Many people lead busy and hectic lives that lead to trouble getting to sleep at night. It can become a vicious cycle of having to drink coffee throughout the day to stay awake, then being awake all night because of the caffeine. But there are many more reasons why we can’t sleep at night.
It helps to gain an understanding of what can go wrong with what should be a natural human function but until then lavender oil can help you fall asleep. Lavender oil is completely natural, and a much better solution than taking expensive prescription medication that does nothing to cure you of your insomnia problem.
Why We Can’t Fall Asleep
There can be many reasons why you can’t fall asleep at night. It can be difficult trying to figure it out. Even if you understand why, you may not be willing to change your routine.
- Drinking any amount of caffeine throughout the day can affect your sleep cycle. There is even caffeine in decaffeinated coffee, chocolate, and black tea, so if you’re extra sensitive, you may wish to avoid these drinks entirely. Instead, drink a nice herbal tea blend with lavender.
- Being too caught up in your work during the day can affect your sleep patterns. This is because there is no time for your mind to process your thoughts and emotions. At bedtime you’ll lie awake and think about what happened during the day, and go over things you’ve been worried about, or problems you’ve been trying to solve. It’s important to give yourself an hour each day “to do nothing”, or to be creative and express your thoughts and emotions through art or writing.
- Injuries, diseases, and medical conditions will only temporarily affect your sleep, but they can impact your sleep for a lifetime. If you think your medications are keeping you awake at night, consult your physician for moving the dosages to earlier in the day. If you’re suffering pain, speak to your doctor too. It’s important to deal with symptoms that are keeping you awake at night, so you can get a good night’s sleep.
- Suffering food allergies and intolerances at bedtime can also affect how quickly you fall asleep. Set a time of night when you’ll stop eating, and only drink soothing and relaxing peppermint and lavender teas.
Benefits of Using Lavender Oil for Sleep
Trying to solve an insomnia problem can take weeks and sometimes months. While you’re figuring it all out, you can use lavender oil to help you to fall asleep. Not only does lavender smell good, it also tastes good too.
While you can buy a bag of food-quality lavender buds from a specialty food store, it can be a lot easier to use lavender oil instead. Lavender oil can either be lavender essential oil, or lavender oil that is a blend of oils.
Some people spend hundreds of dollars on special devices that are supposed to help them get to sleep. But often these have little effect on them, especially those who are suffering from sensory overload at bedtime. The last thing they need is to watch dimming lights or sounds or music to fall asleep.
It’s most effective and affordable to buy your own bottle of lavender essential oil, and a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or sweet almond oil, and use them to mix up your own lavender oil remedies for sleep.
Since lavender oil is 100% natural, you won’t suffer any ill effects from using it to help you get to sleep. Your stomach won’t be upset, and you won’t feel like you have a hangover in the morning.
Lavender oil has been used for decades in aromatherapy. It helps to decrease stress and anxiety. It’s also been tested in studies of people with dementia who get agitated and confused, as it helps to calm them down.
The molecules in the lavender not only smell good but work to make us relax enough to fall asleep. Using lavender oil to fall asleep is a much gentler way then forcing it with medication.
Lavender oil is also safe to use around dogs, cats, or children, so even if you apply it to your skin and they lick it off, they won’t be harmed.
How Lavender Oil is Extracted from the Plant
Lavender can also be spelled “lavendar” in some parts of the world. But “lavender” is the most common spelling you’ll see.
Lavender oil is an essential oil distilled from the lavender plant. It has a pale yellow colour and is sold in smaller bottles that are usually made from amber glass. This is to prevent light from making the oil go bad.
The oil is distilled from the flower spikes of the plant. Lavender petals are usually pale mauve to dark purple. Lavender is grown easily in many parts of the world. It’s a perennial plant, and often many people may mistake it for a weed, as it grows quickly.
Lavender plants can make a garden smell extremely fragrant. When the plants are in full bloom, the garden will look beautiful with its purple blooms. This is also enough to make you feel relaxed.
Lavender is technically an herb, and officially called Lavandula latifolia.
The number one lavender oil producer in the world today is Bulgaria. They ship their bottles of lavender oil to businesses around the world.
The lavender oil is extracted from the floral spikes through a steam distillation process. The harvest of the flowers begins around June. They are pressed down in a still. A boiler is used to create steam. During this process the oils separate from the petals. The oil is collected in a tank where it settles and separates from the water. The end result is lavender oil. It’s then purified and poured into bottles to complete the manufacturing process.
Top 3 Ways to Get to Sleep with Lavender Oil
Lavender oil can be used a variety of ways to help you get to sleep. If one method doesn’t work for you, give one of the others a try.
