Scent is a powerful sensory experience. If you’re having trouble sleeping these days, you may want to try an essential oil (or blend) to imbue you with relaxation and restful slumber. Our sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo shares her favourites.
Essential oils are all the rage right now – especially with growing awareness they can boost energy, improve sleep and even spruce up your sex life.
As a backstory, essential oils can engage your central nervous system: activating the parasympathetic to promote relaxation, or the sympathetic to stimulate.
And with respect to sleep, yes, lavender is great, ever wondered if there was a blend more targeted for your specific sleep problems – like pre-bed anxiety, nightmares, waking at 3am or morning fatigue?
Well, well, my sleep-deprived friend, wonder no more – that’s what today’s installment of Sleep Well Wednesdays is all about.
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While it may be called ‘Meditation’, this 100 percent certified organic blend doesn’t require you to practice to feel relaxed, the citrus infusion will do that for you.
Research indicates just 90 seconds of sweet orange oil helps decrease arousal in the prefrontal cortex.
As the ‘thinking centre’, this can lessen anxiety that may otherwise prevent you falling asleep.
It also contains mandarin – another anti-anxiety citrus oil recommended by aromatherapists.
Finally, the blend also contains bergamot – shown to improve sleep for 64 percent of individuals in a recent study.
If you are suffering nightmares or night terrors, this synergy is for you.
The hero ingredient here is juniper – a grounding oil shown in clinical trials to reduce unconscious stress – a typical cause of these sleeping problems.
The exotic blend also contains the rare blue tansy and coriander oils – both shown to relax the brain.
Needless to say, this oil should be your go-to for nightmares, night terrors, and during times of stress.
If you’re sick of waking up fatigued, this earthy blend is for you. Studies show sandalwood, one of the main ingredients, can increase NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep.
More time in NREM means deeper sleep during the eve, and come morning, greater mental clarity.
This is largely because this sleep stage helps detoxify beta-amyloid: a neurotoxin linked to memory loss.
The woody concoction also features ylang ylang and vetiver too – relaxing elements to further support sleeping deeply, and waking up more refreshed.
Struggling with high cortisol levels and 3am wake ups? Your prayers may have just been answered.
The stars of the show here are rose geranium and frankincense, found in numerous clinical trials to lower stress hormone cortisol. As this is the primary reason for 3am wakings, adding this to your nightly routine may see you sleep through the night.
Lowering cortisol is helpful to reduce that feeling of being ‘wired’, too, be it from stress or sleep deprivation.
Olivia Arezzolo is a sleep expert who holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology); Certificate of Sleep Psychology, Diploma of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine); Certificate of Fitness III + IV. You can find her online here.