Banish Your Sleeping Troubles in Three Easy Steps!
For those of you who never have trouble sleeping, the rest of us are green with envy. With our to-do list constantly growing and our attention demanded in so many directions, it’s oftentimes difficult to go to bed and even more difficult to promptly drift off to sleep… to do it all over again the next day.
Studies have shown that aromatherapy can have a big impact on you and as a sleeping aid, it’s something you will come to swear by (ask my clients). Try these three beautifully simple steps at home to help you unwind and prepare for bedtime:
Take a Warm Shower
You don’t need to buy your own diffuser to enjoy the relaxing and comforting benefits of essential oils. With a little prep work, your steamy shower water can produce the same effect.
One-to-two hours before bed, apply 5 to 20 drops of your chosen oil (I recommend Lavender or Sandalwood) to a washcloth, cotton ball, or other “carrier material” to easily transport it into the shower. Place it on the shower floor in a place where the falling water will gently spray it without causing it to dissipate into steam too quickly. Turn the shower as hot as possible to build up steam. Once there is an adequate amount, turn the water to your preferred temperature and enjoy. The raising and lowering of your body temperature before sleeping is also the perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep!
Massage Your Body
Indulge in a moment of relaxation and massage your body using a calming blend of essential oils (see my preferred list below) to bring a great sense of serenity. This is actually my favorite way to reap the benefits of oils. I generally dilute with a little coconut oil and then rub onto my wrists and arms, the back of my neck and shoulders, temples and third eye.
For extra relaxation, give yourself a nice little massage on the bottoms of your feet before crawling into bed! Bring the soles of the feet together and take a few moments to massage the feet, toes and ankles, using the oils to deepen the soothing and balancing effect on the body.
Infuse Your Bedroom
Create an ambient sanctuary for sleep by infusing your bedroom with the aroma of an essential oil blend. Choose any of the oils listed below to ease your mind and settle your emotions, preparing you for a peaceful night’s sleep. Through a link between your sense of smell and your memory, you will begin to associate the aroma of the oil with relaxation and sleep, creating a powerfully effective method when used regularly.
Add 2-3 drops of any of these oils to a bit of water in your essential oil diffuser, set by your bedside (begin 20 minutes before you actually head into bed) and snooze away. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can place a few drops of the essential oil in the palm of your hand, rub the hands together then cup them around your nose and inhale deeply. Complete several full breaths, up to several minutes. For maximum effect, rub the palms of your hands on your pillow as well (if you are using sandalwood, this is not recommended).
Recommended Oils for Relaxation
Lavender: This is incredibly calming and can be good for reducing anxiety. It promotes relaxation and a deep sense of peace and emotional well-being.
Sandalwood: Is great for insomnia. If you are having trouble sleeping, simply massage a few drops into your forehead or your chest and breathe deeply. You’ll be in dreamland in no time! To avoid staining your pillowcases either put an old pillowcase on or make sure you don’t roll over in your sleep.
Orange: Lifts the spirit while providing a calming influence on the body, bringing peace and happiness to the mind. It is rich in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene and aids in maintaining normal cellular regeneration.
Bergamot: The flavonoids present in Bergamot oil are very good relaxants as well. They soothe nerves and reduce nervous tension, anxiety, and stress, all of which can help cure or treat ailments associated with stress such as sleeplessness, high blood pressure, insomnia, and depression. They can also stimulate the activity of hormones in the body which induce feelings of relaxation and sedation, like dopamine and serotonin.
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