Scent Yourself to Sleep
Our sense of smell can be one of the most important of the five senses. Our olfactory system can trigger memories, change thoughts, and make food taste… at all. Throwing in a contradictory scent can completely change a flavour. Aromatherapy, or using aromatic plant extracts and essential oils for healing and cosmetic purposes, can change your mood, put you to sleep, and even invite different kinds of dreams. For a run down of the best scents to sleep to, read on.
Something smells good
In the National Sleep Foundation’s 2012 Bedroom Poll, 78% of people said they were more excited for bed when their sheets had a fresh scent, and 71% of people described getting more comfortable sleep with fresh sheets. In a study in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition often marked by nightmares and significant sleeping problems, exposure to pleasant odors during sleep was associated with improved sleep quality.
Exposure to smells that are associated with a positive mood, calmness, and relaxation may be beneficial in the lead-up to bedtime and through the night. By promoting relaxation, certain essential oils may reduce this barrier to sleep. A review of published scientific research found that a majority of studies reported sleep benefits for people using essential oils.
Scent is so personal that there is no one answer for the best smell to put you to sleep. However, there are a few key essential oils that have been proven to help a majority of people get a better night’s rest. They are:
The most studied on our list, lavender has been shown to have calming effects on heart rate and blood pressure as well as mood. In the language of flowers, lavender means purity, silence, devotion, serenity, grace, and calmness. And the colour purple is linked to the crown chakra, which deals with spiritual connectivity.
Perhaps less easily linked to sleep is the proud rose. In a study conducted in a hospital’s coronary care unit, aromatherapy with scents from a type of rose known as damask rose showed significant improvement in sleep quality. Rose meanings are wide and varied, but roses are most commonly linked to feelings of love – and who doesn’t sleep better when they feel loved?
This flower has long been known to help with sleep. This particular soothing and calming scent is not just great as an essential oil, but as a drink, in food, and used as an ingredient in skincare. A member of the daisy family, the flowers have been linked to feelings of rest, peace, poise, calmness. IT is also linked in some cultures to the ideas of rebirth and renewal, as though the flower seems delicate, it is able to bloom for a long time, while resisting wear from foot traffic.