1. Apply Lavender Oil Topically to Your Face
Lavender oil is one of the gentler essential oils on the market today. Since the main purpose here is to help you fall asleep quickly, you can apply the drops directly to your skin.
The best spots to apply lavender oil are where you can smell the molecules. Apply a few drops to your temples and forehead. Some people also like to apply it directly below the neck so the smell of molecules wafts up to the nose.
Apply your lavender oil right before you turn out the lights. Leave the bottle on your nightstand so you remember to apply it.
2. Pour a Few Drops of Lavender Oil on Your Pillow
If you don’t want to apply the lavender directly to your skin or face, you can also apply it to your bed.
You may not want to apply the oil directly to your bedding for fear of oil stains, but you can mix up a solution which will make washing your bedding much easier at the end of the week.
Mix 20 drops of lavender oil with 50 ml of filtered or distilled water in a small spray bottle. You can find these small spray bottles in the travel or cosmetic sections of your local stores.
Spray the lavender solution over your pillow about ten minutes to bedtime. This gives the pillow a chance to dry so you’re not placing your head down on a wet pillow.
3. Use Lavender Oil in a Diffuser
You can also use your lavender oil the way it was originally intended—for aromatherapy. There are many different ways to do this.
You can purchase a plug-in diffuser, and pour some of the oil in the top container of the unit. If you do this, do it about an hour before bed. You don’t want to leave your diffuser plugged in all night, even if it has an off switch. Let the diffuser scent your room for an hour or so, then turn it off and unplug when you’re ready to go to sleep.
You can also purchase a diffuser that can take a small tea light candle. The oil goes in a small container that rests over the candle. The candle will heat the oil so it diffuses throughout the room. Again, don’t go to sleep with a candle on in your room. Set it up an hour in advance of bedtime, then blow out the candle before you do lights out.
There is also a third option, and that involves a reed diffuser. You’ll pour about 20 drops of lavender essential oil into a tall vase, then add in a 25 ml of a carrier oil, such a jojoba oil. The reeds are placed inside the vase. The smell of lavender will diffuse throughout the room as the oil penetrates through the reeds and is lifted out from the top.
Other Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Here are a few more tips to help you get that good night’s sleep.
- If you have family members who stay up at all hours and are keeping you awake, you’ll need to set some rules in place. ie. Headphones for TV or stereo after hours.
- If your partner snores, you’ll have to find some remedies for them, or sleep in the guest room, especially for those weeks when you have a special event or meeting the next morning where you simply must be on time and alert.
- Eat a small amount of carbs, such as cookies or biscuits two hours before bedtime with a cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea such as lavender or camomile. The carbs encourage you to fall asleep. Avoid all spicy foods and do not eat protein past 5 pm.
- Buy new pajamas, sheets and pillows. They’ll provide comfort to help you get asleep.
- Mix up a lavender oil and jojoba oil blend that can be used on the dry patches of your body. Add 20 drops of essential oil to 25 ml of jojoba oil. Use it right before bedtime.
Precautions When Using Lavender Oil
Read through these precautions so you can use your bottle of lavender oil for sleeping both safely and effectively.
- Don’t use lavender oil if you’re taking prescription sedatives or other medication as their can be drug interactions. Ask your doctor first.
- Lavender oil can be a hormonal disruptor if used in mass quantities. Use it only in the recommended dosages.
- Never consume lavender oil. There are specific teas or edible buds that you can buy for that purpose.
- Some people may be allergic to lavender. Discontinue usage if you get sneezing fits or a bad rash, or other unusual symptoms.
- Avoid putting lavender oil around your eyes as it can sting. If you do get some in there, simply wash out with warm water.
- Store your lavender oil in a small drawer or cupboard away from heat, light, pets, and small children.
- If the lavender oil isn’t working, try doubling your usage. Consult a doctor if nothing you’re trying is working.
Thoughts on Falling Asleep with Lavender Oil
Spending an entire night wide awake has to be one of the worst experiences in life. Most people still have to go to work or attend school the next day. And often insomnia can be a recurring problem, leaving you without sleep for weeks on end.
Not getting enough sleep can impact your health, leading to minor and major health conditions and diseases. But most people don’t want to take sleeping pills for every single night of the week.
Lavender oil has been proven to be both effective and safe to use every night of the week. It’s also safe to use around pets and small children.
Lavender oil is affordable to use as often as you wish. Try it one of the four ways listed here—direct application to skin; mixed with carrier oils; on your pillow; or in a diffuser—and soon you’ll be on your way to a good night’s sleep!