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.
Why We Can’t Fall Asleep
- 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 beautiful 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 rest 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 essential to deal with symptoms that are keeping you awake at night so that 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 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, but 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 a lavender essential oil or lavender oil that is a blend of oils.
It’s most effective and affordable to buy your 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 remedy for sleep.
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.
It 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.
Top 3 Ways to Get to Sleep with Lavender Oil
Lavender oil can be used in 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 primary 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 use 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 that will make washing your bedding much more comfortable 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.
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 pad.
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 25 ml of carrier oil, such a jojoba oil. The reeds are placed inside the vessel. 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 must be on time and alert.
- Eat a small number of carbs, such as cookies or biscuits, two hours before bedtime with a cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea such as lavender or chamomile. 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 there 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, 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 seeking is working.