• 5 Essential Oils That Aid Sleep

    Not enough sleepToday, I’m feeling a little bit sleep deprived because I did chair massage for the nurses on third shift at a local hospital for Nurses Appreciation Week last night. This makes 7 years of doing this event and the alarm always rings a little bit earlier (OK, a whole lot earlier) than I’d like it to the next morning. Every. Single. Year. Lucky for me, however, I was able to get to sleep pretty quickly once I got home and I was able to stay asleep… until the alarm ripped me from my sweet dreams, that is.

    This got me thinking about sleep and the role that essential oils can play in it. I stayed up later than normal last night but I got up at my usual time. No amount of aromatherapy is going to be able to help me with that. (But a pot of strong tea sure is helping. 😉 ) 

    Aromatherapy can, however, help with many other sleep issues. If you find yourself having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, check out the 5 essential oils listed below. All you need to do is to put 1-2 drops on your pillowcase or in your diffuser to help you drift off to dreamland and stay there.

    • Roman Chamomile – is a powerful stress reliever and will help calm you so that you fall asleep easily.
    • Lavender – will help calm and relax you to put you into a sleep-ready state. It’s also a sedative so it can make you sleepy, as well. But exercise restraint and only use a couple drops; too much lavender oil can actually act as a stimulant.
    • Valerian – is more sedative than either chamomile or lavender. Of the 5 oils listed, this one has the least pleasing aroma, but it’s great when mixed with one of the calming oils like lavender or chamomile.
    • Clary Sage – is another stress relieving oil with sedative properties. It’s also wonderfully balancing for women with sleep difficulties due to hormonal issues like PMS or perimenopause. Caveat: do NOT use if you are pregnant, nursing, or have (or have had) an estrogen-dependent cancer of any type.
    • Neroli – is a top notch stress and anxiety reliever and has gentle sedative and tranquilizing qualities as well.

    Remember: Single oils are simple solutions to what are sometimes complex problems. If you feel that any one of these alone isn’t helping as much as you’d like, try using two of them in combination. If that doesn’t work, I’d highly suggest 2 things: 1) seeing your doctor to have a sleep study done; aromatherapy won’t help if you have undiagnosed/untreated sleep apnea or other sleep disorder;  and 2) seeing a certified* or registered** aromatherapist for a consultation and custom sleep blend. 

    *Certified aromatherapist =  has at least 100 hours of accredited education. I fall into this category, with over 120 hours of training.

    **Registered aromatherapist = at least 400 hours of accredited education and has passed the registration exam

    Do you know someone who has trouble sleeping? Share this blog post with them via social media using the handy buttons right below this post.

6 Responses so far.

  1. Yanna says:

    Congratulations on your ongoing nurse appreciation work! I bet they’re grateful to see you when you arrive with your chair.

    • Michelle Doetsch says:

      They are more appreciative than any first shifter has ever been! It totally makes it worth it!

  2. I have lavender tea. Would that be relaxing to drink at night? I never thought of using it at night.

    • Michelle Doetsch says:

      Lavender tea is great at bedtime. My personal favorite, though, is a lavender/chamomile blend. Yummy and relaxing. Mmmmm…

  3. Cheri says:

    A university in Texas did experiments and found that Jasmine is one of the best for a restful night’s sleep.

    • Michelle Doetsch says:

      Yes, Jasmine is a great sleep aid! Since it’s technically an absolute and not an essential oil and I wanted to keep the list to just 5, I decided not to use it.