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If you’re like most people, you have a love-hate relationship with sleep.
Between insomnia, waking up in the middle of the night, or oversleeping yet still feeling unrested, there is no shortage of annoying sleep disturbances.
In some cases, sleep trouble can suggest an underlying condition like depression, sleep apnoea, and many other possibilities. In others, however, it’s just plain obnoxious in its own right.
That’s why you need to keep the best essential oils for sleep within reach on your night stand.
Studies show that many essential oils can have either a stimulating or depressive effect on the central nervous system.
But don’t associate “depressive” with “depression.” This simply means they can slow down the nervous system so your brain can stop thinking about that embarrassing mistake you made at work months ago and you can get on with your Zs.
One study showed that vetiver essential oil was as effective as diazepam (Valium) for reducing anxiety and slowing the central nervous system – that's pretty powerful! Place a few drops of vetiver into a warm bath one hour before bedtime to conk out naturally without drugs.
Lavender is one of the most widely studied essential oils for sleep. One double-blind study showed that lavender essential oil is comparable to taking 0.5 mg of lorazepam (Ativan) daily for generalized anxiety. Others show that lavender can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer – who doesn’t want that?
Research suggests that ylang ylang essential oil can lower blood pressure, reduce heart palpitations, calm the central nervous system, and promote overall relaxation as a result.
Sandalwood contains two special compounds that have an intense effect on the central nervous system: α-santalol and β-santalol. These substances are utilized in Chinese medicine as a sedative and studies show they really work.
Cedarwood is closely related to sandalwood but it’s much more cost-effective as far as essential oils for sleep go. Although there aren’t any formal studies on cedarwood’s specific effects on sleep and the central nervous system, this essential oil is often used as a sedative for treating anxiety and insomnia. Just give it a smell and you’ll see why.
Manuka is a powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory oil. It produces a relaxing effect when added to a bath or oil diffuser. Plus, it’s great for soothing those sore muscles that keep you tossing and turning all night.
If you typically sip a cup of chamomile tea to fall asleep at night, consider switching to chamomile essential oil. Chamomile is another widely studied natural solution for calming nerves, reducing stress, and promoting healthy sleep.
Try blending a few of these essential oils together for an intense alternative to anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills.
Soak in an essential oil-infused magnesium bath just before bed or do some night-time yoga with a diffuser running.
Try some essential oils tonight for high-quality Zs.