Are you trying to find ways to sleep better at night? Let me tell you, you are not the only one. Almost everyone has suffered from some form of sleep deprivation at some point in their life. And a small portion of people who suffer from chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia is a disorder when the person is unable to fall asleep and stay asleep for three or more nights in a row for more than three months. If left untreated it can cause major health issues including heart attack and severe mental strain.
Most people suffer from acute cases of insomnia or a short period of sleep deprivation. It has more to do with stress than anything. Lack of sleep can be very frustrating. If you haven’t slept well for two nights in a row who will know what I am talking about. You will immediately feel the side effects on the third day. Irritability is one of the most obvious symptoms of lack of sleep. You might snap at people necessary. You might get angry easily. You might get frustrated at little things.
Here’s Happens when you don’t get proper sleep-
1. Lack Of Concentration
Concentrating on anything specific becomes difficult.
If you haven’t had a good sleep in a long time, your day to day work will become more difficult for you. You would find satisfaction in doing anything.
If you are a working person and has a 9-5 office job, you will find your boss and colleagues catch up on your deteriorating mental health.
Your personal relationships are hampered. Your spouse or partner notice you change.
If you are a student, you might not be able to study. Concentrating on your syllabus can become impossible. You might fail to take notes during the classroom. Being mindful in the classroom can become difficult.
2. Feeling Of Detachment
If you haven’t slept properly for a long time in your body gets very tired and so is your mind. People have mentioned feeling a sense of detachment when their brain is exhausted.
You feel as if you are inside a dream, everything seems surreal. It’s like being not present at the moment. You may experience hallucinations. When your friends are talking you might seem to drift away. Things would stop making sense.
3. Physical Exhaustion
Feeling tired is another major side effect of lack of sleep. You might get exhausted after doing small work, like simply talking to someone can become exhausting. Working on a computer or just sitting up straight may feel like a heavy workout.
When you sleep your body regenerates itself, including your muscles and your brain. When you haven’t had proper sleep in a long time your body, your muscles, your heart and all other organs are constantly working. Especially your brain is overworked and as a result, you feel tired all the time.
What are the long term side effects of sleep?
There are several long term side effects of sleep some are even fatal.
You would be surprised to know if you sleep less than the recommended 7-8 hours a day your body’s hunger hormones, Leptin and Ghrelin get messed up. People always say five hours is more than enough for them, the sad news is, is it not. A solid seven hours of sleep is very important for normal functioning.
Imbalance in hunger hormones can make you feel hungry all the time. Overeating is a serious issue for people who don’t get proper sleep. But that’s not the only problem, lack of sleep badly affects your metabolism. Your body is not able to burn fat as fast. The fat gets accumulated and as a result, it can cause a major problem which is obesity.
2. High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is somewhat related to the above-mentioned obesity. When you get proper sleep every day your metabolism slows down and the calories are not processed as quickly. Toxins get accumulated because of slow metabolism. Fat gets accumulated around important tissues, inside veins and on your body.
The fat inside your vein increases the blood pressure, makes your heart do double the work to pump blood. It can lead to heart failure and eventually death.
3. Mental Health Issues
Anxiety and depression are the most common problem associated with lack of sleep. Stress and sleep problems are correlated. When you have a lot of stress you will find it hard to fall asleep. When you don’t sleep properly your stress will increase, it’s a vicious cycle.
Long term side effects of stress can lead to severe anxiety. People who suffer from anxiety usually suffer from depression as well. These mental health issues are the most common among people in their late twenties or early thirties. Sleep deprivation at this age can adversely affect your career, relationships and future life.
Getting proper sleep every day can solve a lot of your health issues including physical and mental health
Before I tell you how to use Essential oils to fall asleep faster and to improve the quality of your sleep, let me tell you what not to do to fall asleep-
- Don’t Use Your Phone On The Bed
The excuse that you use the mobile device to fall asleep is not going to work. Yes, your phone might have a sleep app or music that you think will make you fall asleep. Trust me, it will not. Mobile phones are nothing but distractions and overload of stimulations that no one wants. A relaxing video is still a video and sensory overload. The white light and radiations that are good for your health at all. Using phones on your bed is the most common cause for lack of sleep.
