SLEEP Part 2 - What's Keeping You Awake?
When it comes to sleep or not sleeping, I’ve had years to figure out what does & doesn’t work for me…
I’ve tried the herbal teas, the vitamins, meditation, the warm baths, Melatonin & almost every tablet in the health food store. Some work for a while, & some don’t work at all.
I find what keeps me awake can change from night to night. Most of the time it is my busy brain that is keeping me up. But there are other things that can keep you awake too. It may be restless legs or leg cramps. In the morning have you ever woken up with a sore jaw from clenching or grinding your teeth? And then there’s the big one… SNORING!!!
Because essential oils have so many different properties, they are a big help when you find yourself sleepless for whatever reason…
When Using essential oils at bedtime, try using an electronic diffuser for 30 - 60 min or use the intermittent setting. You can also try a room spray or personal inhaler as these methods work well for insomnia too. Also, have a few different types of essential oils on hand so you can switch them up because after a while, you can get used to them and they aren’t as effective. And keep in mind, everyone responds differently to essential oils, so what works for me, may not work as well for you. That being said…
Try diffusing some of these essential oils:
Falling Asleep: When you have trouble falling asleep try relaxing Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), Neroli (Citrus aurantium var amara), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) or Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) essential oils. (These essential oils are also good for younger children & the elderly, just use the proper dilution.)
Staying Asleep: If you wake up a lot during the night, try adding a grounding base note (or 2) like Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) or Cedarwood (Juniperus ashei / mexicana) to your Lavender, Bergamot or Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) and then diffusing it. (If you like a more floral scent you could substitute a couple of drops of Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata).
Snoring: Essential oils with antispasmodic and relaxing properties are helpful for snoring. If your snoring is due to a cold or sinus infection you may want to add a few drops of Eucalyptus Radiata (Eucalyptus radiate), Rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) or Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) to your diffuser. You can also apply the essential oils topically to the sides of your nose & under your jawline. My favorite is a blend of Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana), Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Lavender & Frankincense; Be sure to dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil before topical use.
Restless Legs: a condition where you have an urge to move your legs due to discomfort, that usually happens in the evening and tends to get worse as you age. The discomfort tends to be different for everyone, it may be tingling, itching, aching or a burning sensation. Essential oils to consider are Bergamot, Vetiver, Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis), Black Pepper (Piper nigrum), Sweet Marjoram and Lavender. Dilute 2 or 3 of these essential oils in a carrier oil or an unscented lotion and massage on your legs.
Legs Cramps: if you get feet or legs cramp up, try essential oils like Cypress, (Cupressus sempervirens), Sweet Marjoram, Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum), or Patchouli. If the leg cramps are from working out or are more severe try adding Black Pepper to the blend, diluted in a carrier oil and massaged on your calves and shins. This blend is more warming and it is soothing on the pain. ***Again, check out contraindications of the oils that you choose to use.
Jaw Clenching/Teeth Grinding: if you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw, it may be because you are clenching my jaw during the night. It can also cause headaches. Try a blend of Frankincense, Lavender, Spruce (Picea mariana) and if you like a cooling feeling try a drop of Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and massage it on your jaw and temples. Really helps for a headache too.
If occasional insomnia has become an ongoing issue and is affecting your everyday life it may be a good idea to get checked out by your doctor, just to rule out any underlying medical conditions. You may also want to consider having an aromatherapy consultation to see how essential oils could be a complementary addition to your wellness plans.
***Before using essential oils topically for yourself or for your family member, please do a bit of research to check the contraindications.
*While I really like Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil, it is best to avoid it if you have untreated low blood pressure or a low libido.
My Blog is for general information only & is not meant to diagnose or replace medical advice.
Essential Oils are for external use only & should always be diluted before topical use. My blog doesn't include all of the precautions or possible interactions that may occur.
Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd ed. Brisbane: International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2004. Print.
Davis, Patricia, Aromatherapy: An A-Z. London: Vermilion, 2005. Print. Worwood, V. A. (1991). The fragrant pharmacy: A home and health care guide to aromatherapy and essential oils. Toronto: Bantam. Print.