Lavender Essential Oil Will Relax You and Offer a Good Night's Rest
Lavender Essential Oil Will Relax You and Offer a Good Night's Rest
Various essential oils have been used as medicinal treatments since ancient times, and Lavender is the best natural remedy for sound sleep.
By Mark Zuleger Thyss
Lavender, a purple flowering shrub, produces an essential oil that reduces stress and promotes relaxation via the limbic system. It calms the nervous system via potent chemical components such as linalool, linalyl acetate, and camphor that act as anxiety relievers and sedatives.
Aromatherapy is an alternative treatment system where oils extracted from natural sources, such as flowers, petals, and bark of plants, are used to improve stress levels.
Introducing certain oils in your bedtime routine can help you sleep better, as smell affects sleep. Inhaling scents or vapors of oils like Lavender and Rosemary will provide the relaxation you need.
As anyone who has experienced Insomnia will tell you, there is no substitute for a good night's sleep. But with all the pressures of modern life, sound sleep can be elusive.
Navigating research on essential oils can get problematic. Using potent-smelling oils as treatments is an ancient—but currently unlicensed—practice. Promising studies are backing some essential oils, but by and large, the scientific research isn’t conclusive.
For Sleep, Experts vote Lavender
Studies supporting Lavender oil as a sleeping aid are solid, even though they’re few, according to Dr. Charlene Gamaldo, at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep and Wellness. With her patients, Gamaldo is open to discussing lavender treatments via teas, oils, lotion, and sprays, as an alternative approach.
“Lavender compound specifically has been one of the most studied,” Gamaldo said. But she said she’d hesitate to use oils beyond Lavender because of limited scientific backing.
Women and Sleep Problems
Dr. Charlene Gamaldo is the medical director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital. Neurology, Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Medicine, Snoring Disorders
Sonoma Lavender Co.
Trouble Falling Asleep due to Stress or Anxiety?
Of American adults, over one-third don’t receive the required seven-plus hours of sleep each night. However, the essential oils market is increasing everywhere; many people have learned about essential oils and are eager to find out if they are beneficial when you can’t sleep.
Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on sleep, from work overload and hectic schedules to family crises. Worse still, lack of sleep can increase your stress levels.
Assists in optimizing nutrition to your individual needs, optimizing sleep, non-toxic living, and building stress resiliency.
Countless studies have shown Lavender's calming effects on the body's nerves, promoting restful sleep.
Most essential oils are made by crushing and steam-distilling parts of plants. Lavender is one such essential oil that is made this way.
There is a difference between lavender essential oil and lavender oil, a perfume. Unless the bottle label clearly states that it is an essential oil, it is not pure and should not be used, as we suggest in this article.
Bergamot, chamomile, cedar wood, ylang-ylang, and clary sage oils are also used for relaxation and sleep.
Lavender improves the Quality of your Sleep
Do you sleep all night and still wake up tired? There are different stages of sleep — and your body needs them all.
In the first phase, falling asleep, we spend time in light sleep, where we are most likely to be disturbed or awakened.
Deep sleep (slow sleep) is what your body requires most because it repairs, recharges, heals, and detoxifies. In the final stages, we move into REM sleep, where we dream. REM sleep is essential in learning, memory formation, and mood.
Sleep studies in young men and women have shown that inhaling lavender essential oil before bed increases deep sleep. Most importantly, participants slept more soundly and woke up more energetic and refreshed, all because they had a deeper sleep.
Additional Research on Lavender Oil
The researchers tracked the sleep patterns of a group of adults over a one-week period. Half of the participants slept in a room where lavender essential oil was sprayed throughout the night. The rest were monitored in another room, where a placebo oil was distributed.
The groups then switched rooms. At the end of the study, participants were surveyed. Those who slept in the lavender-scented room reported that they slept more soundly.
Lavender Essential Oil | Sweet, Floral, and Herbal Aroma
In another study, researchers monitored 30 volunteers who slept in a room scented with Lavender one night and in a room without a scent the next night. The volunteers slept better on a lavender night, and the researchers concluded that Lavender increased deep sleep — the deep, regenerative sleep essential for neurological function and immunity. Volunteers also reported having more energy the following day.
Postpartum mothers who inhaled lavender essential oil by keeping lavender-soaked cotton balls in their room also enjoyed improved sleep.
Please consult your doctor before using essential oils to treat any medical condition, especially if treating a baby or a child.
How does Lavender help us Sleep Better?
Linalool is the ingredient and main naturally occurring chemical compound found in Lavender and other plants like geranium and bergamot.
According to a study published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, linalool reduces anxiety. It shows similar—if not superior—effects to commonly prescribed drugs. Most interestingly, linalool exerts its calming effects when smelled rather than absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs, as previously thought.
Inhaling is the easiest way to get the full benefits of essential oil. For example, absorption into the bloodstream via the respiratory tract directly affects brain cell receptors, and this absorption can occur in a matter of seconds.
Millions of olfactory receptors ping when you smell Lavender. This instantly sets off a chain reaction in the brain that lowers blood pressure and calms your nerves.
Do you struggle with Insomnia?
Try diffusing Lavender a few hours before bed.
Put a few drops of Lavender on your hands and cup your palms over your nose and inhale the scent long and deep. Or take a few deep sniffs of lavender essential oil straight from the bottle. Or dab a little on your upper lip just under your nose.
If you prefer to use a cold diffuser, set it up to release the aroma of lavender oil for one hour before bed.
Spray your linens with a lavender mist to gently lull you to sleep. Cotton balls or tissues sprinkled with Lavender and slipped into your pillowcase is another method.
Lavender can be placed on a pillow to inhale during the night or combined with other oils and used for massage as the skin easily absorbs it.
Linalool, linalyl acetate, and camphor act as anxiety relievers and sedatives. These components interact with the brain and nervous system to reduce agitation, restlessness, and aggression. All are found in Lavender essential oil.
Combining lavender aromatherapy with sleep hygiene techniques improves sleep more than Lavender alone.
Certain essential oils - and other herbs - used properly, are excellent natural ways to improve sleep. Some of these might help you drift into slumber:
There is increasing consumer demand for natural products which promote wellness. Many people are turning away from conventional medicines, primarily due to concerns about risks and side effects, and are seeking natural alternatives.
Aromatherapy is a holistic, natural therapy and a type of complementary medicine. The technique uses essential oils, which are pure oils extracted from plants.
Lavender and Rosemary essential oils are simple, gentle, and effective treatments for restful sleep.
Why Essential Oils Like Lavender are Unsafe for Cats
Not all natural remedies, even those that are safe and beneficial for humans, are good for cats. Essential oils are harmful to our furry feline friends.
Cats have very acute senses of smell and delicate, thin skin, which allows for quicker absorption of concentrated substances into their bloodstream. Cats can’t efficiently metabolize the compounds in essential oils, which can lead to toxic build-up in their bodies.
Other essential oils that are toxic to cats:
- Citrus oils
- Any other oils containing phenols
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