Self, Health And Wellness

If You're Having Trouble Sleeping, Try These 5 Essential Oils

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How To Fall Asleep Faster Using Essential Oils For Sleep

Do you ever have restless nights when you toss and turn for hours and finally fall asleep an hour before the alarm goes off? Do you fall asleep easily but then wake repeatedly through the night — from night sweats, the urge to empty your bladder, and/or disturbing dreams? 

If you're experiencing any sleep disorders or suffering through sleep deprivation, you definitely need to know some helpful health tips and learn how to fall alseep faster. And one way to achieve good rest is to try essential oils for sleep. 

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, over one-third of people who visit a doctor’s office have sleep issues, yet they rarely mention these problems and the doctor rarely asks.

As a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, I ask patients every visit about sleep — how easily they fall asleep and stay asleep, and how many hours they sleep. 

RELATED: 20 Ways To Start Sleeping Better & Stop Feeling So Tired All The Time

Dr. James Maas, Ph.D., researched and taught about sleep for 48 years at Cornell University. Maas suggests most humans require 9–10 hours of sleep to function optimally.

According to a 2013 Gallop poll, Americans average 6.8 hours of sleep with 59 percent of the US population sleeping more than seven hours and 40 percent sleeping less than seven hours. In the 1940’s, people in the U.S. slept an average of 7.9 hours.

Some essential oils are powerful, natural medicines that support and calm the nervous system, relax muscles, and prepare the mind and body to sleep.

Here are 5 essential oils you need to try for better sleep.

1. Bergamot Citrus aurantium (var. bergamia)

This citrus essential oil calms nerves and uplifts mood without over-stimulating the nervous system. A study in Japan with 40 subjects massaged a combination of bergamot and lavender essential oils diluted in a carrier oil on their abdomen. Blood pressure and pulse rates dropped, and people in the study reported feeling "more relaxed" and "calmer"

Word of caution: bergaptene, one of the constituents in bergamot, can increase sun sensitivity. Avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours after using on the skin.

2. Clary sage

Salvia sclarea calms muscle spasm and relieves pain.

3. Lavender Lavandula angustifolia

This supports relaxation and protects the nerves. In addition, lavender helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, has antimicrobial activity, and reduces pain and stress.

RELATED: Sleep Makes You Beautiful (Says Science): 5 Ways To Get More Zzzs

4. Roman chamomile

Chamaemelum nobile reduces muscle spasming and calms inflammation. If pain disturbs your sleep, Roman chamomile is a wonderful ally.

5. Sandalwood Santalum album

This reduces muscle spasms and has a sedating effect. Sandalwood is particularly helpful if you have restless leg syndrome or calf muscle cramps.

To maximize the benefit of these essential oils for sleep, you need to do these things:

  • Remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated, so one drop of essential oil is roughly equivalent to 30 cups of tea!
  • Placing one drop of essential oil on your pillow is plenty.
  • Use a diffuser with a timer and turn on for 15–30 minutes when you first get in bed. Continuous diffusion through the night is very hard on the liver (the primary organ that breaks down and excretes essential oils).
  • Add 2-3 drops of essential oils to a tablespoon of pure, organic vegetable oil or lotion and massage into your skin before bed. Focus on the hands, feet, and abdomen to maximize absorption.
  • Rotate the oil(s) you are using every two weeks to minimize the possibility of developing sensitivity to the oils. If you become sensitized to one oil, you may become reactive to all essential oils, and then you will have lost this powerful therapeutic tool.
  • Choose oils you enjoy. If you dislike a scent, even if it is indicated for sleep, you probably won’t use it, and the irritating odor may even further disrupt your sleep.

Essential oils are natural allies in calming the mind, relaxing muscle tension, and preparing for sleep.

RELATED: 6 Natural Remedies That'll Help You Fall Asleep Fast (And Stay Sleeping Throughout The Night)

Dr. Judith Boice is a Naturopathic Doctor, Licensed Acupuncturist, and Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. Schedule your free Whole Body, Whole Life session here.

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This article was originally published at My website, Reprinted with permission from the author.