Nov 14

The Top Five Aromatherapy Scents for Relaxation and Sleep

Dried lavender herb and essential aromatherapy oil

Dried lavender herb and essential aromatherapy oil

There are few things more frustrating than not being able to get to sleep. After a long day of accomplishing whatever life has put in front of us for the day, be that working in the office, out on the slopes or home with the children, we all need to be able to unwind then slip into bed and have a relaxed nights sleep. If you spend your time tossing and turning instead then you need to find alternatives to improve your sleeping habits. One option, of course, is taking sleeping medications, but why not do something better for your body? Don’t use chemicals. Use a natural approach to helping you relax and sleep and what could be better than using aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the ability to use essential oils to improve both your physical and emotionally well-being.  These essential oils can improve many things for you from alleviating headaches and anxiety to helping you relax and sleep.  Essential oils are distilled from various plant materials including bark, flowers, berries, leaves or fruit. Essential oils are reasonably priced and available at your local grocery store or from any health shop.

Although there are many essential oils that can be used to help you relax or make it easier to get to sleep there are a few that are particularly good in fulfilling those needs. Studies have show that the top five are lavender, chamomile, bergamot, sandalwood and mandarin.

One of the single most popular essential oils is lavender. This herb can be grown in your own garden. It’s a bushy plant with pale violet leaves that bloom all summer long. Among its varied uses, its good for digestion or as an anti-depressant, it has been found to be especially good at calming the nervous system, relaxing the body and enabling blissful sleep. You can use this essential oil in a warm bath or with a diffuser, which is also known as a mist maker.

From the chamomile plant only the flowers are used to make this excellent therapeutic essential oil.  As a tea it is know to calm upset stomachs. Used in aromatherapy, it is at its best helping with those who suffer from insomnia. It has a fruity slightly sweet fragrance.  Both the German and Roman chamomiles are good for this purpose.

Bergamot comes from citrus fruit rind. It does its job by relieving stress and enabling the subject to relax.  It has a lovely citrus scent that will make you feel refreshed and give you that sense of well-being. Interestingly bergamot is the main ingredient in earl grey tea.

Sandalwood does indeed come from wood. To get the right intensity of oil from the trees they must be at least forty years old, but the older the better and a tree eighty years old will produce better oils.  Sandalwood is a calming agent; it relieves nervous tension and helps you relax.

Lastly there is Mandarin, which has two different types of oil, one green and the other red.  It has several advantages one of which is that it is gentle enough that you can use it with children as well as adults. Interesting the scent is closer to that of a bergamot oil and less like the tangerine it’s expected to smell like. Mandarin oil is a very successful treatment for sleep difficulties almost rivaling lavender.

Sometimes using a combination of these wonderful scents can help you to feel more relaxed and ready to have a good night’s sleep. So, take lavender, chamomile and bergamot, mix them together using jojoba as your carrier oil (a carrier oil is what you use to mix the other oils into) and then you have a wonderful aromatherapy concoction ready to relax you. You can use these either in a diffuser or on your pillow, or even in an eye pillow.  Having used the best of the top five you know you can count on a peaceful sleep.

There are other mixtures you can make that use similar combinations but are made for different purposes, though the outcome of helping you to relax is still the purpose of the mix. Try a calming perfume, it’ll smell lovely while helping keep you relaxed.

1 comment

    • Barb on June 12, 2014 at 5:04 am
    • Reply

    Looking for relaxing grain mixture to put into sleep masks. Flax seed, lavender. any pre-mixed grain that can be inserted into a sleep mask. If there is a recipe, I can make it, looking for ideas. Happy to purchase pre-made or recipes to make myself. Thank tou for your help..

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