Au Natural: Scents for Sleep

By  April 09, 2008

Wellness on Wednesday is all about the natural you!

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I’ve struggled for years with difficulties getting myself to sleep. Once I’m asleep, I’m out like a light; but getting to sleep, well, that’s another story. I know that there are millions of people out there just like me who are: 1) in need of a better night’s sleep and 2) would like to find a natural solution. Well, I’ve got good news – after a bit of research, I’ve found plenty of ways to help put an end to those sleepless nights.

It’s important, first, that we understand the causes of insomnia. Stress, caffeine, alcohol, poor diet, lack of exercise, and a disruptive daily routine can all contribute to poor sleep. A good place to start improving our nightly slumber is to change our current habits by exercising, eating better, avoiding stimulants, and leaning to relax. In addition to an adjustment in our day-to-day lives, we can also look to aromatherapy for help.

Aromatherapy is a form of complementary medicine that uses scents to alter our moods. How do the fragrances of Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood, Clary Sage, and Jasmine sound? Gentle and calming? Indeed, they are – and the very scent of them can help lull you to sleep. Here is a brief description of each, including healing properties, effects, and scents:

Lavender – helps soothe and calm nerves, reduces tension, insomnia, headaches, and depression
Effects: Calming, Therapeutic
Scent: Floral, Sweet, Woody, Herbal

Sweet Marjoram – helps treat anxiety, headaches, and insomnia
Effects: Soothing, Warming
Scent: Warm, Spicy

Roman Chamomile – promotes relaxation, reduces excessive anxiety, and treats insomnia
Effects: Soothing, Relaxing
Scent: Sweet, Herbal, Fruity

Sandalwood – promotes relaxation, beneficial for depression, stress, nervous tension, and insomnia
Effects: Warming, Relaxing
Scent: Woody, Sweet, Exotic

Clary Sage – helps sooth, relax, and uplift the spirit
Effects: Warming
Scent: Sweet, Spicy, Herbal

Jasmine – helps sooth and relax, very beneficial for depression, insomnia, nervous tension, and stress
Effects: Soothing, Relaxing
Scent: Warm, Floral

All of these fragrances are readily found in the form of essential oils. Choose your scent (or find a good combination), pour 2 drops of the oil on a tissue, place it inside your pillowcase, and let the healing aromas gently waft through. A deep, restful sleep is essential in order for your body to restore and revitalize. Let these glorious scents help keep you healthy, relaxed, and sleeping wonderfully.

~Kristen Kancler

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