Are you having trouble getting enough sleep at night, but want to avoid taking medications at all costs? Consider using essential oils as a non-medicinal alternative to try to help you catch some z's. Here are six options to help you get to sleep at night.
Eucalyptus Oil Benefits
Eucalyptus oil is a great alternative to traditional medications for getting a good night's sleep. According to Mercola, it "aids in resolving mental exhaustion and sluggishness." Eucalyptus oil is also known to help people with snoring, as it breaks up mucus in sinuses and the back of a person's throat.
There are many eucalyptus oil uses besides sleep, too. The same Mercola article reports that one of the eucalyptus oil benefits is that it possesses "antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties." The other eucalyptus oil uses include treating wounds and easing inflammation.
Lavender Oil Benefits
Healthline reports that not only is lavender the most commonly used oil for treating insomnia, but it also may trigger the sleep hormone melatonin to kick in.
Aimee Hill, an oil enthusiast and educator, says. "Many people know lavender as the 'Swiss Army Knife' of oils! This oil can be used for so many things. It's especially great at supporting the integumentary system, which is your hair, skin and nails. When you apply this oil topically it can help with the overall health and appearance of your complexion. I even like to add a drop to my mascara to promote strength and length to my eyelashes.
Vetiver Oil Benefits
Vetiver oil is known to be grounding and some even suggest it brings tranquility to their lives. Even if you don't quite find tranquility, you will find a good night of sleep. If you're using it for the first time for insomnia, but the smell is familiar to you, it's probably because this oil is often used in massages.
Valerian Oil Benefits
"Valerian is a heavy hitter when it comes to relaxation and grounding," says Hill. "This oil has a musky smell that isn't for everyone but the benefits are great! I like to apply this oil to the bottoms of my feet before bedtime to reap the benefits. The soles of our feet have the largest pores allowing the molecules to enter our bloodstream quickly and work their magic."
Frankincense is known to promote relaxation, and that in turn can lead to a more restful night of sleep.
"It's also amazing for our skin when applied topically," says Hill. "Frankincense promotes cellular repair, so I make this part of my daily skincare regime as well as include this in my stretch mark cream!"
Essential Oil Blends
While lavender, vetiver, valerian, frankincense and eucalyptus oil benefits are great on their own, blends of essential oils are particularly helpful to get a good night's sleep. For example, Emily Fagan, an oil enthusiast and educator uses a blend of lavender, valerian and ruta before bed, which she says, "totally knocks me out!"
How to Use Essential Oils
There are a few ways to use essential oils for sleep. It can be used topically or aromatically. Topically, individuals will add a few drops of essential oils to an evening bath, mix it with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, or even by putting it on the skin directly. Many other people will put a few drops of oil onto a cotton ball and then smell it, or they will add it to a steamer to diffuse into the air.
Fagan says, "Personally, I bathe at night and all of my body products are essential oil infused! Lavender shampoo, copaiba vanilla conditioner and a body wash with rose. It's like a spa treatment every night! Then, I apply vetiver or valerian topically as a single oil or in a blend by applying a drop to the bottom of each foot. The feet have fewer barriers for absorption and for oils like valerian, which does not smell very pleasant, so it is far away from my nose!"
Fagan then diffuses a blend of oils in fresh water. She says, "I have hours of sweet smelling essential oil infused air to breathe in as I sleep. Not only can it be good for sleep but many of those ingredients may aid in lifting my spirits so I can start my day fresh!"
Use Caution When Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are helpful to get a better night of sleep. However, they aren't for everyone. Some people may have a reaction to topical use, and others, who suffer from asthma or other sinus issues, may react by simply smelling the oils.
In an article for VeryWell Health, Dr. Daniel More reports, "Contact dermatitis to essential oils may occur in people who have experienced past rashes to fragrances or have allergy symptoms related to weed pollens."