If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, aromatherapy may help you find the rest you need. The scents around us have an impact on how we feel, which impacts how well we sleep. Scent therapy has been studied for many years to determine how and whether the aromas around us affect our behaviors.

The Sleep Scents

Lavender has long been considered a relaxing flower that can reduce anxiety. When paired with other scents, like jasmine, lavender can help you go to sleep sooner and experience deeper sleep. Science has shown that scents have a big impact on our minds. Jasmine is one of the best scents for those who sleep too lightly or who wake often, while cedar, vanilla, and lavender have been used in medical settings to reduce anxiety in patients.

If doctors and dentists are relying on scent therapy to assist anxious patients, you may find that the effects of aromatherapy in your home are effective in treating sleep disorders. Talking to your personal physician is important if you have serious sleep issues, such as chronic insomnia, but aromatherapy is a safe alternative that can help most people get the sleep they need. Since there are no dangerous side effects to using scent therapy, this option can also be used along with other treatments such as prescription medications.

Scent and The Human Brain

The power of scent has traditionally been linked to memories. For example, the scent of sugar cookies may remind you of your grandmother, or the smell of freshly mowed grass can remind you of visiting a farm. Scents that you associate with sleeping may have more of an impact on you than scents commonly used for falling and staying asleep. Think about the aromas that are comforting and that make you think of falling asleep, and try using those to combat restlessness at bedtime.

Try using scents that are familiar to you if those recommended to induce better sleep simply aren't working. It is also a good idea to use scents that have been shown to lessen anxiety if you have been suffering from insomnia because of stress or worries. With the diverse range of aromas shown to reduce anxiety and promote sleep, finding a scent that you like just takes a little experimentation.

Using Aromatherapy

Using scents to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly is a safe option for people of all ages. Even babies can benefit from the scents in their environment. It is important to look for options that are safe to use while you are sleeping. Scent diffusers are small ceramic disks that scent the air using essential oils. Avoid candles and scent warmers that use tea light candles to ensure you don't fall asleep while the candle is burning. Instead, opt for an electric diffuser such as the Aroma-Ace Essential Oil Diffuser that is set to go off within a specific time period.

Aromatherapy pillows and sprays are an ideal solution to using scents to aid in sleep. Spray your pillow or sheets with the spray lightly before bed, or opt for a scented sleep pillow placed under your regular pillow for a scent boost at bedtime. Make sure that you are using all natural sprays or pillows filled with real flowers for the full benefits of aromatherapy. For those who try scented therapies but still have trouble sleeping, it is important to consult with medical professionals to pursue a home sleep study or other course of action.


Nelson Whitcomb is a respected freelance health blogger.

Featured Image Credit: greenchild

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