I take sleep pretty seriously – like, “wake me before I’m ready only if you want a hard pillow to the face” seriously. A solid eight hours is more or less essential to my sanity and happiness. So I was delighted to discover the powerful effects of pure essential oils on relaxation and sleep. Essential oils have made falling asleep and staying asleep easier for me, and have fast become a staple in my family’s evening routine.
A good night’s sleep
My ultrasonic diffuser is parked permanently beside the bed. Using it overnight helps make that blessed eight hours consistent and reliable. In fact, even early scientific research suggests that using lavender essential oil in a diffuser helps some people with mild insomnia. I find that when I diffuse the spicy, sweet scent of French lavender I sleep more deeply and wake feeling rested. It has several times been a lifesaver before stressful event or after tough days when I can’t seem to get the shuteye I need. The calming scent fills my bedroom with a deeply relaxing atmosphere, and helps me to get the rest I need to face the morning with energy.
Routine and comfort
Do you remember the musty-cotton smell of your favorite stuffed animal or blankie? I do. Most of us had to say goodbye to our teddy a few decades ago, but we still need that kind of comfort and routine to get good rest. As adults we surround ourselves with comforting and familiar environments to get our brains to relax. It makes getting in bed and falling asleep easier. Smell is a major trigger for the brain. I use essential oils to create a calming, comforting environment for my whole family as part of our bedtime routine. It helps things to go more smoothly when the brain knows what to expect. Even when we are on the road, I can create a home-like atmosphere with essential oils to help with sleep.
When my kids’ sleep is interrupted by coughing or sore throats, so is mine. For older kids and adults a few drops of eucalyptus in a diffuser can give feelings of easy breathing overnight, especially during allergy and cold season. For the younger children I rely on spearmint and orange essential oils. I have loved the GreenAir AquaCool for its high-capacity reservoir. It holds 2.8 liters of water; more than enough to humidify and diffuse a cooling mist through the entire night. The moist air helps with coughs, and the sweet oils give feelings of relief for stuffed sinuses and sore throats. That way I get fewer finger- pokes-in-the-back from midnight wanderers. Everybody wins.
Low-dose exposure to essential oils
When I need an extra boost from any essential oil, I add it to my diffuser overnight. I use half the typical dilution or less, and enjoy the low-dose exposure for an extended period of time. This works really well if you have sensitive skin and need to use low doses to prevent sensitization. Add even a single drop to your diffuser to get the aromatherapy benefits over the long-term.