Lorna is a qualified therapist and writer with an interest in alternative and holistic approaches to health.
When Sleep Evades You
Aromatherapy is a great, natural alternative to reaching for that bottle of sleeping pills and should be an essential part of a bedtime routine. The benefits of essential oils go far beyond their beautiful smell.
The reasons are many and varied as to why that good night’s sleep is so elusive. Hectic working lives resulting in long hours and stressful journeys all act as a permanent on-switch in our minds. Therefore, for many, being able to switch off and rein-in those racing thoughts can become impossible.
Stress is the main cause of insomnia and can lead to more serious mental conditions such as anxiety and depression. Regardless of the cause, the inability to maintain a healthy sleep pattern results in feelings of tiredness, irritability, reduced ability to cope and an overall feeling of listlessness. There are significant health benefits to sleeping well and even though scientists have yet to determine why humans need sleep they do know that humans must sleep. In fact, people can survive longer without food than without sleep.
This brings us to the function of sleep and just why it is so important to our overall mental health and well-being. While we sleep our body is going through a complete overhaul. Our muscles tissues and dead cells are repaired and necessary chemicals are replaced. Most importantly the cardiovascular system is given a break, which has the added benefit of keeping blood pressure under control. Memory and what we have learned during the day is reinforced which is beneficial both in the workplace and if studying.
Obviously, the benefits of sleeping well should never be understated, and even though aromatherapy is not a cure for insomnia, it can be a very useful aid as part of a bedtime routine in achieving that much longed for good night’s sleep. The use of essential oils to instill a sense of well-being and relaxation, which promotes sleep has been practiced for hundreds of years.
It should be noted that even though essential oils are natural they are also powerful. If you are pregnant, nursing or on any kind of medication please check with your health professional before use of these oils.
If stress or tension is keeping you awake at night, the following essential oils have the best outcome in helping you to relax and unwind. Be sure to use a good quality organic oil.
- Lavender: This most popular of essential oils not only has a beautiful aroma but its use has the most calming effect on the mind. By adding a few drops to a diffuser before bedtime it will soothe and calm the mind leading to a beneficial nights sleep.
- Jasmine: A veritable powerhouse when it comes to relieving symptoms of anxiety and stress, this essential oil has a mildly sedative and calming effect. Either inhaled or applied topically to the wrists or ankles before bedtime can lessen those feelings of stress or agitation, resulting in a relaxed nights’ sleep.
- Cedarwood: The earthy scent of cedarwood conjures up images of peaceful forest walks. Used topically or in a diffuser before bedtime will prepare the most stressful mind for a good nights’ sleep.
If you suffer from insomnia and your health professional has ruled out any underlying medical causes, the use of aromatherapy as part of your bedtime routine will soothe the mind, promoting sleep and leave you feeling refreshed and able to take on the next days’ challenges.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2018 Lorna Lamon
Lorna Lamon (author) on July 15, 2020:
I've also seen an increase in the more severe forms of mental illness. There is so much fear around at the moment and of course the media feeds into this fear. Unfortunately not being able to sleep is a direct result of this. Thank you for taking the time to read this article Peggy, and I hope the situation in your part of the world improves. Take care.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2020:
More people than ever might need this kind of information right now. I read recently from another writer on this site that people are having stranger than normal dreams. Covid-19 is causing all kinds of upsets. A good nights sleep is so important.
Lorna Lamon (author) on July 13, 2020:
I've always found lavender to be so beneficial when it comes to sleeping. I also grow it in the garden. Can't get enough of it. Glad you enjoyed this article Manuela and thank you for visiting.
Manuela from Portugal on July 13, 2020:
I love the lavender smell, it is so relaxing, it always helps me to sleep.
Lorna Lamon (author) on July 12, 2020:
Glad you found the article useful Nishika, I also meditate which I find helps to calm the mind. Thank you for commenting.
Brights and Blues by Nishika Chhabra from India on July 12, 2020:
I'll try some lavender oil and give it a try. I have always had a hard time sleeping at nights, I hope this will help me out. Thanks for sharing this informative piece on insomnia.
Lorna Lamon (author) on June 15, 2020:
Hi Anupam, Glad you found this article useful. I would advise you to use a diffuser for an hour before bed, as this will allow the aroma to permeate the air. Alternatively a lavender pillow is a great investment.
Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on June 15, 2020:
Thank you so much Lorna for this information on aromatherapy. You are really an excellent writer. I too love these sweet smells, but was a bit scared if we can sleep with diffusers on at night.
Lorna Lamon (author) on May 27, 2020:
Glad you enjoyed this article Lisha and I have always found aromatherapy very helpful as an aid to a good night's sleep. Thank you for your kind comments.
Lisha C on May 27, 2020:
Such a well-written piece. I never knew that aromatherapy could help with insomnia. Sure sounds like it's worth a try, thanks.
Lorna Lamon (author) on May 04, 2020:
I also grow lavender Diana and dry it as well. I love the aroma and recommend it's use for insomnia. it is such a tried and trusted remedy, one I have used for many years. Glad you enjoyed the article and your comments are always appreciated. Thank you for visiting. Take care.
Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on May 04, 2020:
Thanks for your post on insomnia. I find lavender is so good, for calming the mind at bedtime. A bunch from the garden is such a pleasure.
Love the mild aroma, filling the room and freshening the air.
Lorna Lamon (author) on April 27, 2020:
Thank you for commenting and for visiting.
Sankhajit Bhattacharjee on April 27, 2020:
interesting to learn
Lorna Lamon (author) on March 05, 2020:
I have used these remedies as aids to a good night's sleep for many years Devika and couldn't do without them. Lovely to see you and thank you for visiting.
Devika Primic on March 05, 2020:
Interesting about Aromatherapy you filled me in on the ways to fall asleep to feel relaxed and less stressed. Certainly worth a try thank you.
Lorna Lamon (author) on February 24, 2020:
Lovely to see you Peggy and I highly recommend the use of lavender oil which has always worked for me. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comments.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 23, 2020:
I'll have to purchase some lavender oil and give it a try. I have heard good things about it and your article reinforces the efficacy of using it. Thanks!
Lorna Lamon (author) on January 17, 2020:
I'm also a big fan of essential oils Lorna and find it difficult to sleep without lavender oil. I will try your mix of lavender oil and coconut oil for my feet - sounds very relaxing. Thanks for visiting and commenting.
LornsA178 on January 17, 2020:
Lorna, I've been using essential oils to make our house smells good. My favorite are: lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon grass to name a few. I love the combination of peppermint and eucalyptus - I diffuse them during flu season and seems to help me not to get sick. I mix lavender with coconut oil to rub my feet to relax me at night. Thank you for this article.
Lorna Lamon (author) on November 29, 2019:
I have always used Lavender to aid with sleep - it is a very relaxing natural remedy. Hope it works for you Brenda and I'm glad you found the article useful. Thanks for visiting and commenting.
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 28, 2019:
Thanks for sharing this article. I have trouble falling asleep.
I believe I will try the lavender...it cannot hurt.
Lorna Lamon (author) on November 05, 2019:
Hi Patricia, If using for the first time I would suggest Lavender. It has been tried and tested and I have always found it beneficial. Let me know how you get on.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 05, 2019:
You are most welcome...I am really anxious to give it a try. One of my nieces mixes her own and my daughter has used them religiously. Angels coming once again. ps
Lorna Lamon (author) on November 05, 2019:
Hi Patricia, I have used aromatherapy for many years and find it to be such a soothing way to fall asleep. Thank you for your kind comments and for visiting. Blessings for the Angels.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 04, 2019:
My daughter uses aromatherapy but I have never done so. Maybe I will give it a try. I do not often have trouble sleeping but when I do I will know what to try. Thanks for sharing. Angels headed your way. Pinning ps
Lorna Lamon (author) on October 24, 2019:
Hi JC, In answer to your questions - Melatonin regulates sleep it isn't a sleep initiator. For those people who are perhaps jet lagged it can be useful, however, I would suggest limited use as it does have side-effects, such as, wakefulness, depression and stomach cramps. Dispersion through a humidifier, as long as the substance is organic is probably a safer way to use it. Thank you for visiting.
JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on October 23, 2019:
Hello Lorna....A couple of quick questions. Is aromatherapy equally as effective as melatonin? For a lasting effect, should the substance be dispersed through a humidifier?
Thanks for your article!!!
Lorna Lamon (author) on October 23, 2019:
Hi Abitha, I'm a big fan of Lavender and use it frequently. Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments.
Abitha from Chennai, Tamilnadu on October 22, 2019:
An informative read, I used to do this a long time back with no particular knowledge of the benefits, now that I know what a lovely sleep aid it is, I will try it!
