One of my biggest problems since having kids is regulating my sleep. Between my all-night sleeper, my never-at-night-sleeper, and the-child-who-won’t-leave-our-bed sleeper – I have not had very many good nights of rest for many years.
As our kids have grown, their sleep patterns have almost flipped. One of our kids is on medication to help her sleep. Otherwise, she will be up all night, waking me up because she is bored. Or scared. Or hungry.
We have sleep walkers and sleep talkers. We have bed wetters and middle of the night eaters. And there are the occasional night terrors.
Yep – it has been exhausting.
When I discovered that lavender essential oil has a calming and sedative effect, I was happy. I did notice that it helped calm me down when I used it for my nasty bout of poison ivy. I also noticed it had a calming effect on my kids.
Lavender sachets – filled with dried lavender buds and leaves – have been used for centuries. So the idea that the essential oil might be used for the same benefits was not completely out of the realm of the imagination..
Indeed, lavender is often recommended to help calm and settle people, especially at bedtime. But I have read many comments by people who have said it has the OPPOSITE effect on them. So, yeah – that is also not out of the realm of possibility.
I noticed after using lavender over a period of months that it did not seem to have the same effect of helping my kids or I fall asleep faster, so I started looking for some other options and found a few oils that were new to me. (I was also looking for oils to help with ADHD symptoms in my kids, and funnily enough, these were the same oils to help settle for bedtime)
So here are a few oils I have found to be beneficial for helping settle me (or my little rascals) to sleep:
- Cedarwood – because of it’s woody scent, this is a great oil to mix with other scents to make it more kid-friendly. It blends especially well with sweet orange and lavender diluted in a rollerball!
- Vetiver – research suggests this oil particularly works for ADHD, and is especially good for “racing thoughts” so if anxiety is playing a part in keeping you awake, this might be an oil for you. I add this to every one of my sleep blends.
- Ylang ylang – this smells just like I imagine a tropical flower to smell! It can easily overpower the scents of other oils, so be sure to sniff gently and remember that less is more!
You can read more about essential oils for sleep at the following links:
8 Essential Oils for Sleep – by The Prairie Homestead
Essential Oils for Sleep – by Lea at Using EOs Safely
Sleep Tips – by Mommypotamus (not just about EOs)
One of the important things to remember about essential oils is that The Nose Knows! There are some scents that may be so offensive to your nose that you cannot use them, regardless of their reported benefits. If you apply an oil to help you sleep and then cannot sleep because it is an odor you can’t stand – you might need to make some adjustments to using it. Vetiver was an oil I really had to get used to, and I found that blending it with other oils really made it more tolerable, and then I could reap the benefits without gagging over the smell…
Above all – if you don’t have a rollerball and aren’t sure about applying any essential oils to your body, get yourself a cotton ball – a good one, not one of those fakey synthetic cosmetic balls – and apply 1-2 drops of your chosen oils to the cotton ball. Allow it to dry for a little bit and then seal it inside a plastic baggie. You can use it as a mini-inhaler for several days and refresh it every couple of weeks.
NOTE: some essential oils can melt plastic, so allow the oil to dry somewhat on the cotton ball before sealing it in a plastic bag…
Would you consider using essential oils to help you sleep? Have you ever tried any essential oils for sleep? Which oils worked for you?