Sleep soundly with essential oils

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“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker

They say you should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle and to many of us, that seems near impossible. With all that we have going on in our busy lives, we often feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. If we don’t cross everything off our to do lists, the first thing that usually gets sacrificed is sleep. Staying up an extra couple of hours in an attempt to stick to our schedules maybe helps us stay on top of things but in the end, it’s actually more harmful than helpful.

Sleep (or lack thereof) affects every area of our daily lives, both physically and emotionally. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Med School, your body manages and requires sleep in much the same way that it regulates the need for eating, drinking, and breathing. Just as being overloaded with work or other commitments can sometimes make us “forget” to eat or forces us to take a second and remember to breathe, not getting adequate sleep can wreak havoc on our health. Extensive research has been done on the effects of sleep and these studies have consistently shown that sleep plays a vital role in promoting physical health, longevity, and emotional well-being.

“Healing accelerates when we sleep. During sleep, our level of physical activity is markedly reduced, providing more energy for detoxification, repair and healing.” – Deep Immunity: Understanding Your Body's Immune System by Dr. A Godfrey

Sometimes though, it’s not a lack of time that is the issue but rather an inability to relax and actually fall asleep. It should take about 10 to 20 minutes for us to fall into a sleep cycle, but how many of us lay awake for much longer, night after night? If you’re taking longer than 20 minutes to drift off to dreamland, your body is probably trying to tell you something.

There are some natural sleep remedies using essential oils that can induce a calm, relaxed and/or sedative state. Here are some quick tips that I like to use to fend off restless nights.

Caution: Please check with your health care practitioner before using essential oils during pregnancy.

    Choose an essential oil blend to add to your bath before going to bed. Use 5 to 10 drops for adults, 3 to 5 drops for kids over three, and only 1 drop of a very gentle oil such as Chamomile or Lavender for children under three.
      Suggested blends (adjust as necessary depending on age)
      4 Chamomile + 4 Lavender + 1 teaspoon of milk or cream
      2 Ylang Ylang + 4 Sweet Orange

       

        Add 1 or 2 drops of a relaxing oil onto a tissue or cotton pad and tuck it inside your pillow.
          Suggested blends
          1 Lavender + 1 Bergamot or Chamomile

           

            Add 5 to 10 drops to a diffuser or vaporizer in your bedroom.
              Suggested blends
              4 Lavender + 2 Tangerine
              3 Lavender + 2 Roman Chamomile + 2 Ylang Ylang

               

              Sweet dreams!

              --Lisa

               

              Cover image via History Hole