Insomnia is defined as a persistent inability to fall or stay asleep when the opportunity for sleep is presented. Insomnia can cause irritability, depression, anxiety, difficulty focusing, increased errors and accidents, tension headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, and a myriad of other issues (mayoclinic.org).
Most of us have experienced brief periods of insomnia at times when we may have a lot on our minds or when we are dealing with a particularly stressful situation; but when the stressful situation is resolved, the insomnia tends to go away. Long-term, chronic insomnia, however, can occur as a reaction to long-term stressors. Insomnia can be caused by a lot of different factors, but some of the more common ones are anxiety, long-term stress, medical conditions, some medications, eating too much before going to bed, an irregular sleep schedule, and caffeine (mayoclinic.org). As insomnia persists, it can really start to interfere with a person’s health, mood, and well-being.
Many people have found that essential oils can be very helpful in dealing with insomnia. Many essential oils are known for their calming abilities and can help a person relax before going to bed. It may be helpful to do a personal evaluation and consider what factors in your own life may be causing your insomnia. If stress is the issue, consider finding ways to better deal with stressful situations in your life and using essential essential oils that may help with stress management. Our blog post “Living a Stress Free and Healthy Life with Essential Oils” offers some great natural ideas for stress management. If the underlying cause of your insomnia is something else, try referencing the Personal Usage Guide of the book Modern Essentials for ideas on what oils are commonly used for specific conditions.
Modern Essentials offers some great general ideas for helping you sleep:
Combine 6 drops Invigorating Blend with 6 drops lavender. Apply blend to big toes, bottoms of the feet, 2 drops around the navel, and 3 drops on the back of the neck (p.237).
Combine 2 drops Roman chamomile, 6 drops geranium, 3 drops lemon, and 4 drops sandalwood. Add 6 drops of this blend to your bath at bedtime, and combine 5 drops with 2 tsp. fractionated coconut oil for a massage after the bath (p.237).
Essential oils commonly used for insomnia include lavender, orange, Calming Blend, Roman chamomile, cypress, ylang ylang, Invigorating Blend, marjoram, lemon, rosemary, sandalwood, clary sage, and bergamot. Diffusing one of these oils or diluting one of them and applying it to the feet and back of the neck at bedtime may be a great help in helping you unwind and relax before trying to sleep (Modern Essentials p.237).
We’d love to hear your feedback! What essential oils have you used to help with insomnia?
Modern Essentials, 5th Edition, 2013