Here are the best essential oils for sleep. The trick is finding exactly which essential oil your body likes best. Since every person is different, an oil that might send one person straight to dreamland, might not do a thing for someone else. So here are the top 5 best essential oils for sleep.
Sleep: That thing we all “have to” do. That most coveted of conditions, though often the most avoided, or the most difficult to achieve. One thing is for certain, when it’s time to lie down and close our eyes to replenish, we would all like two things… for it to be easy to fall asleep, and to awaken hours later feeling refreshed.
Yet, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Americans spent $32.4 billion on sleep aids in 2012 alone, with 8.6 million people reporting they took medications for sleep just in the month of July 2013. WebMD reports that between a third and a half of all Americans “have insomnia and complain of poor sleep.”
Something is clearly going wrong if so many people are sleeping so badly. But surely taking a pill to sleep isn’t that big a deal, right? Well, unfortunately it’s not that simple.
Pharmaceutical sleeping medications, as most modern medications, come with a host of side effects, with some being known to be addictive and eventually even affecting memory and attention span. Of course, not all sleeping pills are alike. Some are actually anti-anxiety meds, some depress the central nervous system and are sedative, some affect melatonin or brain chemistry, and others simply make it easier to fall asleep.
I’m betting you probably aren’t surprised to see lavender at the top of the list, huh? Most people are aware that lavender is somehow related to sleep, but what most people don’t know is that this has been studied extensively and its effectiveness is more than just an Old Wives Tale. One study done in the United Kingdom showed promising results in using the aroma of Lavender oil for better sleep. And another study observed that inhalation of lavender and several other essential oils improved sleep qualify of 65 ICU patients. So as innocent as lavender may seem, it packs an impressive (and very scientific) punch in the sleep department. Vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of the plant. It’s rich and earthy smelling, and it’s my go-to oil when I need to help my brain “shut-off” for the night. It took me a while to get used to the smell, so if you are a vetiver newbie, you might try mixing it with a “lighter” oil, such as lavender. Roman Chamomile essential oil is known for is calming, soothing, and relaxing properties. It has a light, floral scent and is wonderful for creating a peaceful atmosphere in your bedroom. ylang ylang is a wonderful choice if you are looking to improve the quality of your sleep. It’s very floral and smells a bit fruity (at least to me). I’ve had a strange attraction to bergamot ever since I opened my first bottle. Bergamot is a citrus fruit and the oil is cold-pressed from the rind or peel. Most citrus oils (like grapefruit or wild orange) tend to have a bit of a stimulating effect, but bergamot is different. It’s bright, yet calming at the same time. It’s one of the first ones I reach for when I need a bit of “emotional balancing,” and I add it to ALL of my sleep blends.