Aromatherapy For Sleep

What is Aromatherapy For Sleep?

In order to understand how aromatherapy for sleep works, we first need to understand what aromatherapy is and how it works. 

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils to comfort and heal, and it is one of the fastest growing complementary therapies in the Western world. Essential oils are concentrated pure plant extracts which have fragrant and therapeutic effects. With aromatherapy, the essential oils are used topically rather than taken internally. 

Origins Of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be traced some 6000 years back, when the Egyptians started extracting oil from plants and flowers. Egyptians used the oil for physical and mental healing as well as for cosmetic purposes. During the same period, Chinese were also said to have used the fragrance from the extracted oil and the aromatic herbs as an offering to the gods. 

How Does Aromatherapy For Sleep Work?

With aromatherapy, when a person inhales the odor, the aroma comes into contact with an inner part of the nose called cilia. The cilia convert the odor into electrical impulses which are then sent to the limbic system in the brain through the olfactory system. The limbic system in the brain is the system that controls a person’s emotions and reactions. That is why a soothing effect on the limbic system will relax the various parts of the body and even take the body into a sleepy state when the inhalation period is increased. 

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Aromatherapy Methods

There are many ways to experience aromatherapy including massage, where essential oils are added in small quantities to massage oil, aromatic baths, where bath oils or salts are added to a warm bath, and inhalants or diffusers or burners. With a diffuser or burner, the essential oils are slowly heated and the aroma spreads throughout the air. 

There are also herbal sleep pillows, herbal eye pillows, and herbal neck wraps, where the dried herbs are sewn into the pillow or wrap. Many can be heated or put in a freezer for additional healing properties. Aromatherapy candles are also a popular choice for many. 

Make a sweet scented herbal pillow for relaxation and insomnia by using equal amounts of dried Rose buds and Rose Geranium leaves, sprinkled with Bergamot and Rose Oil

Essential Oils Used In Aromatherapy For Sleep

There are a number of essential oils that can be used in aromatherapy for sleep or to help a person relax or de-stress. I have listed some common essential oils for inducing sleep and relaxation.

  • Lavender is the most common and useful essential oil for promoting sleep. The scent of lavender is known to calm nerves, and studies have shown that when inhaled, it can improve not only the length of sleep, but also the quality of sleep. 
  • Chamomile is a flowering plant in the daisy family, and is best known as a relaxing tea. Chamomile has one of the best scents for relaxing mind and body, and is also used in creams and ointments. Chamomile also can be taken in the form of an herbal supplement as an aid to sleep. 
  • Bergamot is used in essential oils, as a sleep balm, and in many teas. Often combined with other essential oils, bergamot treats depression and anxiety as well. Clary sage has a very relaxing, drowsy effect and is used to treat stress and anxiety, as well as high blood pressure and depression. 
  • Neroli is a natural sedative when it’s inhaled. The aroma can help relieve anxiety and is a popular essential aromatherapy oil for those suffering from insomnia. 
  • Sandalwood oil has a potent calming effect on the nerves as well as the digestive system. It has a rich, woody aroma, which is often used as a relaxing atmosphere for meditation. 
  • YlangYlang has a sweet, invigorating scent and is said to be an aphrodisiac. This essential oil is known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system and also often used to treat stress, frustration, and anger. 
  • Mandarin is also an herb that has a balancing and calming effect and is used for insomnia.

Return from Aromatherapy For Sleep - Curing Insomnia with Aromatherapy to Natural Depression Treatments 

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