. Switch it on and inhale the soothing aroma.
  3. You can also put a drop or two of chamomile oil on your pillow and inhale its fragrance while sleeping.
  4. Another option is to add 15-20 drops of chamomile oil to your bath water and soak in it.
Why This Works

Roman chamomile oil possesses sleep-inducing and sedative properties that can help you sleep better (6).

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6. Jasmine Oil

Jasmine Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of jasmine oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons of any carrier oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two to three drops of jasmine oil to the carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and use the mixture for a relaxing massage.
  3. Leave it on for 30-60 minutes before heading for a shower.
Why This Works

Jasmine oil possesses stimulating properties that can relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression while helping you remain relaxed and sleep better (7).

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7. Bergamot Oil

Bergamot Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of bergamot oil
  • A diffuser
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three to four drops of bergamot oil to a diffuser that is filled with water.
  2. Switch the diffuser on and inhale the bergamot aroma.
Why This Works

Bergamot oil is a popular remedy for alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety. While helping you remain calm and relaxed, this oil also helps in inducing sleep (8).

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8. Marjoram Oil

Jasmine Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of marjoram oil
  • A diffuser
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three to four drops of marjoram oil to a diffuser filled with water.
  2. Switch the diffuser on and inhale the pleasant aroma.
Why This Works

Marjoram oil can help alleviate your stress by reducing your cortisol levels (9). This relaxing effect can help promote sleep as well.

While these essential oils work their magic, you can also try a few additional tips that can help you have a sound sleep.

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Other Tips To Promote Sleep

  • Do not indulge in caffeine anywhere close to your bedtime.
  • Have an early meal.
  • Meditate or practice yoga.
  • Do not use your phones, laptops, or television when you are on your bed.
  • Follow a bedtime ritual that can prepare your body to get some sleep – this can include a warm bath or changing into comfortable clothes before bedtime.

The essential oils discussed in this article will help improve your sleep patterns. Most importantly, always remember to stay calm and relaxed as that is one of the best ways you can battle symptoms of insomnia or sleeplessness. If you have any questions regarding the article, please post them in the comments section below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Are there any side effects of using essential oils?

If the essential oils are used topically without diluting in a carrier oil, you may experience skin irritation (if you have sensitive skin). Also, they should not be taken internally unless they are food-grade.

How can essential oils help me sleep better?

Essential oils can help you sleep better by alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety and helping you stay relaxed. They can also reduce cortisol levels in your body. All of this helps you sleep soundly.

References

  1. Lavender Fragrance Essential Oil and the Quality of Sleep in Postpartum Women” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine
  2. Aromatherapy: The Effect of Lavender on Anxiety and Sleep Quality in Patients Treated With Chemotherapy” Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, US National Library of Medicine
  3. Frankincense–therapeutic properties” Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine, US National Library of Medicine
  4. The sedative effects and mechanism of action of cedrol inhalation with behavioral pharmacological evaluation” Planta Medica, US National Library of Medicine
  5. Relaxing effect of ylang ylang oil on humans after transdermal absorption” Phytotherapy Research, US National Library of Medicine
  6. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future” Molecular Medicine Reports, US National Library of Medicine
  7. Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil” Natural Product Communications, US National Library of Medicine
  8. Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application” Frontiers in Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine
  9. Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine