SLEEP HACKS: ESSENTIAL OILS

Ever find yourself scrolling through Facebook, mulling over negative thoughts, or running through your endless to-do list right before closing your eyes to sleep? You know you shouldn't but you just can't help it...

It's no surprise that doing these things is going to have a knock-on effect on your sleep. So instead of doing it, why not try to put the phone down and clear your head with a few deep breaths and some plant power in the form of essential oils. 

It can be as easy as putting a few drops into the palm of your hand and inhaling. Here are a few to try: 

Valerian

Valerian is your best friend when it comes to sleep and this is the one MUST HAVE oil. It's a well known sedative and treatment for insomnia, and it also lifts depression, balances emotions and settles digestion! It's got a strong earthy, musky and woody smell which can be quite overpowering and unpleasant so it's best to use sparingly or blended with sweeter oils. You can also drink valerian tea an hour before bed, the Pukka one is the best in my opinion.

Vetiver

This spicy amber oil can be quite expensive due to the distillation process but works wonders on an emotional level and grounds you when you feel panicky. Also helps heal wounds when applied topically! Blends well with lots of other oils. 

Bergamot

This smooth rich-smelling oil is great for balancing the body and mind. It can relieve nervous tension by stimulating dopamine and serotonin while giving a sedative, relaxing and content feeling. Blends well with Lavender.

Cedarwood

This oil has a warm, woody scent that is grounding and calming, which helps get your relaxation on. By helping to producing serotonin it causes the release of melatonin, which your brain takes as a signal to sleep.

If you’re new to essential oils then here 's a few simple ways to to use them at bedtime:

  • Inhale the smell by applying a drop of oil to your hands and cupping it around your nose while you breathe deeply
  • Apply a couple of drops of oil to the corner of your pillowcase (some oils may stain so don't use your best bedding) or the neck of your PJ t-shirt
  • Add 10 drops to an aromatherapy diffuser and put it on in your bedroom 10 minutes before you go to bed
  • Add a few drops to a warm bath or on the corner of your shower tray

 

Things to remember: Not all essential oils are created equal! For the therapeutic effect, choose pure 100% undiluted oils. Always use essential oils with caution, some are not suitable for use during pregnancy and other medical conditions. Even if you're strapped for time it's best to put the phone down BEFORE you climb in to bed and have a few minutes of quiet time to release anything from the day. 
 

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