Sweet scents for a sound slumber
30 day sleep challenge day 21: natural sleep aids
Even with the best intentions, (the most rigid of bedtime routines, early morning exercise, cutting down on the caffeine and disconnecting before bed) sometimes it is just too difficult to switch the brain off and simply fall asleep.
The idea of aromatherapy doesn’t appeal to everyone but more research and studies are starting to support the concept of aromatherapy as a natural sleep aid. When used properly, for some people, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety and provide a more restful night’s sleep. Below are some of our favourite sleep scents:
Made from the daisy-like chamomile plants, chamomile aromatherapy produces a sweet apple like scent. Long known for its healing properties, the smell has been known to ease tension, promote relaxation and act as a calming influence thus working very well as a sleep aid.
Possibly the most popular bedtime scent. Lavender is a flowering plant from the mint family and studies have shown it to slow down the heart rate, slow blood pressure and put you in a relaxed state thus facilitating restful sleep. While it has been found to help both men and women, studies have shown it to be more effective on female participants.
Historically, the delicate scent of the jasmine flower has been used for its calming sedative effect, helping to aid stress, anxiety and depression. A study by some German researchers has found it to be as effective as Valium and similar pharmaceutical drugs in relieving anxiety and promoting sleep.
High in sesquiterpenes, sandalwood is able to stimulate and oxygenate in the pineal gland in the brain, which releases natural melatonin, the hormone vital to your sleep cycle. It also aids relaxation and helps destress.
One of the most commonly used oils to improve sleep, studies have found valerian to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall into deep sleep and to improve the quality of sleep. Be warned, the smell can be rather pungent so if you’re looking for sweet scents, one of the other options may be more preferable.
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