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Do you ever have difficulty when you try to fall asleep and stay asleep? Have you tried everything on the market to help you sleep?
Getting a good amount of sleep is so important for your health.
Sleep helps your body and brain to function properly. And, a good night’s sleep can improve your learning, memory, decision-making, and even your creativity as well as your focus and concentration.
Alternatively, not getting enough sleep has been linked to a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Even though most people know how important getting a good night sleep is, our quality and quantity of sleep are at an all-time low. Falling asleep and staying asleep are affecting more and more people.
Getting a good night’s sleep, of course, starts with good sleep practices and habits.
Studies show that we shouldn’t drink caffeine before bed (or in the hours before), we should turn off all screens (TVs, cell phones, etc.) before bed and we shouldn’t get into bed until we are ready to sleep, but for some, that’s not enough.
Over the past year, this has been an issue plaguing my husband. He tried to take my Xanax, left over from my cancer treatments, (woke up feeling hungover), then a half of a Xanax (same thing).
Next, he tried melatonin and it worked to help him fall asleep but not stay asleep. He would wake up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back to sleep.
I decided to help him with some all-natural products.
We took a three-pronged approach:
- I diffuse Lavender Essential oil, Frankincense essential oil and White Angelica. (7 drops each of the first two and 1-2 drops of the last)
- I gave him SleepEssence, a nutritional supplement from Young Living (more on this below)
- He started to use the peace and calm roller on his wrists, back of neck and feet.
The very first night he used this combo (and every night since!) he has been falling asleep with no problem and staying asleep all night waking up refreshed. This was such a blessing to him. He finally gets the rest and rejuvenation he needs to work all day.
Why do these all-natural, plant-based products work to help you fall asleep and stay asleep?
There are many wonderful essential oils for sleep. We’ll cover just the essential oils for sleep that we use on a nightly basis.
Let’s take a look at each one and what they contain:
If you don’t have a diffuser, you’ll want to get one. We have one in nearly every room of our home. We especially enjoy ours for diffusing blends, such as the one below using essential oils for sleep.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender has been proven to increase beta waves in the brain resulting in heightened relaxation. It has also been used to treat burns, reduce depression and improve cognitive performance as well as relieve mental stress.
It is one of the few essential oils listed in the British Pharmacopoeia.
Moreover, lavender’s soothing fragrance is believed to enhance sleep.
In fact, several studies show that simply smelling lavender oil shortly before sleep may be enough to improve sleep quality.
A small study in the elderly with dementia reported that lavender was effective at improving sleep disturbance symptoms. Total sleep time increased. Fewer people also woke up very early and found themselves unable to get back to sleep.
Another study gave 221 people with anxiety disorder 80 mg of a lavender oil supplement or a placebo per day.
By the end of the 10-week study, both groups had experienced improvements in the quality and duration of sleep. However, the lavender group experienced 14–24% greater effects without any reported side effects.
Frankincense, also known as olibanum, the word is derived from the medieval French word for “real incense”.
Frankincense essential oil is special because it is created from the sap or ‘resin’ of the Boswellia sacra tree, as opposed to the plants, leaves, stems or flowers, as many other essential oils.
Frankincense helps soothe the mind and slow down breathing to promote a calm feeling, making it ideal for relaxation. It helps to reduce heart rate and high blood pressure and can help to ease anxiety and depression.
As Frankincense lowers the body’s anxiety and stress levels, this natural leads to a more rested sleep. It’s calming, grounding scent also helps open breathing passages, allowing your body to reach its ideal temperature for sleeping.
Among other things, Frankincense is used to treat depression and is muscle relaxing, which may aid sleep.
White Angelica, a blend of essential oils not only smells amazing (it has a sweet, floral aroma) but can promote the feeling of protection and security which may help as we try to fall asleep.
Harvested from plants native to exotic destinations around the world, the 10 essential oils in White Angelica™ essential oil blend come together to create a one-of-a-kind blend.
Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Melissa, and Rose provide sweet, floral notes; Bergamot and Melissa offer a boost of bright citrus; and Myrrh, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Hyssop, and Sacred Sandalwood balance the blend with a warm, woodsy base.
If I forget to diffuse this blend while we sleep, we both wake up in the middle of the night.
SleepEssence is THE ultimate sleep aid for my husband and I. It immediately helps us to fall asleep and stay asleep.
SleepEssence contains five powerful essential oils that have been studied to have unique sleep-enhancing properties. They are a softgel, vegetarian capsule for easy digestion.
The ingredients in SleepEssence include Melatonin, Coconut Fruit Oil, Lavender(see above), Vetiver, Valerian, Tangerine and Rue – all oils proven to promote rest and sleep.
What’s in SleepEssence and Why Does it Work?
Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces naturally, and it signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
This hormone’s cycle of production and release is influenced by time of day — melatonin levels naturally rise in the evening and fall in the morning.
