A little nighttime reading
We’re always looking for easy, natural ways to promote more restful sleep. So we’ve asked guest contributor Anjali Shah, a popular food blogger and board certified health coach, to give us the lowdown on how to use essential oils to enhance your sleep.
Using Essential Oils for Better Sleep
By Anjali Shah
Not getting enough sleep? That's an issue that I hear come up very frequently from friends, family and even clients that I coach. Between stress, hormones and digestion, there are so many reasons why people are continually searching for a good night's sleep.
The good news?
You don't need to rely on medications or chemicals to make sure you get a good night's sleep. There are numerous natural solutions for sleep, using essential oils!
So what are essential oils?
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, a walk by a field of lavender, or the smell of freshly cut mint, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oil. Essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their health-promoting properties.
The trick is finding exactly which essential oil your body likes best. Since every person is different, an oil that might send one person straight to dreamland, might not do a thing for someone else.
Sometimes finding the best oil for you just takes a little bit of trial and error. However, once you find that magic combo, life will never be the same.
My Favorite Essential Oils for Sleep Include:
It's probably not surprising to see lavender at the top of the list, right? Most people are aware that lavender is somehow related to sleep, but what most people don’t know is that this has been studied extensively and it's actually very effective. (source 1, source 2).
Vetiver is rich and earthy smelling, and it's a great oil to just get your brain to "turn off" for the night. It has a slightly strong smell, so to start it's best diluted or mixed with lavender.
- Roman Chamomile
Roman Chamomile essential oil is known for its calming, soothing, and relaxing properties. It has a light, floral scent and is wonderful for creating a peaceful atmosphere in your bedroom.
Bergamot is a citrus fruit and the oil is cold-pressed from the rind or peel. Most citrus oils (like grapefruit or wild orange) tend to have a bit of a stimulating effect, but bergamot is different. It’s bright, yet calming at the same time.
Rich and woodsy, sandalwood is instinctively calming. You'll feel relaxed as soon as you catch a whiff of it!
I adore the earthy, woody smell of cedarwood essential oil. It's great to use topically, or in a diffuser. It blends well with more floral oils or works well on its own too.
There are two ways to use essential oils for sleep:
- Topical Use
I generally rub oils on my wrists, the back of my neck, and/or on the bottoms of my feet before bed. I usually use coconut oil to dilute them, and then rub them into my skin. They're great that way as a natural "lotion" as well!
- Aromatic Use
Essential oil diffusers are absolutely amazing. (Diffusion is the process of dispersing essential oils so that their aroma fills a room or an area with the natural fragrance. It works like a humidifier in the room.) Once you have one you will use it all the time. Putting a few drops of any of these oils (and a bit of water) into a diffuser will have your whole bedroom smelling amazing, which is the perfect, relaxing atmosphere to go to sleep in!
Why I love Essential Oils
There are so many uses for essential oils, but from a sleep standpoint, they are unbelievably relaxing and soothing. These oils have helped me and my family to relieve stress and improve sleep, and I’d love to share them with you.
If you’d like to work with Anjali to learn more about how essential oils can help you, click here.
Anjali Shah is a food writer, board certified health coach, essential oils expert, and owner of The Picky Eater, a healthy food and lifestyle blog. Her work has been featured on Oprah.com, Women' s Health, Cooking Light, Reader's Digest, CNN, Food Network, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, Whole Foods, SHAPE, and at Kaiser Permanente. Anjali grew up a “whole wheat” girl, but married a “white bread” kind of guy. Hoping to prove that nutritious food could in fact be delicious and desirable, she taught herself how to cook and successfully transformed her husband’s eating habits from a diet of frozen pizzas and Taco Bell to her healthy, yet flavorful recipes made with simple, wholesome ingredients. Through her blog, The Picky Eater, Anjali shares her passion for tasty, healthy cooking. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. For a free 1:1 health consultation, click here!
Speaking of essential oils, did you know that Slumbr's gift pack comes with a lavender oil-scented sleep sachet? Just slip it into your pillowcase or linen drawer. To give the gift of comfy sleep to friends and family, check it out here.
Photo credit: shesonnatural.com