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Aromatherapy for Insomnia and Difficulty Sleeping
Insomnia can impact our well being and the quality of our lives. The frustration of not being able to get a good night's sleep can make the situation worse. Hectic lifestyles, stress, depression, physical illness and working unusual schedules can all be root causes for insomnia.
Aromatherapy cannot cure insomnia or its root cause, but using calming and relaxing essential oils before your intended bedtime can potentially help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep until your intended wake-up time. Of course, if you have an ongoing, serious sleep disorder, you should see your health professional to discuss your situation and gain treatment for the root cause of your insomnia.
If you suffer from occasional insomnia or sleep disturbances and want to try ideas that may help you fall asleep faster, consider the following tips:
Aromatic Cotton Ball by Bedside: Add a drop of Roman Chamomile Oil or Lavender Oil to a tissue or cotton ball and place that near your pillow at bedtime. Roman Chamomile Oil is considered a natural sedative. Another essential oil that possesses sedating properties is Clary Sage. AromaWeb's Recipe Box contains an Insomnia Recipe that you might want to try.
Bed Linen Spray: Create a calming bed linen spray and lightly spray your sheets before bedtime.
Bathtime: Bathing is a wonderful way to relax, but avoid taking a bath immediately before bedtime. Hot water can increase your circulation and make it hard to fall asleep. Instead, plan to finish your bathing ritual about an hour before bed. While bathing, add a drop or two of Roman Chamomile or Lavender to your bathwater. For a moisturizing and more aromatic experience, try AromaWeb's Bath Oil recipe. You can use this basic recipe and adapt it using your calming oils of choice. AromaWeb's Aromatherapy Baths article provides additional information regarding aromatic bathing.
The minerals in natural salts, especially Dead Sea salts, help to relax muscles which in turn can help you to relax overall. AromaWeb's offers a Bath Salts recipe that teaches you how to naturally fragrance your chosen bath salts with essential oils. Be sure to select essential oils that are calming and safe for your skin.
Massage: Like bathing, massage is stimulating to your circulation and should generally be avoided immediately before bedtime. Prior to bedtime, however, try gently massaging your feet and legs with a calming massage oil or lotion.
Teatime: Borrowed from the field of herbalism, herbal teas using botanicals that have a natural sedative effect can be both soothing and relaxing before bedtime. Try natural chamomile tea. Teas made from passion flower and valerian are also considered to be very relaxing and help to encourage sleep, but do not have the familiar and pleasant flavor that chamomile tea offers.
Avoid Stimulating Essential Oils Before Bedtime: Some essential oils can be particularly energizing and stimulating (i.e. cypress, rosemary, grapefruit, lemon, peppermint). Avoid using these oils and products containing them before bed or they may make your insomnia worse.
The safest and most recommended course of action that you can take is to seek out the in-person guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner in your area. Your particular health situation and the root cause of your insomnia can make a difference in the most suitable recommendations for you. A qualified practitioner should conduct a case history on you and guide you based on your personal background and recommend blends suitable for you and discuss suitable dosages and methods of administration.
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