7 Scents That Promote Sleep - NaturesPlus Accessibility Notice

7 Scents That Promote Sleep

Looking for help with occasional sleeplessness? Aromatherapy, the use of scented oils in promoting well-being, has been around for centuries…and one of its most popular uses is in promoting sleep.

Not any old oil will do, however. Aromatherapy relies on essential oils, compounds distilled from plants into pure, potent liquid form.

How Does Aromatherapy Work?

Ever notice how your sense of smell is linked with memories, such as the comfy thoughts of home that may arise when you smell freshly baked bread?

Scent is powerful because it affects the limbic system, which the American Sleep Association (ASA) describes as your “emotional brain.”

What’s more, says the ASA, essential oils are “also known to work through the olfactory system to cause the brain to secrete neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which can elevate mood.” In addition, the body uses serotonin to create melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Research, including studies done in Turkey and Taiwan, supports the use of aromatherapy as a shortcut to dreamland.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Using Essential Oils

One of the best things about aromatherapy is its ease of use. Just be sure you are employing therapeutic-grade essential oils, versus “scented” or “fragrance” types.

The most common way of reaping aromatherapy’s benefits is through inhalation, often by using a diffuser to disperse oil as a mist into the air. (Searching “aromatherapy diffuser” or “essential oils diffuser” will return dozens of options.) Want an even simpler method? Simply add a drop or two of oil to a cotton ball and place it near your pillow.

Essential oils can also be added to carrier oils, such as almond or jojoba, to dilute the plant essences so they can be more readily used on the skin. (You can even raid your pantry for carrier oils, including coconut and grapeseed.) Add about 10 drops of essential oil to every fluid ounce of carrier.

Essential Oils That Promote Sleep

Aromatherapists recommend the following oils for their ability to promote relaxation and sleep; if nasal stuffiness is a problem, consider adding oils such as peppermint or eucalyptus.

Bergamot

If stressful thoughts are disrupting your slumber, try using bergamot oil, which “can lower your heart rate and blood pressure and help with anxiety and stress,” according to the ASA.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner. (The rind of the bergamot fruit, a member of the citrus family, is best known for giving Earl Grey tea its unique aroma.)

Chamomile

In addition to brewing the dried flowers of this herb into a sleepytime tea, you can also employ chamomile oil. It is gentle enough for use in the nursery; when diffused, “it can help to calm irritable babies,” says aromatherapist Wendy Robbins, founder of AromaWeb.

Clary Sage

A distant relative of the well-known kitchen herb, clary sage is used for its calming, yet uplifting, qualitiesperfect if you’re plagued by sad thoughts that disrupt your sleep. Robbins says that not everyone appreciates this oil’s “herbaceous, earthy, slightly floral scent”; she suggests blending it with other oils on this list, such as bergamot, chamomile, lavender and sandalwood.

Lavender

One of the best-known essential oils, lavender is a versatile scent that “works to calm anxiety and offers sedative effects,” says the ASA. “It may not only help you to fall asleep but may also help you to spend more quality time in deep, slow-wave sleep.”The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Sandalwood

Robbins says that sandalwood is known for its spiritual and emotional applications, adding that its richly sweet scent is “calming and helps to instill a sense of inner peace.” She also notes that sandalwood oil is “deeply grounding and useful for chakra work.”

Valerian

Valerian has long been appreciated for its deeply calming, relaxing properties. Like clary sage, its scent can be strong; Robbins recommends using it in combination with chamomile or lavender. (Fun fact: Cats respond to valerian the same way they respond to catnip; add a drop of the oil to a piece of paper in your palm, then close your hand and let them sniff.)

Ylang Ylang

This oil, taken from a tree native to Asia’s tropical regions, has a fruity, pleasant scent. According to Robbins, ylang ylang “is heralded for being helpful with stress and anxiety. It's also used in cases of depression or when trying to cope with anger.”

If you have persistent sleep issues, talk to your practitioner. To find a trained aromatherapist, contact the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.

The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.

The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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