Some cases of insomnia are short-term and related to easily identifiable causes such as ingesting too much caffeine or sugar. However, some cases can last longer, creating a destructive cycle of nighttime sleeplessness and daytime fogginess.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to support healing and to enhance daily life. Essential oils are concentrated compounds distilled from various parts of plants, including flowers, roots, bark, and leaves. It is the essence of the plant that ends up in those small amber glass bottles of oil. Each essential oil has its special healing property. Some scents can invigorate, some can soothe the mind, and some can help to heal sore muscles or skin conditions. And thankfully, some can help to bring relief from insomnia and reduce the effects of stress on the physical and emotional body.
Aromatherapy Can Encourage Restful Sleep
The following essential oils all have soothing properties. Put a few drops neat (undiluted) on a handkerchief or tissue and place under the pillow. Or experiment with a blend of up to three of the oils.
- Chamomile – both Roman and German
- Clary Sage
- Rose Geranium
- Ylang Ylang
Essential Oil Blends for a Comforting Night Time Ritual
A favorite essential oil can be used on its own or blended with up to two other compatible essential oils. A well-put-together blend will bring forth the healing properties of each ingredient as well as a new synergistic healing property of the whole.
After the blend is made, it can be used as is or added to a carrier, or base, oil and used in a variety of aromatherapy methods. Sunflower, grapeseed, and jojoba oils are all good carrier oil choices. A safe ratio to use is eight drops of essential oil in four teaspoons (20 ml) of carrier oil.
Always use the highest quality aromatherapy products possible. Using the best quality of both carrier (base) oil and essential oil will result in a purer product with a longer shelf life. While experimenting with blends, always make tiny amounts at first.
Aromatherapy Methods to Treat Insomnia
To a warm bath add three drops lavender, two drops rose geranium and two drops of ylang-ylang essential oils. Before getting in, swish the bath water around with the hand to disperse the oils. Soak for 15 minutes to get maximum aromatherapy benefits.
Scent nighttime air in the bedroom by adding ten drops of lavender essential oil to 2 cups (454 ml) of distilled water in a fine mist spray bottle. This can be used to spray linens and pillows as well.
Create a soothing massage oil by blending up to three essential oils in a carrier oil. Use the ratio mentioned above. Massage onto temples, hands, and feet or back before going to bed.
- Blend #1 – four drops lavender, four drops chamomile,.
- Blend #2 – four drops chamomile, three drops clary sage, two drops bergamot
- Blend #3 – two drops sandalwood, four drops rose geranium, two drops vetiver
Make a steam inhalation using a bowl of hot water into which 2-3 drops of essential oils have been added. Place your head over the bowl with eyes closed and tent with a towel. Deeply but gently inhale the comforting, aromatic warmth. Do this for a maximum of 15 minutes, taking a break whenever necessary.
A Few Cautions
The information we presented is not considered as a substitution for a professional medical opinion. Pregnant ladies and children should not use these herbal remedies. Except under the supervision of an experienced aromatherapist. Please avoid using plant oils on open wounds or take these internally without medical supervision.
Using aromatherapy is a great way to ease the symptoms of restlessness and insomnia, but remember to look at other stress-reducing tools as well. Yoga, meditation, healthy eating habits and daily doses of good old fresh air can all add up to better sleeping patterns. It’s always best to treat the cause of a condition rather than the symptoms. Sweet dreams!