How To Use Essential Oils And Aromatherapy For Better Sleep
During the night, do you find yourself tossing and turning in bed? When it’s time for bed, do you find it difficult to unwind and bring yourself to a state of calm? If this is the case, aromatherapy might be the solution.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using specific fragrances and oils that have been reputed to have some type of therapeutic effect or medicinal properties, and it has been used both as a primary treatment and as a secondary auxiliary therapy.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using certain fragrances and oils that have been reputed to have some type of therapeutic effect or medicinal properties.
One of the advantages of aromatherapy that has been the subject of a significant amount of research is its efficacy in terms of improving both the quality and the duration of one’s sleep.
This benefit of aromatherapy has been found to be especially beneficial for patients who suffer from hyperanxiety disorders or insomnia.
Even among those who are skeptical of the efficacy of various alternative treatments, there has been a widespread consensus that, regardless of whether or not aromatherapy proves to be effective, it most certainly does not cause any harm and does not have the potential to cause any negative effects at all.
It is important to keep in mind the following information about aromatherapy and sleep:
A research project that was carried out in Turkey that comprised the inhalation of lavender essential oil on sixty intensive care unit patients (the study was prompted because the patients in the ICU were having really terrible sleep issues, and the researchers wanted to try whatever they could to alleviate the insomnia for these patients and ICU patients everywhere).
The clinical finding (which was based on the patient’s responses to two separate standardized tests that determine the quality of sleep) was that the 2% lavender essential oil solution delivered via inhalation absolutely had a positive, measurable, and marked effect on these patients’ ability to rest adequately, and in addition to that, many of these patients were experiencing simultaneous cardiac issues, which the anxiolytic effect of the lavender oil seemed to reduce as well.
The use of lavender oil enhanced the patients’ capacity to slumber and generally improved their circumstances by reducing some of the worry and tension that they were experiencing.
Although aromatherapy would not be recommended as the primary treatment for severe, chronic, medical sleep disorders, it most certainly should be considered as an adjunct or auxiliary treatment, and if there is no serious sleep disorder, then aromatherapy will likely be adequate in terms of alleviating mild cases of stress-induced insomnia.
There is a wide range of delivery methods available for the oil, and it is believed that they all provide outcomes that are comparable in terms of their effectiveness.
You may have the oil delivered to you overnight in a number of different ways, including the following:
- Soaking a cotton ball and place it next to the bed.
- Placing 10 – 15 drops of oil in hot Epsom or sea saltwater in a bowl by the bed.
- Spraying an essential oil diluted solution on linens, pillows and blankets.
- Electronic (and other forms of) diffusers
The Best Calming Oils
The following essential oils are typically recommended for use with the goal of enhancing the quality of one’s sleep (and, incidentally, although this should not come as much of a surprise, all of these oils have a naturally pleasant aroma and are easily accessible through health food stores located all over the world as well as through a wide variety of online retailers):
- Clary Sage
- Sweet Marjoram
- Roman Chamomile
- Ylang Ylang
There does appear to be validated data concerning the effectiveness and benefits of aromatherapy on certain conditions, according to the overall general consensus among health practitioners in both the disciplines of standard western medicine and homeopathic/naturopathic medicine alike. This is the general consensus among health practitioners.
In the first place, diseases and symptoms that are intimately connected to stress, such as cardiovascular disease and sleeplessness,
In either case, it does not appear that there is any evidence that there are any contraindications or harm to using aromatherapy.
Therefore, at the very least, you get a nice pleasant scent, and the chances of employing aromatherapy in the hopes that it will improve your sleep is most likely to pay off and be worth the effort.
Aromatherapy To Help With Depression
Essential oils have a long history of usage in many medicinal contexts dating back thousands of years. They provide a wide variety of advantages to the healing process.
Aromatherapy is gaining popularity, particularly within the fields of natural health and alternative medicine, and this trend is expected to continue.
Some individuals believe that this method, which includes diffusing highly concentrated plant oils into the air via devices such as misters or specialized candles, or applying the oils physically to the skin, may benefit those suffering from anxiety disorders as well as depression. But what does scientific research conclude?
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
There are a lot of individuals who think that aromatherapy may reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other associated difficulties, but they think that it works in a very superficial manner. They think that essential oils can make us feel better just because they have a pleasant fragrance.
However, a theory that was presented in a paper that was printed in China suggests that aromatherapy may be effective because it stimulates serotonin pathways in the brain. Serotonin is a crucial messenger molecule in the body that plays a vital role in our ability to feel calm. It is also an essential component of a wide variety of drugs that are used to regulate mood.
Even though this is an intriguing notion, the most straightforward method for determining a person’s state of mind remains the use of psychological tests and questionnaires rather than determining the quantities of these messenger molecules.
These approaches, which some people regard as unreliable and anecdotal, were used in each and every piece of subsequent research. But feeling better is feeling better, right?
Aromatherapy and Post-Partum Depression
It was reported in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice that a pilot study that was conducted on aromatherapy as a treatment for post-partum depression found that aromatherapy did show advantages for women who were suffering from post-partum depression.
An interesting finding from the research was that aromatherapy did not seem to have any effect on a control group consisting of women who did not suffer from depression.
Despite the fact that the findings of this research are encouraging, it should be noted that it was just a pilot study. The size of the control group was quite low, and the total duration of the trial was just four weeks.
Despite the fact that this provides grounds for suspicion, the article did not mention any problems with the therapy. Hence, there is no known danger associated with attempting this treatment if you are interested in doing so.
Aromatherapy and The Elderly
Research that was carried out in Japan and had around eighty people in its participant pool may provide more compelling evidence.
This research was carried out on older individuals who lived in a community and participated in aromatherapy sessions once per week for a period of four weeks. The findings of this study were published in the journal Biomed Research International.
According to the findings presented in the research, participants in the aromatherapy program had lower levels of stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain in comparison to a group that served as a control.
The findings of the study also revealed that all of the participants maintained their regular usage of aromatherapy treatments even after the research had been completed.
It’s possible that proving that aromatherapy helps with depression won’t take more than four weeks, and it may not even take that long.
Participants in a second study that was carried out in Japan found that their mood had improved after receiving aromatherapy massages for depression as part of treatment for cancer.
This finding was based on the fact that the participants had received the massages. After another eight sessions, they continued to show an improvement in their scores.
Although this research was conducted over a longer period of time than the previous one, there were a total of just 12 participants in it.
The fact that the research was not taken up by any major scientific or medical publications is something else that readers of this post who are skeptical would find interesting to know.
However, similar to the previous research, this study came to the conclusion that there was no risk involved in trying out this medication.
A study with the same name that was carried out in Korea two years earlier and had slightly more than fifty individuals also came to the same conclusions.
This investigation of aromatherapy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women included weekly massage sessions spread out over a period of eight months. The researchers concluded that the treatment was effective.
It is possible that the massage, and not the aromatherapy, provided the relief that was experienced by the participants.
The authors of this study were more careful to point out a potential problem that applies to the previous study as well, and which some astute readers may have noticed: It is possible that the massage, and not the aromatherapy, was providing the relief.