Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I Need Sleep - Essential Oils for Sleep Support

     If you're like me, sleep doesn't always come easy.  Sometimes it seems the more exhausted I am, the more difficulty I have falling asleep and staying asleep.  After a long, non-stop day, there are always the questions- Did I forget something?  Did I finish everything that needed to be accomplished?  Tomorrow will be busy enough, but can I fit anything extra in my day?

      Chances are, if you're having sleep difficulties, you have read about and possibly even tried a few suggestions for falling into a deep slumber.  Perhaps you've tried cutting your caffeine intake after 3pm or maybe even cutting it out all together.  Maybe you're already turning your television off about an hour before bedtime, and turning off cell phones and other electronic devices around the same time.  Perhaps you have tried taking a warm shower or bath and practice a little yoga before bed. If you're doing all of these things and still having difficulty, try diffusing calming essential oils approximately an hour before bedtime.

     Listed below are 18 essential oils which help with calming the mind and getting a good night's rest.  Most are calming to the central nervous system while others have a comforting aroma and an overall calming effect on the mind.  Some are great for reducing anxiety and over-thinking.  Choose a single oil or 2-3 favorites to create a blend that you like.  Generally, just 4-8 drops total of essential oil in a diffuser is plenty.  Just remember, the smaller the space and the stronger the oil, the less essential oil is needed.  Diffusing too much essential oil in a small space will cause a headache and/or agitation.

*Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Relaxes and calms the mind, reduces anxiety and insomnia
Try blending it with Clary Sage & Lavender or Neroli & Rose

Cedarwood (Cedrus virginiana)

Relaxes the mind and calms stress and anxiety
Try blending it with Lavender & Mandarin

*German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Calms anxiety and nervous tension
Soothes the nervous system and supports sleep
Try blending it with Lavender or Neroli

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Calming to the mind, sedative
Reduces anxiety and over-thinking
Try blending it with Rose or Ylang Ylang

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

Calms the mind and reduces anxiety
Try blending with Bergamot and Lavender

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

Quiets the mind, supports tranquility
Try blending with Jasmine, Myrrh, Mandarin or Ylang Ylang

Ho Wood (Cinnamomum camphora ct linalol)

Calms the nerves and assists in meditation
Try blending with Lavender and Sandalwood

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Reduces anxiety, calms the mind, soothes
Try blending with Bergamot, Cedarwood, or Mandarin

Green Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
Calms agitation and reduces anxiety
Try blending with Cedarwood, Clary Sage, or Lavender

Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)

Calms obsessive thinking, calms the heart, relieves anxiety
Try blending with Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, or Mandarin

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)

Calms the mind, calms over thinking, brings a sense of peace
Try blending with Frankincense, Opopanax or Sandalwood

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Calms the heart and relaxes the nerves
Try blending with Bergamot, Frankincense, Rose or Ylang Ylang

Opopanax (Commiphora guidotti)

Grounding, sedates and restores
Try blending with Frankincense, Rose or Sandalwood

Palo Santo (Holy Wood) (Bursera graveolens)

Quiets the mind, calms anxiety
Try blending with Frankincense, Mandarin, or Neroli

Rose (Rosa damacena)

Relieves stress and anxiety, it's relaxing
Try blending with Bergamot, Lavender, or Mandarin

Sandalwood (Santalum album or Santalum paniculatum)

Quiets the mind, supports meditation, calming
Try blending with Frankincense, Rose, or Ylang Ylang

Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)

Calms the heart and mind
Try blending with Lavender or Sandalwood

*Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina)

Relaxes, calms stress
Try blending with Lavender, Neroli or Sandalwood

*Safety Considerations

Bergamot is phototoxic.  Avoid direct sunlight or tanning beds for 18-24 hours after application.
German Chamomile can inhibit some metabolizing enzymes (CYP2D6) and can interfere with some antidepressants (ie: fluoxetine, quinidine, and paroxetine).  Can also have drug interactions with codeine and tamoxifen.
Ylang Ylang Do not use on children under 2 years of age. Ylang Ylang is a strongly scented oil.  Use in small quantities to avoid headaches. Generally, 1 drop blended with other oils in a diffuser is sufficient.

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