Essential Oils and Sleep

Using Essential Oils to promote a good night's sleep

For thousands of years, essential oils have been utilized for their calming and soothing properties. Anciently, calming oils were used for meditation, aromatherapy and even things like religious ceromonies or rituals. The method of using essential oils to promote relaxing, calming feelings has remainded popular thoughout the years because essential oils provide a natural, yet effective way of calming the mind and body.  

Essential oils are powerful

Because essential oils are so potent and powerful, they provide rather quick results, which makes them useful for promoting a good night of rest. Not only can essential oils with a calming or soothing nature help relax the body and mind before bed, but the comforting aroma of essential oils can also help create an environment that is conducive to sleep.

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Sleep Deprivation Can Influence

Without proper sleep, we put ourselves at risk for serious health issues that will impact our quality of life. Sleep deprivation:
·Can make it difficult for us to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
·Can negatively influence our emotions and how we behave throughout the day
·Can impact how we learn or influence our motivation levels
·Can have a negative impact on nearly any of the body's organ systems, which influences overall health
·Can influence our reaction time and ability to drive safely

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The Science behind using Essential Oils for Sleep

Science has shown over the years that by inhaling an essential oil it induces an internal response within the body in under 30 seconds. What makes essential oils useful for sleep? How do they work? Every essential oil has a different chemical makeup with a unique combination of chemical constituents. These chemicals are what give an essential oil its benefits. Certain chemicals can make an essential oil useful for cleansing, soothing, or warming, while other chemicals might make an oil calming, invigorating, or cooling. Because each oil is taken from a different plant or plant part, each oil has a completely unique chemical profile, and thus a completely unique set of benefits.
By choosing essential oils with chemicals that hold relaxing, calming, or soothing benefits, it is easy to use oils to promote a peaceful environment for sleep.

Here's how it works. When you inhale the aroma of an essential oil with calming properties, it induces a response in the body or brain for relaxation. Typically, this type of reaction helps relax the body and promote a restful night of sleep. Once you've had a good night of sleep after using a specific oil, the brain makes a connection between the smell of the oil and the quality sleep. This is called a positive association. An established positive association promotes further use of the oil in your regular bedtime routine to help you repeat the practice of a good night's sleep.

If we take a deeper look at how essential oils work, it's easy to see how the power of aroma can be used for a better sleeping environment. Anytime you breathe in the aroma of an essential oil, that aroma is processed in a part of the brain called the olfactory system. 

The olfactory system oversees your sense of smell. The olfactory system is connected to another part of the brain called the limbic system - where memories live. Remember how powerful your memory can be with the sense of smell? When an aroma reaches the limbic system, the limbic system generates a response based on memories associated with the smell. To recap: we breathe in the essential oil, the aroma travels to the olfactory system and on to the limbic system, and then our brain produces a response.

Safety Tip & Guidelines

When using essential oils for your health and wellness, you want to be sure that you are using essential oils that are pure, tested and certified. doTERRA has the only Certified Pure Tested Grade (CPTG) of essential oils available. Arguably the best you can get in the world. No filers, no polutants, no toxins, no syntheics, 100% pure essential oils. When you are using these oils topically, aromatically and internally for you and your family, quality matters. 

Using oils in a diffuser: The standard is 1 drop of oil, per hour of diffusing. So, if you are diffusing for 8 hours you would use a total of 8 drops of oil. 

Using oils topically: A great place to apply an oil for sleep would be on the bottoms of your feet, it is also recommended that you dilute it with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, especially if using on younger kiddos.
Using oils internally: A wonderful way to aide and support your body in sleep! When using oils internally, the recommended dose within a 24 hour period of all internal oils is 24 drops per adult and 12 per child (6-16 years old). 

How to Use EO's for Sleep

First, load your diffuser up with your favorite nighttime oils and turn it on about 30 minutes before betime and close your bedroom door. In addition to using the power of aroma to help with bedtime, some essential oils can be used internally to promote restful sleep. When taken internally, certain essential oils can help calm the nervous system and promote relaxation before bed.* For example, Lavender oil can promote peaceful sleep and ease feelings of tension when used internally.* Similarly, Copaiba oil can be taken internally to help soothe and calm the nervous system.* Before using an essential oil internally for any reason, carefully read packaging instructions to ensure that the oil has been approved for safe internal use. Everyone has different sleep patterns, preferences, and needs, and each person will react a little differently to an essential oil. This individuality is what makes essential oils such useful tools for promoting a restful environment, as you can find an oil (or combination of oils) that works for you and your sleeping needs. If you find that one essential oil doesn't promote a quality relaxing environment like you hoped, you can try another and see if it's a better fit for your needs. 

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Understanding essential oils, how they work, what to use, how to safely use them, knowing the facts, and the science behind it is of the utmost importance. 

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