You should keep your electronic devices Tablets mobile phones and laptops away from your bed. Invest in a white noise device if you have to listen to relaxing music. Get this Marpac Marpac Whish White Sounds machine, that works great to play from a wide range of nature relaxing sounds and other sounds that help you fall asleep faster.
- Don’t Self Medicate With Sleeping Pills
Don’t force your doctor to prescribe you sleep pills just because you had a few nights of bad sleep. sleeping pills are boon for your natural sleeping pattern. They might make you fall asleep faster for a few days but for the long run, it badly affects your body. Once your body becomes accustomed to these pills you start to depend on it to sleep. Not to forget, sleep pills are not good for your brain at all, they cause memory problem. And they are highly addictive.
- Drinking Alcohol.
Chugging those few glasses of wine before bed might make you feel sleepy. However, it badly influences your REM cycle of sleep, which is the most important stage of sleep. It is the deepest stage of your sleep where your brain saves memory and rejuvenates the body.
Alcohol dehydrates your body. Hydration at night is very important as you are not drinking any water at that time. (It is not recommended to drink water before bed as it disrupts your sleep cycle when if you have to go to the bathroom. )
- Eating A Heavy Meal
Having a full stomach might make you sleepy right after you have eaten it. Especially food that is rich in Carbohydrate and protein takes a lot of your body’s energy for digestion. It makes you feel drowsy, however, digestion takes up a long time when you are sleeping. Your body’s temperature is high when the food is digested it stops you from going into a deep sleep.
Acid Reflux after a heavy meal is another problem. When you have a heavy meal right before bed, the acids from stomach travel to your food pipe. It can be very uncomfortable and prevent you from sleeping.
Why is relaxing important for sleep?
Relaxation does not simply mean lying down and not doing anything. If you are anxious about something, if you have a million thoughts going inside your mind, if you are stressed about your work or relationship then setting ideally or laying down does nothing for relaxation.
When you are thinking about multiple things, your mind is at constant work. High level of stress release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body.
It doesn’t let your body to relax. Your heart beats at a higher pace, your muscles are tensed, your blood pressure is high. You will have difficulty breathing. You become very aware of your surroundings, the noises will sound louder, the lights will look brighter. Stress puts a negative impact on your body in the long run.
If the above-mentioned side effects are happening to you every night when you are going to sleep, you would have no success in sleeping. It can make us toss and turn, even after laying in bed for hours you will hardly get to one hour of sleep.
People experiment with numerous methods trying to relax in bed. From Counting numbers to listening to music, also meditation. Some even try Deep breathing exercises and mindfulness. Trying to relax is easier said than done. Not focusing on anything is the most difficult part of relaxation.
For people suffering from chronic Insomnia or anxiety disorders relaxing becomes even more difficult when you are alone in bed. Having nothing to focus and just laying in bed can trigger intrusive thoughts. Even if you go to sleep you might wake up during the middle of the night if you suffer from stress.
Intrusive thoughts can inhibit you from reaching the REM cycle of your sleep. There are certain methods to aid your relaxation techniques, usage of essential oils is one such technique.
Lucky for you, I have the perfect solution for relaxing at night while you are on your bed. Our olfactory nerves are very sensitive. For example, when we smell something delicious it sends signals in our brain and our mouth waters. If we smell something obnoxious it produces a bad response. So, you can understand how important our sense of smell is. Certain smells have a Calming Effect on the body.
Aromatherapy which is a therapy that uses essential oils is alternative medicine and is practised in many Ayurvedic clinics for relaxation. The smell of Essential oil affects your neuroendocrine system through your olfactory pathway. It helps us to relax. Inhaling certain essential oils can make the oil travel to your lungs and diffuse in your blood through the lungs membrane.
You don’t have to worry about Essential oil is harmful. They are excreted by out by our body without any side effects but with many good benefits.
1. Essential Oil Massage
Deep massage is one of the most common ways of Essential oil application. Once in awhile ask your close one to massage your back with Essential oil.
Our skin is a semipermeable membrane. The Essential oil absorbed by your skin through the epidermis, it travels through the various layers of your skin and reaches your muscles where it relaxes our muscles. It also goes into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body. Essential oil is also good for your skin, it mixes with the natural sebum of your hair follicles and makes it healthy.
