Treating Insomnia With Aromatherapy

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that uses aromatic plant extracts mainly in the form of essential oil with the intent to enhance a person’s mood and health. The recorded use of aromatherapy has been documented down through history in many different cultures. The first use of aromatherapy was thought to be approximately 3000 years BC by the Egyptians. Much controversy surrounds the practice of aromatherapy as not many scientific studies have been conducted on the subject.

Even with this fact in mind many people worldwide still believe and use aromatherapy on a regular basis. Aromatherapy is also used in a wide range of traditional therapies. The practice of aromatherapy covers a whole range of applications. Some of these include:

• Topical application using either pure essential oils or in cream form

• Topical application as massage oil used in combination with a carrier oil such as almond, grape seed or apricot.

• Using an oil burner – an oil burner uses a low heat to burn off the oil and send the fragrance into the air.

• Putting some essential oil into a bowl of hot water and inhaling the steam with a towel over your head.

• Putting a few drops of oil onto a light bulb – gives the same effect as a traditional oil burner (not to be used with halogen lights)

• In a bath – putting the recommended dose into a warm bath and soaking for at least 10 minutes.

• In a footbath – essential oils make a lovely relaxing way to have a footbath.

• Putting some essential oil into a water spray bottle and adding a light fragrance to the room.

• Putting some essential oil onto your pillow or a tissue under your pillow to promote better sleep.

Before using any essential oils always check your skin for sensitivity by doing a patch test. Put a few drops on your skin on the inside of your elbow and wait for at least 24 hours to see if you have any reaction. Essential oils vary in strength and as a result different amounts are required for each individual oil, so please always follow the directions accompanying the oil.

What Essential Oils promote better sleep?

Lavender is one of the most used and safest of oils and is excellent for reducing stress and relaxing the mind. It is therefore a great oil to use if you can’t sleep due to stress.

Chamomile is more commonly known for its qualities as a herbal tea, but it is also used as a very calming and relaxing oil.

Clary Sage has a very calming effect.

Marjoram has many sedative qualities; these include easing still joints and muscle spasms.

I have covered a few of the many essential oils here that can help promote sleep. They can be used on their own or in combination depending on what suits you the best. I personally find that a few drops of lavender oil on a tissue under my pillow works wonders for me. Using aromatherapy is a very personal thing, what one person loves another person can’t stand. So a certain amount of experimentation is required in order to find out what suits you best. Even though essential oil can help you sleep better, when dealing with insomnia it is always better to find out what the reason for your insomnia is and then treat it.