Aromatherapy: 4 Essential Oils To Help With Treating Insomnia

Restless nights spent tossing and turning can wear on your body after a while. While the easy answer might be to turn to an over-the-counter remedy to hasten your trip to slumberland, there may be a natural option for you.

Aromatherapy can be extremely helpful in combating insomnia. It can lessen your need to take pills that have lingering side effects. Before looking at how aromatherapy can help, let’s take a moment to review the meaning and effects of insomnia.

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What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is the inability of a person to fall asleep or remain asleep. Insomnia can last for as little as a few days or weeks or as long as several months, or even years. People with insomnia often report that they have a tough time concentrating and often experience feelings of depression and extreme fatigue. 

Why Do People Have Insomnia?

There are multiple reasons someone may develop insomnia. According to the Mayo Clinic, common causes of insomnia include but are not limited to the following:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Depression
  • Work schedule
  • Bad sleep habits
  • Eating late during evening hours
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, and pain
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine 

Aromatherapy for Insomnia: How it Works

Studies (The Effect of Aromatherapy on Insomnia and Other Common Symptoms Among Patients With Acute Leukemia; Blackburn et al) show that aromatherapy is useful in helping you to manage your difficulty in achieving a healthy sleep experience. Aromatherapy has the power to help you manage a number of things that may contribute to your sleepless nights, such as depression, anxiety, and fatigue. 

Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils (via a topical application or inhalation) to manage physical, emotional and spiritual symptoms. Keep in mind that there is not one perfect way to use your essential oils to aid in your sleep. The most common methods include the following:

  • Adding a few drops of oil to a diffuser
  • Dashing a few drops onto a piece of fabric and inhaling
  • Massaging a few drops onto your wrist or neck
  • Adding a few drops to your bath water

To conquer this sleep disorder from a holistic approach, you must know which oils are most useful.

Here are four essential oils that can assist you in improving your sleep pattern and quality:

1. Lavender

Lavender oil is an excellent sleep-inducing agent. It can help to stabilize your mood and bring about a sense of calm and relaxation, all of which can help to improve your sleep experience. There are multiple ways to reap the benefits of lavender oil aromatherapy such as adding it to your bath, diffuser, and massage. 

2. Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang is fantastic for sleep because it contains properties that reduce the heart rate and lower the blood pressure. When combined with other essential oils like lavender or bergamot, users report feelings of calm and decreased anxiety. 

3. Sandalwood

Sandalwood can be applied topically or inhaled. This oil is excellent for helping to reign in emotions and take control of your nervous system. Like Ylang ylang, sandalwood also lowers your heart rate, decreases your blood pressure, and helps to regulate your breathing. 

4. Roman Chamomile

Roman chamomile essential oil is a natural, mild analgesic that helps to relax your muscles and bring about a sense of inner peace. Chamomile is a mild tranquilizer or sleep-inducer. Research (Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future; Srivastava, et al) shows that individuals who consumed chamomile were likely to fall asleep within 90 minutes of consumption.

What We Think

Aromatherapy is a compelling alternative way to treat insomnia. A number of essential oils contain properties that research shows can effectively treat the problems that cause this sleep disorder. The oils help you to take control of a number of functions within your body so that you can naturally ease into sleep. 

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