Sleep, the one thing that we all need plenty of, yet there are times where sleep seems to hide from us.
People vary in the hours that they need to sleep, some find 8 hours plenty while others can survive quite comfortably on 5 or 6 hours, and then there are those who could sleep for 10 hours if time permitted.
But what causes us to toss and turn all night, we are dead tired but just can’t go to sleep.
There are many reasons for this, stress from the day is a major cause of insomnia, no matter how hard you try you just can’t turn your brain off.
Problem solving at night is defiantly a no-no, but how do you stop it?
There are many other things that can cause us to have intermittent sleeping habits.
Drinking alcohol to late can stop us from getting to sleep, as can smoking.
Both of these habits are stimulating, not relaxing as some may think. If your room isn’t dark enough it can be the cause of broken sleep.
In fact any light at all in the bedroom can affect your sleep, the brain thinks that it is time to wake up, and so there goes your sweet dreams.
Even the light emitting from a television or clock can stimulate the brain into thinking that it is time to wake up.
Anxiety is also a common cause for some cases if insomnia.
But fear not, Mother Nature has supplied us with several completely natural solutions to whatever sleeping problems that you may have.
These come in the form of essential oils and can have us in a relaxed mood in no time at all.
But what are essential oils?
These oils are basically the extract of the aroma compounds of plants, barks, fruits, leaves, seeds and resins which have been distilled in various ways, technically these are known as “hydrophobic liquids containing volatile aroma compounds from plants”.
It all sound very scientific, but in principal it is very simple.
Essential oils have been with us for thousands of years and were used by physicians, pharmacists and chemists throughout the world before the inception if what we now know as modern medicine.
Essential oils have many uses, but we most commonly think of their healing qualities.
We are all familiar with aroma therapy, the most common form is of course massage using scented oils.
One trip to any Asian tourist destination and you will have experienced the use of essential oils first hand.
Any 5-star-day-spa will give you a choice of oils, it’s up to you as to which one to choose, it’s all dependent on your mood and what scent is most desirable to your senses, just the smell of some oils will have you in a relaxed state before the massage even begins.
The order of the list is not necessary the order of best to last, as all of these oils can help in solving your insomnia problems.
When we started to compile this list we realised that what may work for one person may not necessarily work for another, so the list is not the best to the fifth best, more a guide for you to follow.
However at the end of this article you will see a second list that may be surprising to some people who might have never used essential oils before.
So read on, and hopefully we can help you in some small way to get back to being healthy, both physically and mentally.
The 5 best essential oils for sleep
We normally associate chamomile with tea, this herb, once brewed is extremely effective to help set you of into the land of dreams.
It is a mild sedative and if drunk 45 -60 minutes before your bedtime, it will increase your chances of a good night’s sleep.
The do’s: chamomile tea is made from the crushed leaves of the plant, so if you are using the oil, infuse then inhale.
The do not’s: Never ingest chamomile oil.
This is because it has been used for thousands of years as an anxiety reducer.
Lavender has been proven to be effective in reducing mild insomnia, but most importantly, long term use resulted in no side effects whatsoever.
The wonder oil also helps you wake up feeling totally refreshed.
The do’s: inhale, not only to promote sleep, but this also is excellent for the relief of headaches and anxiety.
The do not’s: Never give lavender orally to babies, and never use on babies under 3 months old.
It is recommended for use before bed as it helps you feel grounded and secure, making rest and sleep easier to achieve.
The do’s: inhale or defuse to get the best results.
The do not’s: As rose oils is a very expensive product to produce, always check the label to make sure it is the purest of rose oils and not adulterated with other products.
It uses are many varied from treating physical ailments to mental illness over the millenniums.
It is also another of the oils that promotes sleep.
The do’s: Rub onto the palms of your hands and the bottom of your feet.
The do not’s: Never ingest, frankincense can be toxic.
One physician who regularly prescribe this wonderful oil says that it helps to “clear energy and find calm before bed” simply put, it detoxifies and clears the bad energies that have accumulated throughout your day.
