Sleep, so necessary but so problematic for many of us. No matter how much you try to sleep, a good sleep may elude you and instead of waking up well rested in the morning you wake up tired and become easily irritated during the day. So you try to get to bed early the next night but again it takes ages to get to sleep and you become anxious that you won't get to sleep at a decent time and again you will wake up tired the next day and again be irritable or just not able to concentrate well on your tasks. So many of us have this problem. Read on to check out the ten best essential oils to help with sleep as well as top natural techniques to complement the essential oils.
The 10 best essential oils for sleep.
1. Lavender: There is nothing equal to lavender essential oil when it comes to sleep! It helps calm the central nervous system and decrease anxiety like nothing else and is the most widely used essential oil for insomnia. Put a drop on a tissue and put it next to your pillow or put 3 drops in your diffuser. Never put too much in as it becomes stimulating. You can also use the lavender aura rollon and roll it on to your temples, wrists and soles of your feet or the pillow mist and spray that on to your pillow.
2. Chamomile: A beautiful & gentle essential oil for soothing the nervous system. Chamomile is widely used for insomnia. Apply the diluted essential oil to your temples & feet before sleep.
3. Vetiver: A deep and smoky aroma which is very calming and grounding. It is great for stress and anxiety and widely used for insomnia. Sweet dreams is a blend of lavender and vetiver for a peaceful sleep.
4. Cedarwood: A soothing and calming aroma helping to ground and decrease anxiety and useful for getting to sleep.
5. Marjoram: A calming oil for the nervous system and often used for insomnia especially that resulting from stress. This oil should not be used on a nightly basis for an extended length of time as it is believed that it dampens emotional and sexual response.
6. Neroli: Soothing and brings about a beautiful sense of peace. Neroli calms the nervous system and lessens anxiety, helping sleep.
7. Sandalwood: Soothing and decreases anxiety. A beautiful Australian oil which relaxes, grounds and helps sleep.
8. Melissa: A beautifully calming yet uplifting oil which is often used for sleep issues, stress and anxiety.
9. Sweet orange: This is another relaxing essential oil which works well with children's sleep issues and also is useful for stress. Good to blend with another essential oil such as lavender or chamomile for sleep.
10. Ylang ylang: an intense floral aroma and a great oil for relaxing the nervous system and for decreasing anxiety, helping sleep.
Natural techniques to help sleep
1. Try some crystals. One of the best crystals for sleep is amethyst as it is very calming and well used for sleep. It can be good to use a tumbled amethyst as a worry stone to empty out any worries before you go to sleep. Smoky quartz is also very effective as it helps with grounding and is sedating, helping you to fall asleep as well as protect from nightmares.
2. Is your bedroom relaxing? Is your bed suitable for your unique needs for sleep?Look at the mattress and the pillows and the bed coverings. Do they keep you warm enough (or cool enough)? Are they soft or firm enough?
3. Try to go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time everyday.
4. Limit screen time before bed, both because of the stimulating light of the screen but also the possible stimulating nature of what you are watching or reading. Try not to watch stimulating movies of television programmes close to bedtime.
5. Adopt a relaxing, winding down routine before bed. Try some quick meditation before sleep (even just 5 minutes is extremely useful), read in bed, take an epsom salts bath with 5-10 drops of one of the essential oils listed above. A body scan is very useful to. To do this just move from your feel to your head scanning each part, noticing (without getting caught up) how each part is feeling, whether there are any sensations, and letting any tightness go.
6. If you have problems turning your mind off before sleep, try journalling to empty your mind or just try a 'brain dump' where you just write down everything on your mind at that time.
7.Try using an affirmation as you go to sleep. Affirmations are positive sentences in the present tense that you repeat to yourself. For example, a great affirmation for sleep is "I go to sleep easily and I wake up refreshed".
8. Try some EFT tapping. 'Even though I can't get to sleep right now, I deeply & completely accept myself. Even though I can't get to sleep right now and this is making me anxious, I honour how I feel. Even though I can't get to sleep right now and I am feeling anxious, I wonder if I can let some of this go" and then continue with all the negative aspects going through your mind until you feel a shift then you can move on to more positive aspects, such as "I listen to my breath and allow it to guide my into a peaceful sleep, I welcome sleep, I allow my body to completely relax, allowing my mind to quiet".
9. Make sure you get outside during the day and get some exercise.
10. Be mindful about what you eat in the evening. Avoid sugar and heavy meals to close to bed time. A small snack before bed can help, such as half a banana, milk or yoghurt. kiwi fruit, walnuts & almonds (any foods containing triptophan) or a drink of chamomile tea or other sleep tea. Try not to consume any caffeine after 4pm and limit caffeine consumption during the day.
Photo by David Clode from unsplash.com