The number of people suffering from insomnia is on the rise. Today, the power of sleep is really undermined, and people seem to be ‘getting by’ with a meagre 4-5 hours of sleep.
Are we going insane?
Sleep is essential to our mind and body as it blocks out all the outside stimulus and allows the brain to focus on the internal world. During this time, our minds de-stress, our immune system fights viruses, and our bodies heal and repair different kinds of tissue, reinvigorating our entire system.
Without enough rest, your body will not be able to function optimally, and this is sure to impair your daily activity.
Getting enough shut-eye has more to do with the quality of your sleep rather than the number of hours you pass out for. You want to enter the deep state of REM sleep, where your body is most rested, and maximum healing occurs.
But to do this, you’ll need to prepare your body to sleep by relaxing and letting go of everything that has occurred during the day. This is where lavender oil plays a crucial role.
Why Lavender Essential Oil for Sleep?
Lavender essential oil has been used for centuries now, and it is popular for its versatility. It is used to cleanse cuts, heal bruises, and soothe skin irritations. This magical oil can even counteract the effects of nausea and prevent you from throwing up.
But lavender oil is best known for curing anxiety and insomnia, making it the ideal essential oil to put you to sleep.
Lavender oil releases a pleasant fragrance that’s both calming and rejuvenating to the senses. Using this oil can promote better sleep, and ultimately, better health.
How You Should Use Lavender Oil for Sleep?
Lavender oil has two main effects to help induce sleep – it produces a calming effect when applied and it acts as a sleep inducer by making you feel drowsy.
Many people find it difficult to sleep after a stressful day. The events of that particular day keep playing over and over again, making it difficult to slow your thoughts and find peace. This can make it challenging to fall asleep, as your mind is alert and active even when you don’t want it to be.
This is where lavender oil comes in handy. All you have to do is rub 2 to 3 drops of this oil into your palms and then breathe deeply to inhale the scent. Allow the fragrance to seep into your amygdala gland in the brain. This specialised gland is located in the centre of the brain and is responsible for our perception of fear, worry, anxiety and other emotional responses.
The fragrance of lavender oil helps to soothe this emotional warehouse, reducing the intense activity that goes on in this region. After inhaling the scent, you want to rub a little oil into your feet, temple, and wrists to induce a calming effect. This oil works miracles for when you’re planning to sleep or even when you’re sitting in a crowded bus, train, or plane. It helps to rid your body of anxiety, allowing you to enter into a more relaxed state.
Being such a strong relaxant, lavender oil is highly-effective in inducing sleep. Here are a few ways to use it:
- Hot Bath
Before going to bed, you can run a warm bath and pour a few drops of lavender oil into it. To make the bath even more relaxing, add some epsom salts to it. Soak yourself for about 15-20 minutes and just let go off all your stress and worries. The warm water and the fragrance of lavender is sure to work wonders.
- Self Massages
Besides inhaling the fragrance, lavender oil also works great when rubbed into your temples, the soles of your feet, and the palms of your hands.
If you haven’t got time to massage yourself or take a warm bath, simply buy a lavender oil candle and place it next to your bed. Light the candle, lie down, and allow your body to sink into the softness beneath. Remember to blow out the candle just before you pass out!
- Lavender Pillow
It would be so convenient to buy a pillow made of lavender, but since that isn’t available, we can use the next best thing; a lavender-infused pillow. All you have to do it rub a drop or two of lavender oil on your palms and gently smooth it out over your pillow. Rest your head on this pillow and you’re sure to inhale the sweet, sleep-inducing fragrance of lavender.
A Few Additional Tips
Lavender oil is sure to help enhance the quality of your sleep, and leave you feeling more energetic when you’re awake. But this alone is not enough, you need to be more stringent with your sleep timings if you hope to improve the quality of your life.
Be sure to sleep at around the same time every night and wake up at roughly the same time every day. Your body needs to adapt to a certain timing, and once it does, you’ll notice that falling asleep is a lot easier.
You also want to avoid using electronic gadgets like your computer, tablet, or mobile phone just before falling asleep. Majority of the population love to fall asleep while holding onto their phones. The light from your phone can be disturbing, and it affects melatonin production, causing a disruption in your sleep patterns.
It’s best to switch off at least half an hour before falling asleep, so your body knows when it’s time to sleep. When you’re body is aware of a particular sleep timing, it becomes a lot easier to induce a state of drowsiness, which eventually leads to sleep.
So clean up your lifestyle and get yourself a bottle of lavender essential oil. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you fall asleep thereafter.
[Also read: Best Essential Oils To Help You Sleep]