The do’s: Apply 5 drops of the oil onto your hands, rub together briskly, and then inhale as deeply as you can.
The do not’s: Never use in the first trimester of pregnancy, and never use on babies under 6 months old.
As pointed out before, this list is not a decisive list in any particular order, chamomile tea is a bit like coffee, it can affect some people and have no effect whatsoever on another, the secret is experimentation until you find the oils that works for you.
It is just a list that you may find useful when you are looking for that elusive sleep remedy.
Now for the fun part, we have compiled a list of the 7 essential oil blending recipes that will defiantly help with any insomnia you may be suffering from.
For those who are not that familiar with the use of essential oils, it is possible to blend many oils together to make a more effective formula to relieve and improve your anxiety and stress levels and therefore help you get that well deserved good-nights-sleep that you are so in need of.
As with the first list this is not in any particular order, but are listed as suggestions for you to experiment with until you find the blend that suits your needs best, and is affective for your sleeping rituals.
7 essential oils recipes to help you sleep
Essential oils for sleep blend #1
- A jug of water
- 5-10 drops peppermint oil
- 5 drops lemon
- 5 drops orange
- Stevia to taste (Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the species Stevia rebaudiana)
If you only want to make 1 glass, then use 1 drop of each of the oils.
Essential oils for sleep blend #2
- 3 tablespoons cream
- 2 drops lavender
- Add to a bath, or soak feet/hands
Essential oils for sleep blend #3
- 3 tablespoons of milk or cream
- 5 drops of geranium rose essential oil
- 1 drop orange essential oil
- 1 drop lavender essential oil
Add to a bath, or soak feet/hands
Essential oils for sleep blend #4
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops orange essential oil
Essential oils for sleep blend #5
- 1 drop lemon essential oil
- 2 drops orange essential oil
- 1 drop frankincense oil
Essential oils for sleep blend #6
- 3 drops geranium rose essential oil
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
Essential oils for sleep blend #7
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops frankincense oil
- 6 drops orange essential oil
- 7 drops geranium rose essential oil
With the last 4 blends there is a choice of methods on how to best use them, or what best suits your requirements.
Firstly inhalation, this is a very effective way of getting the benefits from these oils quickly.
Should you not be comfortable with this method then set the blend on a cotton wool ball and place on your pillow, or alternatively place directly onto your pillow.
The other method is to blend the mixture with a carrier oil and place behind your ears or rub onto the base of your throat.
One other popular method is by using a cold diffuser. (Heat lessens the effects of these oils).
Add drops of your favourite oils and have your whole room filled with the wonderful fragrances of these blended oils.
Summing it all up
So there you have it, some positive ways to relieve that most frustrating of ailments, insomnia.
Even if you only suffer from sleepless nights on occasion these oils can help.
Remember that essential oils are potent and contain natural plant chemicals, don’t be confused by what the oil is called.
The label may use the words “pure” or “natural” but just because it has peppermint in it that doesn’t mean that it is safe to consume.
One thing that should always be adhered too is to talk to your doctor about the use of essential oils.
If you are on any prescription drugs check with your doctor before using them as in some cases certain oils may cause side effects when used in conjunction with selected drugs.
Read the labels on the bottles and if you have any doubts about any of the oils you have chosen to use, consult your doctor.
Remember to always be careful when using essential oils, oils that are great for use on the skin may be harmful if ingested or used to close to sensitive parts of your body like eyes, nose and throat, as well as certain private areas.
A good example of three such oils to avoid near these areas is peppermint, lemongrass and cinnamon.
A lot of the oils that you will buy have to be diluted.
Undiluted oils are too strong to use as is, so it is extremely important to mix them with vegetable oils, bath creams or gels.
The percentage of the mix can vary depending on the individual, but is usually between 1 – 5 percent.
It is important to experiment until you find a blend that is right for you.
NEVER use undiluted oils, this is extremely dangerous.
We hope that these little pieces of information can help you with any sleep problems that you may be encountering.
Some people dream of a good night’s sleep while others make it happen.