Do you ever feel like you just can’t get a handle on your stress? Like there is so much to do, and it just keeps piling up?
You’re not alone.
Many women like you struggle with stress. The demands of balancing work and family can make it difficult to relax. Sometimes, racing minds and negative internal scripts disrupt your peace and keep sleep from coming easily.
But did you know that scent has been shown to have a powerful influence on the brain? That it has the ability to soothe tumultuous thoughts and anxious feelings. There are a variety of essential oils well-suited to calming internal hurricanes, so you can release stress, relax and fall into a restful sleep.
Keep these five staples on hand so a difficult night doesn’t catch you unprepared:
You may already be aware of lavender’s relaxing properties. It is a favorite in aromatherapy remedies designed to calm troubled minds and encourage sleep, and is found everywhere from nighttime lotion to baby wash.
However, you may not know that lavender has been studied extensively in the scientific community. In fact, one study determined that lavender offers similar results to anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.
Though Europe is typically credited for producing most of the world’s lavender, this valuable plant is now being grown in countries around the globe. For example, farmers in Australia, China and Argentina are enjoying the pleasure and profit that comes from lavender cultivation.
Many avid students of essential oils overlook the calming properties of sandalwood, which is primarily grown in India and Australia. Its deep, woody scent offers peace and serenity, reminding you that even when stressful situations reach their peak, this too shall pass.
For centuries, sandalwood has played a part in the Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic faiths, resulting in over-harvesting of the trees. As a result, prices for sandalwood essential oil are on the higher end of the spectrum.
Though sandalwood costs a bit more than others on this list, you will enjoy its effects with just a few drops, so your purchase will last quite a while. Sandalwood combines nicely with other, brighter scents, making it a good choice to partner with your favorites for a stronger impact.
Bergamot is a perky citrus scent, but it does not have the same livening effect as other citrus essential oils. Instead, bergamot is known to bring calm and emotional balance — two qualities that are critical for relaxing when you are under stress.
Bergamot supports the processing and releasing of negative emotions, such as self-doubt, feelings of shame and any sense of being inferior. Studies show that it reduces the physical effects associated with stress and anxiety, such as chronic insomnia, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Much of the bergamot essential oil you enjoy is produced in the southern regions of France and Italy, as this fruit flourishes in warm – almost tropical – conditions. One hundred bergamot oranges are required to extract a three-ounce bottle of essential oil.
Note that bergamot is extremely sensitive to sunlight, so it must be stored in a dark container and/or in a dark cupboard to retain potency. Also, If you apply bergamot in any form to your skin, be sure to protect the area from sun exposure for at least 24 hours.
The soothing properties of chamomile extend further than the simple teas that have formed the foundation of folk remedies for generations. Using chamomile essential oils for aromatherapy in the bedroom offers full-body relaxation. As you breathe in, your thoughts calm, and you are better able to fall asleep.
Though Roman chamomile is native to western Europe, these hardy perennial flowers are a common addition to flower and herb gardens in North America as well. Consider adding a few drops of this essential oil to your moisturizer, shampoo or conditioner to enjoy the soothing scent for an extended period.
Some aromatherapists recommend applying lotion with Roman chamomile essential oil to the bottoms of your feet before bed so that you sleep deeply and wake up refreshed.
Many people enjoy the cheerful, fruity scent of Ylang Ylang, and they find that among other things, this essential oil is helpful in bringing feelings of calm and peace. In fact, its popularity makes it a common ingredient in many perfumes.
Harvested from evergreen trees that grow up to 65 feet tall, Ylang Ylang requires a tropical climate to thrive. You can get the full therapeutic benefits when you use a few drops of Ylang Ylang in a bath or foot soak before bed, either alone or in combination with complementary scents. When you are struggling with excessive stress, Ylang Ylang offers relief from insomnia.
Using essential oils for deep sleep is not a new invention; it has a long and proven history. Feel free to experiment with different oils to determine which works best for you. Remember that different moods may require an alternative selection, and you can combine two or more of your favorites to achieve your desired results.