For many people, getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t come easily. Whether the inability to sleep is caused by stress, hormonal changes or external factors like noisy neighbors, it can wreak havoc on a person’s ability to function. The good news is that lavender essential oil is an affordable and highly effective sleep aid that has been used for centuries to treat insomnia.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects approximately one in three adults (source). The disorder can range from mild to severe. In some cases, insomniacs have trouble falling asleep. In other cases, the sufferer may be able to fall asleep but wakes up repeatedly throughout the night.
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Those who suffer from more severe forms of insomnia may develop other health conditions. The body needs about eight hours of sleep each night in order to function properly. When someone is sleep deprived, they are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and contracting infections as the immune system is compromised (source).
How Lavender Essential Oil Treats Insomnia
Many essential oils have been used for centuries to treat sleep disorders. Lavender essential oil for sleep is especially popular. Lavender oil has powerful effects on the mind and nervous system.
An enormous benefit of using lavender essential oil to treat insomnia is that it has no side effects when inhaled. Many prescription sleep aids are notorious for their risky side effects which include dependency, a dangerously low rate of breathing and even seizures.
With many prescription sleep aids, there is a risk of overdose. Additionally, mixing most sleep aids with other medications can cause serious side effects. With lavender essential oil, however, there is no risk of overdosing and there are no dangers caused by mixing it with other medications.
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Often, the inability to sleep is caused by an underlying mental condition. People who suffer from clinical depression often struggle to fall asleep at night (source).
Several studies have shown that lavender can successfully treat insomnia that is caused by depression. In multiple studies, patients who suffered from depression inhaled lavender essential oil and found that their sleep patterns improved dramatically (source).
Slows Down the Nervous System
Like depression, anxiety and stress can cause insomnia. When the mind is overactive, the nervous system responds by increasing heart rate and rate of breathing (source). When heart rate and rate of breathing are increased, the body struggles to fall asleep.
A study shows that the inhalation of lavender essential oil can slow down the nervous system. As a result, the heart rate and rate of breathing return to normal, allowing the person to fall asleep much more easily (source).
Lavender essential oil is so effective in the treatment of anxiety that a study showed that it may be as effective as psychoactive anti-anxiety medications. In the study, patients with anxiety disorder inhaled lavender essential oil for six weeks and saw a dramatic improvement in their symptoms (source).
How to Use Lavender Essential Oil
When used to treat insomnia, lavender essential oil is inhaled. Many patients find relief from insomnia when they apply a few drops of the oil to their pillow.
Another method is diffusion. An oil diffuser is a small device that you can place in your bedroom and leave on while you sleep. This device combines essential oil with hot water to produce a steady stream of steam.
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For centuries, people around the world have been using lavender oil for sleep. Its unique ability to calm down the mind and body makes it an effective treatment for insomnia.
If you have used lavender essential oil for sleep, let us know in the comments below. Please share this article with anyone you know who may benefit from this information.