A good night’s rest is important for daily functioning and maintaining the body’s natural homeostasis. Increased use in technology and longer work days have made getting enough sleep difficult to achieve. Discover a healthy alternative to remedy this problem by discovering five essential for better sleep..
Origin: Lavender oil is derived from the plant genus Lavandula, which is native to regions around the Mediterranean Sea, eastern Europe, southeast India, and eastern Africa. With over thirty species, Lavender oil is believed to contain various medicinal and therapeutic properties. It is one of the most popular and recognized essential oils used today for relaxation and better sleep (1).
Uses: Due to its therapeutic healing properties, lavender oil is used in certain drugs, cosmetics and aromatherapy.
How to Use: Lavender oil is suggested to contain calming properties that act as a natural alternative to improve sleep quality (2). Adding 5-10 drops to an oil diffuser creates a relaxing environment, promoting better sleep quality. In addition, lavender essential oil can be added to bathwater or used for a scalp massage.
Brands: Vitruvi ($18/ fl oz), Cliganic ($9.99/ 0.33 fl oz, Radha Beauty ($16.95/ 4 fl oz)
Origin: Frankincense is sourced from the resin of the Boswellia plant, native to areas around the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa (3). Different species and varieties of frankincense trees produce various types of resin which produce aromas that are believed to contain healing properties (4).
Uses: Frankincense helps reduce stress and anxiety through a calming aromatic combination of lemon, wood and pine (5).
How to Use: Adding 5-10 drops of frankincense essential oil to a diffuser can provide enough relaxation to unwind from a long day. This oil can also be added to a carrier oil, such as coconut, and applied before going to sleep.
Brands: Vitruvi ($18/ 0.3 fl oz, NOW Foods ($7.58/ 1.0 fl oz)
Origin: Ylang-Ylang essential oil is derived from the genus cananga odorata, which is native to tropical regions such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Oil from the plant is extracted via steam distillation and is often used in the fragrance, cosmetic and food industries (6).
Use: Known for its sedative properties, it has been suggested that Ylang-Ylang essential oil can be used to promote relaxation, alleviate stress and improve sleep patterns (7).
How to Use: Ylang-Ylang oil shouldn’t be applied directly to skin, as it can cause skin irritation. When used topically, mix it with a carrier oils such as sweet almond, avocado or jojoba.
Brands: Vitruvi ($18/ 0.3 fl oz), NOW Foods ($23.98/ 1.0 fl oz), Aura Cacia ($13.23/ 0.5 fl oz)
Origin: Known as a medicinal plant, Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) is derived from the Asteraceae plant species native to regions in southern and eastern Europe along with Brazil and India (8). Chamomile is used mainly as an anti-inflammatory but is also used in aromatherapy.
How to Use: Drinking chamomile tea is a natural alternative for those who have trouble sleeping. It has been suggested that an ingredient in chamomile binds to certain receptors in the brain which help promote sleep (9).
Brands: Aura Cacia ($14.03/ 0.12 fl oz), Gya Labs ($16.69/ 0.34 fl oz)
Origin: Also known as the bitter orange tree, neroli essential oil provides a soothing aroma that eases stress and tension. Native to eastern Africa and tropical regions in Asia, it takes 1,000 pounds of flowers to produce neroli essential oil. To preserve the quality of neroli oil, the flower from which it blooms (orange blossom), must be handled with care (10).
How to Use: Neroli essential oil is used to treat skin conditions such as acne, to alleviate pain and has even been suggested for use during child labor (11).
Methods of Application: Add 1-2 drops on a cotton ball and place it under your pillowcase. Try taking a couple of deep breaths while diffusing the oil. These approaches can help relieve stress and lower tension..
Brands: Gya Labs ($19.99/ 0.34 fl oz), NOW Foods ($19.99/ 1 fl oz)