For this reason, melatonin supplements have become a popular sleeping aid, particularly in instances where the melatonin cycle is disrupted, such as jet lag.
What’s more, several studies report that melatonin improves daytime sleep quality and duration. This is particularly beneficial for individuals whose schedules require them to sleep during the daytime, such as shift workers.
Moreover, melatonin may improve overall sleep quality in individuals with sleep disorders. Specifically, melatonin appears to reduce the time people need to fall asleep and increase the total amount of sleep time.
Melatonin supplements have shown to be safe for adults when used for short or long periods of time.
Valerian Root Essential Oil
Valerian is an herb that is native to Asia and Europe. Its root is most often used as a natural treatment for symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even menopause.
Valerian root is also one of the most commonly used sleep-assisting herbal supplements in the United States and Europe.
Menopausal and postmenopausal women have seen their sleep quality and sleep disorder symptoms improve after taking valerian, according to randomized controlled trials.
Two older literature reviews also reported that 300–900 mg of valerian, taken right before bedtime, may improve self-rated sleep quality.
Regardless, short-term intake of valerian root appears to be safe for adults, with few and minor, side effects which were found to be infrequent.
Vetiver Essential Oil
Vetiver essential oil, also called khus oil, is extracted from the vetiver plant, a clumpy, green grass native to India that can grow as high as five feet high or more. Vetiver is in the same family as other grasses used for their essential oils, including lemongrass and citronella.
Vetiver oil is a fragrant oil, with a distinctive sharp and earthy scent often used in high-end men’s cologne.
Vetiver essential oil is distilled from the vetiver plant’s roots, which are aged before being soaked in water. It’s used in holistic practice for its soothing, grounding capabilities.
Using vetiver oil in a diffuser while you sleep could help improve your breathing patterns. A small 2010 study measured the response of 36 people who were exposed to differing aromas during their sleep.
Vetiver oil increased the quality of exhalation and decreased inhalation when sleeping study participants detected it. This could mean vetiver oil could help people who snore heavily.
Vetiver oil may also help you if you experience anxiety. A 2015 animal study observed rats that were exposed to vetiver oil through inhaling its scent. The subjects of the study appeared to be more relaxed after vetiver oil exposure.
The tangerine fruit was used throughout history in Chinese culture and herbal health practices. Tangerine essential oil smells just like the tangy, sweet-smelling aroma that we smell from the tangerine fruit.
Tangerine fruit grows on the Citrus reticulata tree, an evergreen that bears bright orange, sweet citrus fruit and white flowers. Tangerine essential oil is taken from the peel or rind of the tangerine fruit through the process of cold expression. While the process of steam distillation uses heat to extract essential oils from plants, the process of cold pressing extracts the oil from the rind of the fruit.
Tangerine oil contains antioxidants and can be used in a variety of recipes for its flavor
Essential oils like Tangerine that have high levels of the monoterpene limonene are often known for their ability to have stimulating and enhancing effects on mood. The stimulating and mood-enhancing effects of tangerine can be experienced by using the oil aromatically—diffusing or inhaling the essential oil.
Studies are going on now about the effects of tangerine oil on sleep. From our experience, though, it works!
When found in essential oils, limonene is also known for its cleansing and purifying properties, which makes it helpful for cleansing surfaces around the home.
With a fresh scent and countless uses, this is a wonderful essential oil to have in your collection.
Rue Essential Oil
In traditional medicine, Rue was used to treat nervous afflictions, menstrual disorders and “hysteria”. Currently Rue is used for it’s sleep-inducing properties, reducing stress and nervousness. It has a calming and relaxing fragrance. A great choice for helping you fall asleep and stay asleep!
Rue has other uses, as well, which we’ll cover in a future post.
Recently, we ran out of Sleepessence (I know, I forgot to order it in time) and while my husband fell asleep just fine, he did wake up occasionally. (Now I always keep an extra bottle on hand, just in case).
There’s nothing like an all-natural way to fall asleep and stay asleep.
The essential oils for sleep mentioned above help us do just that in an all-natural way.
Peace and Calming Roller Blend
Peace and Calming is a blend that promotes relaxation and a deep sense of peace as well as emotional well-being. It can release tensions and uplift spirits.
We love it for helping us fall asleep and stay asleep.
It has been known to calm overactive children, as well.
It has been studied to show that it may reduce depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia. Many people use it for restless leg syndrome!
The ingredients in Peace and Calming are: Tangerine (see above), Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Blue Tansy essential oils.
Click the image below for a free (no email required) 7-page pdf with 33 amazing essential oils for sleep diffuser blends!
In a future post, I’ll share more about the ingredients in Peace and Calming.
Have a headache? Check out this post on all-natural headache helps.
Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Try one of the above amazing essential oils for sleep and enjoy a restful night!