Lorna Lamon (author) on October 12, 2019:
You are very welcome Cheryl and I find Lavender works best for me. Thanks for visiting.
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on October 11, 2019:
Thank you so much. I needed this. Some nights I simply cannot fall asleep.
Lorna Lamon (author) on August 23, 2019:
Thank you for your kind comments Maham
MahamMushtaq from PAKISTAN on August 23, 2019:
very informative and well written.
Lorna Lamon (author) on August 11, 2019:
I highly recommend the use of lavender mainly because it's so versatile. I'm glad you found the article useful Bridgette and thank you for commenting.
Bridgette Crowe from Morrow on August 10, 2019:
I had a teenager who had trouble falling asleep. I bought her a bear that had a pack of lavender that you warmed up and put in an opening in the bears back, worked like a charm. My daughter in law uses peppermint oil for my grandson's car sickness. Great artical, very informative. Thank you.
Lorna Lamon (author) on August 03, 2019:
You must have a very soothing voice and how lovely for your wife to fall asleep listening to your words. Glad you enjoyed the article Dream On and enjoy your weekend.
DREAM ON on August 02, 2019:
I loved your hub and all the essential oils that relax the body and mind. I know if I talk to my wife long enough at night she goes right to sleep. Maybe I found a new form of sleep therapy. It seems to work every time. Thank you so very much. Have a great weekend.
Lorna Lamon (author) on July 28, 2019:
Hi Patricia, I definitely make aromatherapy part of my relaxing routine. I'm glad you enjoyed this article and found it useful. Thank you for commenting, I appreciate it.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 27, 2019:
Absolutely love aromatherapy and use some of the suggestions you have provided. I will give a try to some I have not yet used. thank you for sharing Angels are headed your way this evening ps
Lorna Lamon (author) on July 11, 2019:
Glad you enjoyed the article Eczema Living and thank you for the great tips - I will try them out.
Eczema Living from California on July 11, 2019:
This is great article contain very useful information..
Here I would like to add one more way to get better sleep..
Add oil to your bath. This is a great way to get the relaxation and sleep benefits of aromatherapy while also taking advantage of the sleep-promoting effects of a warm soak. Put several drops of your favorite oil into your bathwater, and schedule your soaking time for 90 minutes to an hour before your bedtime.
and Use a diffuser. Diffusers will disperse oils into the air in your room. Typically, you add water and oil, in amounts set by the manufacturer. Follow their instructions.
Lorna Lamon (author) on June 26, 2019:
Cedar wood always reminds me of walks in forests - a great fresh scent. Thank you for your kind comments Audrey.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on June 25, 2019:
I've been an essential oil user for years and lavender has been my number one choice. Now, I've discovered cedar wood and use it in my diffuser daily. I love this scent!
Thanks, Lorna, for presenting this well-written article about Aromatherapy. I believe that by using essential oils, we sleep better. At least, I do. :)
Lorna Lamon (author) on June 23, 2019:
Lavender is a great all-rounder and one I use frequently. I'm glad you found the article useful Mariene. Thank you for commenting.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on June 22, 2019:
My go-to scent is lavender. Until I read your article, I had not considered jasmine or cedarwood. I like both of these scents and will try them for those times when I just need an extra boost to relax and go to sleep.
Evie Sparkes on May 21, 2019:
Lorna Lamon (author) on May 21, 2019:
Hi Evie, Yoga takes a lot of practice - I started when I was a student and I still have to really concentrate on my breathing. However, breathing makes the poses easier to perform as you can really stretch into the muscles. A good way to start would be to take very slow deep breaths without trying any of the poses, and do a little each day. Thanks for commenting Evie I appreciate it.
Evie Sparkes on May 20, 2019:
I wish I like yoga. I can't get on with observing my breathing, it makes me panic!
Lorna Lamon (author) on May 20, 2019:
I Lisa it's nice of you to visit. I find my sleep patterns vary depending on how busy I am. However, I have found that a combination of essential oils and yoga do the trick for me.Glad you enjoyed the article.
Lisa Kroulik from Minnesota on May 20, 2019:
Hi Lorna, you commented on my concussion article and I was drawn to this one. I forgot to mention that essential oils have been a big part of my recovery. I keep them at my desk for when I start to feel zoned out and sleepy and they always help to perk my brain back up. I never considered them for sleep. Have used sleeping pills for 20 years and it would be nice to get off them.
