Is using essential oils for sleep safer than taking a sleeping pill?
In the U.S., one out of every five adults is sleep deprived. And approximately 10% of those suffer from chronic insomnia.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that prevents a person from falling or staying asleep.
You probably already know that from watching the numerous prescription drug commercials. Ugh, don’t get me started.
Actually I will get started – sleeping pills, even over-the-counter ones, are dangerous. Other than the fact that they are not curing your insomnia, they can greatly affect your overall health.
What your doctor won’t tell you about any type of medicinal sleep aid is that they are habit-forming; your body becomes dependent on them to fall asleep each and every night. So if you ever stop taking them, your ability to fall asleep will be worse than it was before you started taking the pill.
It’s also important to note that women’s bodies metabolize sleeping pills slower than men, which is why the FDA has lowered the recommended dose for women.
Why is Sleep Important for Your Health?
Without enough sleep, your body has a hard time functioning properly. And we’re not just talking about staying awake during that meeting, it becomes harder to do the following:
- Lose weight
- Fight infections
- Feel motivated
- Drive safely
- Maintain energy
- Stay focused
In addition, if you’re relying on sleep medication to get eight hours of shut-eye, there is no guarantee that you’ll wake up feeling refreshed. Many medications come with a risk of “next-morning impairment“.
Natural Sleep Solutions
My absolute favorite essential oil, Frankincense has so many health benefits. One is its ability to promote feelings of relaxation. Add a few drops to your nightly bath or in a diffuser as you sleep. Frankincense supports cellular health and we know we are only as healthy as our cells. As my grandmother would say, “if it’s good enough for Jesus…”
Just like chamomile tea, Roman Chamomile has relaxing properties. A 2006 study showed that Roman Chamomile essential oil caused drowsiness and calmness. Want to fight anxiety and depression? Roman Chamomile helps with that as well.
One of the more popular sleep aid oils, lavender has been used since ancient times. Furthermore, it’s known for medicinal purposes, such as: reducing anxiety, healing wounds, alleviating headaches, reducing acne, and improving sleep. A study published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine found those with insomnia showed signs of improvement after just a few weeks using lavender oil.
Anytime you’re feeling anxious, Bergamot is the oil to grab. It’s a unique citrus oil that will calm your mind and lift your spirits. It’s also the recommended oil for when you’re feeling stressed or sad. And since feelings of anxiety, stress or sadness can all affect sleep, Bergamot is a great oil to keep in your nightstand.
Cedarwood is a great oil if you’re looking to relax the body and mind. Hence the reason it’s often used in massage therapy. Its warm and woody scent is perfect to create a relaxing environment as you drift off to sleep.
In addition to essential oils, there are plenty more ways to fall asleep naturally:
- Practice deep breathing
- Use a white noise machine
- Take a warm bath before bed
- Eliminate caffeine from your diet
- Exercise daily
- Take supplements, such as melatonin, magnesium or doTERRA’s Serenity™ Restful Complex
doTERRA’s essential oils and Serenity™ softgels are natural and safe. Serenity™ Restful Complex contains lavender and L-Theanine “along with lemon balm, passionflower, and chamomile to gently promote relaxation and sleep”. All of these ingredients create a calming affect on the central nervous system.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.