Sleep is deeply connected to health, so today I’m excited to share with you about essential oils to improve sleep.
During sleep your mind and your body recover from the stress of everyday life. Specifically, your muscles get repaired, your brain gets cleared of toxins, you form new memories, and your body produces the necessary hormones for the upcoming day.
However, if you aren’t sleeping well, your health will soon show it in many big and small ways. And the problem is made worse by a feedback mechanism: poor health additionally contributes to poor sleep, which in turn makes your health worse.
So how do you make sure you’re getting the health benefits of proper sleep?
Clearly, the first step is to get enough sleep. However, while quantity is important, sleep quality also matters tremendously.
In other words, it’s possible you spend enough time in bed, but you are lying wide awake because you can’t fall asleep, or you are nodding off and then waking up many times because you can’t reach deep sleep. In those cases, you aren’t getting the restorative benefits of sleep.
The good news is there are natural remedies for improving your sleep, and essential oils are a great place to start.
Which essential oils can help you get to sleep, and help you stay asleep? Here’s a list of 7 oils that might be the most helpful:
In various ways, all of these oils relieve anxiety, regulate and decrease stress hormones, and relax nerves. The upshot is these oils can help you to fall asleep more quickly, and to sleep more deeply.
To make it easier and more cost effective for our customers, during the editing of this article, I was inspired to put together a blend that includes all of these oils and more. The blend is called Sweet Dreams, and it just became our newest product.
How should you use these essential oils to improve sleep? There are several different ways.
First, you can blend 20 drops of Sweet Dreams, or alternatively one, some or all of the above essential oils with 1 oz. carrier oil. Massage this into the back of your neck, chest and the soles of your feet before going to bed.
Second, you can use these oils in an aromatic and relaxing bath before bed. Mix 15 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil, and then add this to your bathwater once it’s already drawn.
Third, you can simply diffuse the essential oils to improve sleep in your bedroom — this can be particularly effective if you have more trouble staying asleep rather than falling asleep.
Fourth, some people, especially children can be dramatically helped simply by applying Vetiver to the soles of their feet. Please see this article for proper dilution ratios for children.
Along with essential oils, I’ve got a few other recommendations for improving sleep.
The first comes from Dr. Stasha Gominak, a neurologist from Texas who started out by trying to treat her patients’ headaches. She discovered that almost all her patients were experiencing sleep problems, and that deep down, this was linked to a vitamin D deficiency.
This makes sense if you think about it. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin — your body makes it when you are exposed to sufficient quantities of sunlight. If you are inside the whole day, or you’re living in climates where you don’t see the sun for months, it’s easy to imagine that your internal sleep regulation might fall out of step.
The solution in this case is to get adequate vitamin D. The best source is of course plentiful sunshine. If you can’t get enough sun for whatever reason, you can get vitamin D from natural food sources such as fermented cod liver oil, or fish such as sardines, mackerel, or sablefish.
The second natural suggestion I’ve got for you to improve sleep is a bit unusual. I’m suggesting you eat more bone broth.
Bone broth contains amino acids present in the bone, the cartilage, and the marrow, which you are probably not getting otherwise in large amounts. One of these amino acids is glycine, which has been shown to help improve sleep quality, particularly for people who have trouble staying asleep.
Glycine has become a popular supplement specifically for improving sleep quality, but I prefer natural, whole-foods solutions rather than supplements, and that’s why I’m recommending bone broth. Bone broth is full of rare amino acids like glycine to help you sleep, and in addition it will help your health in a number of other ways (for example, by improving your digestion).
I hope this advice helps you sleep better. And if you’d like me to prepare a special essential oil sleep blend for you, please email me at [email protected].