Lorna Lamon (author) on April 21, 2019:
Glad you enjoyed the article Miebakagh - my grandfather made furniture as well and to this day I love the smell of freshly sawed wood. Thank you for commenting.
Miebakagh57 on April 20, 2019:
Hi, Lorna, a great article and well written. Thanks for reminding me of the essense of cedar woods as a sleep-sorting aromatherapy. I noted that as a small boy for my grandfather was a woodworker, and the funitures he made with woods speaks of aromatherapy. That is why I love woody furnitures. But Lavender and Jasmine are likewise very important. These herbs are the simplest we can get tosort our persons to sleep.
Truly, no medical interventions can aid a person sleep well, for doctors are still not eable to demysfied what a sllepis orits cause. Thanks for sharing.
Lorna Lamon (author) on April 20, 2019:
Hi Evie, I love Lavender particularly the smell - I have a lavender plant in the garden and I often dry the flowers and put them all over the house. Glad you enjoyed the article and thanks for commenting.
Evie Sparkes on April 20, 2019:
I have just started using essential oils Lorna and have spent a fortune on a box set! So far I am seeing the benefit of them. Lavender in particular.
Lorna Lamon (author) on April 05, 2019:
Glad you enjoyed the article RTalloni - thank you for commenting.
RTalloni on April 04, 2019:
Essential oils are such a blessing! You are so right, though, many are powerful and should be used in small amounts. I regularly use lavender in bedding but have not read up on Jasmine. Not real fond of cedar wood's fragrance but may give it another go. Thanks for a useful read.
Lorna Lamon (author) on March 28, 2019:
Glad you enjoyed the article Thelma - Lavender is a great all rounder and especially good for aiding sleep. Thank you for commenting - enjoy your day.
Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on March 27, 2019:
Hi Lorna. I love aromatherapy. Lavender essential oil is a must not only for my diffuser but also for massaging. Though I don't use it often as I should, but I use this oil when I have a hard time sleeping. I put a drop or two under my nose, sprayed it on my pillow and heating it with the use of diffuser before going to bed.
Thanks for sharing. It is a very informative hub. Have a great day!
Lorna Lamon (author) on March 01, 2019:
Hi Sharon, Glad you enjoyed the article - I live in the country and was brought up on a farm so I certainly love all the smells you mentioned. Thank you for visiting.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 28, 2019:
Hello Lorna, I enjoyed the your article, but do not have a problem with sleeping. I scents and the smell of rain; fresh plowed fields and cut grass, all those things make me feel good, so I can see how aromatherapy would work.
Blessings my friend
Lorna Lamon (author) on February 28, 2019:
Hi Denise, I use lavender or jasmine oil, however, if your husband can't turn off his mind at night I would suggest meditation. It will take practice but over time the mind will clear and he will feel much more relaxed. Hope this helps, and glad you found the article helpful.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on February 27, 2019:
This could be very helpful. I have some Jasmine oil here and should try it soon. It's not me, but my husband with the problem. He just can't seem to turn his mind off at night. He's tried hot drinks, old movies, and even yoga at night but still has some problems. I'm not sure he'll like the smell of Jasmine but it's worth a try at this point. Thanks so much for the suggestion.
Lorna Lamon on November 19, 2018:
Hi Natalie, Glad you found the article useful - I am addicted to Lavender. Many thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving to you.
Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on November 18, 2018:
Thank you for the informative article. I use aromatherapy for relaxation and sleep intermittently. I would use it more often except it seems that within a few minutes I become acclimated to the scent (any scent) and no longer can perceive it. But it's nice while it lasts! Happy Thanksgiving.
Lorna Lamon (author) on November 09, 2018:
Hi Melissa, Lavender has wonderful healing properties and I have used it as an aid to a more restful nights sleep for many years. I'm so glad you are enjoying the benefits of these essential oils, and thank you for sharing your experience.
Melissa Meadow from United States on November 09, 2018:
I spritz my pillow, sheets and myself with a Lavender essential oil spray each night before bed to aid sleep and while I was skeptical at first, I can honestly and happily say that it's helped provide a more restful sleep for me. I love it so much I apply it to my clothes and on my wrists, etc. when I'm stressed as well. Lovely effects.
I also use Lavender and Cedarwood essential oils in my diffuser as well. It smells divine and helps with relaxation, anytime.