Holistic Approach: Essential Oils for Insomnia
08/04/2009 | 12:00 AM
Insomnia can be caused by many things including indigestion, stress, alcohol and an excess of caffeine. As for underlying factors, don’t forget anxiety, or an inability to calm your "restless mind." The more relaxing essential oils can help to calm your mind and help you sleep, particularly if you also cut down on caffeine and alcohol.
Suggested Essential Oils for Insomnia
Essential oils that are believed to help in the treatment of insomnia include:
- Some essential oils are contraindicated for preexisting medical conditions. Speak with your doctor before adopting this or any other complementary therapy.
- Essential oils should be used as a complement to conventional medicine, not a substitute. If the insomnia gets worse, speak with your doctor.
- Essential oils are highly potent. You rarely need more than a few drops, and using them undiluted can irritate your skin. Unless you're working with a diffuser or oil lamp, dilute the individual oils in warm water, or in a carrier oil (for example sweet almond, avocado, grape seed or jojoba).
Whether working with one essential oil or a blend, you have several methods of administration from which to choose. Would you prefer to massage the oils into your skin, diffuse them throughout the room, or keep them on hand so that you can choose when to inhale them? The most important thing is to select an approach that works for you.
- Add a few drops of the oil/s to a bath and soak for about 15 minutes.
- Add few drops of the diluted oil/s to your pillow.
- Mix with your favorite massage oil for a relaxing massage before bedtime.
- Add a few drops of the diluted oil/s to a compress. Apply the compress to your forehead or chest.
- Use an aromatherapy diffuser or oil burner (DIY version: A few drops in a bowl of very hot water).
One Step Further
Essential oils should not be thought of as a cure-all. They work best combined with other approaches, like yoga, meditation, and changes in diet. For more information, see Related Tips & How-Tos.