Essential oils have been used for centuries to aid in a number of ailments, including getting a restful night's sleep. One of the benefits of natural sleep remedies is they do not leave you feeling groggy or any of the other side effects associated with sleep aid medications. Let's take a look at the top natural sleep support remedies and how they can help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
Why is sleep important?
Most doctors recommend getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Although one sleepless night will not cause many issues, repeated sleepless nights increase your risk of:
• Cardiovascular problems – Sleep deprivation has been linked to irregular heartbeat, increased cortisol levels and high blood pressure.
• Disease – When you do not get enough sleep, your immune function can be altered, resulting in an increased risk of disease, including cancer.
• Learning problems– When you sleep, your brain consolidates memories to help you learn. Not getting enough sleep, can cause learning problems and decreased memory function.
• Mood swings – When you do not get enough sleep, you can experience mood swings, concentration difficulties, impatience and irritability.
• Safety issues– Sleep deprivation can cause you to fall asleep throughout the day, which can increase your risk of an accident or errors at work.
• Weight gain – Sleep deprivation affects how the body metabolizes carbohydrates as well as altering the hormones that control appetite.
Top essential oils for sleep
• Bergamot – Bergamot helps to stabilize and lift the mood. Additionally, it helps to reduce cortisol levels in the body to promote relaxation and provide stress relief. Bergamot stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine.
• Cedarwood – Cedarwood has a delightful woodsy scent that offers sedative qualities. In fact, it has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce anxiety and reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep. Cedarwood helps you get to sleep fast and get a full night's sleep.
• Lavender – The University of Maryland's Medical Center states that numerous studies have proven that lavender can be used to improve sleep quality and promote relaxation by slowing down the nervous system's activity. Furthermore, it can improve sleep quality, stabilize the mood, reduce anxiety and improve concentration in those suffering from sleep disorders. This essential oil can be applied topically, diffused or drank as a tea to relieve insomnia.
• Roman chamomile – Chamomile is one of the most popular natural sedatives. It can be steeped into a delicious tea, diffused or applied topically to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and relieve stress. The flavonoid, apigenin found in chamomile, increases relaxation, which increases total sleep time, improved sleep quality and improved daytime functioning.
• Valerian – Valerian has been used to relieve insomnia for more than 400 years. This powerful essential oil not only helps you fall asleep quickly but also improve the quality of sleep. It has been shown to relieve heart palpitations, headaches and nervous disorders. In addition to being diffused, valerian oil can be taken orally, massaged into the skin or drank as a tea to promote a good night's sleep.
• Vetiver – Vetiver oil has been used for thousands of years in Asia and West Africa. This potent herb offers soothing properties to relieve anxiousness and nervousness. Additionally, Dr. Axe reports that vetiver oil has been shown to improve insomnia. This powerful herb can be used in aromatherapy to help promote relaxation, relieve emotional stress, negate the effects of trauma and banish anxiety by altering neuron activation when the patient is under stress.
• Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang comes from the Cananga tree and offers sedative properties that help you get to sleep faster by alleviating stress and anxiety. The delightful scent of Ylang Ylang essential oil not only makes a great air freshener, it can be applied topically to the skin when it is diluted in a base oil, such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil. It helps to balance your hormones and calms the mood by healing emotional traumas, increasing joy and releasing pent-up emotions so that you can get the sleep your body needs.
Sleep disorders abound across America and affect people of all ages. Although there are pharmaceutical sleep aids available, most of these cause a number of side effects and can lead to addiction. Luckily, there are several natural substances that increase serotonin and promote relaxation to help ensure a healthy night's sleep.