Massages, in general, are promoted blood circulation. Better blood circulation circulates oxygen throughout your body. Proper Oxygen circulation is very important for better brain activity and better sleep. A good massage before sleep can help you release your tense muscles. If you suffer from backache, migraines and you don’t you feel restless on your a massage can help you to sleep. You can try putting Essential oil in your bath water and soak up for a few minutes, that way the Essential oil can penetrate your skin and reach your body to help you to relax.
2. Essential Oil And Olfactory Pathway
Aromatherapy is one of the oldest kinds of therapies in Ayurveda. Our olfactory nerve cell has about 20 million Nerve cells. Every smell has its memory. It’s our brain’s way of knowing what is good and what is bad for us.
When you inhale Essential oil brain automatically collects this signal and associate it with a good memory. The mild aroma of essential oils helps you to go to a happy place, imagine happy things. Many relaxation techniques ask you to imagine a beautiful place, it can be a tropical forest, it can be a beach or riverbank. Anywhere that makes you happy.
Your sense of smell directly influences your power of imagination, you will have an easier time imagining a relaxing place with certain smells. Essential oil helps you to relax and get rid of intrusive thoughts. You will have a better focus. If you suffer from stress and anxiety aromatherapy can help you release stress, lower your heartbeat, relax your muscles and fall asleep faster.
3. Inhaling Essential Oil Into Lungs
When you inhale Essential oil it goes to your lungs. Lungs are composed of small sacs called broccoli. The walls of bronchi are filled with blood vessels. Essential oil diffuses through the membrane of the bronchi and enter the blood circulation and into the blood system. It is circulated throughout the body including, muscles, brain etc. Essential oil eventually helps you to relax with its properties and make you fall asleep faster.
Ways to use essential oil
1. Massage – As mentioned above one of the ways to use Essential oil is getting a deep massage. The essential oil in combination with mineral oils, olive oil or coconut oil can help your muscles to get better blood circulation, release stress and help you relax. You can ask someone close to do it for you or you can go to a spa where they professional Essential oil massages.
2. Bath – Soaking in bath water with few drops of Essential oil can also help you to relax faster. Essential oil is absorbed by your skin to your bloodstream. Taking a bath in warm water relaxes your muscles, promotes blood circulation. When you come out of the bath the water decreases your body temperature. A decrease in body temperature is can help you to fall asleep faster. It is scientifically proven that body temperature drops down when you are falling asleep, being its lowest in the deepest sleep.
If you suffer from stress your body temperature does not go down naturally, as a result, you are not able to fall asleep. Taking a bath can help a ton.
3. Essential Oil Diffuser – Essential oil Diffusers can be used to diffuse Essential oil into your room. It creates a very relaxing atmosphere at night. If you choose the right kind of diffuser that diffuses just the right amount of essential oil that is not overpowering, it can work miracles.
4. My Personal Favourite Is VicTsing – Humidifier-Ultrasonic-Essential-Diffuser which comes with a noise reduction technique, unlike other diffusers that make a constant swoosh sounds while working. These diffusers are a great way to inhale the light aroma of essential oil without getting nauseous.
5. Essential Oil Candles – Essential oil diffuser candles are another way of diffusing Essential oil in the air. Listen to an essential oil-infused candle and it will slowly diffuse essential oil through the flame. These candles also look aesthetically beautiful. They enhance the beauty of your room. They are a type of aroma.
If you someone who likes handmade candles you can make one yourself. Just buy candle wax, mix a spoonful of essential oil in it and pour it in a mason jar. Let it sit overnight. Don’t forget to put the wick in. Making candle yourself will help you save some money.
6. Orally – Orally taking Essential oil can be debatable. Not all Essential oil can be taken orally, some have a very strong smell. However, orally intake is one of the fastest ways to get essential oil l inside your body certain Essential oil.
Do it only if recommended by a professional. Don’t start drinking essential oil randomly. It can help you sleep faster and make you make your sleep cycle improve.
Aromatherapy is not possible with just any scent so don’t even try. If you think Artificial scents like room freshener can help, well, they don’t. They can be too harsh, they contain alcohol, they are an assault on your olfactory system. It will distract you from sleeping instead of making you relax.
Some essential oils that work great to fall asleep faster-
1. Lavender Oil
Lavender Essential oil is extracted from the lavender flower. The process of steam distillation is used to extract the oil from the flower. The flowers are put inside a copper container and heated until the essential evaporates and condenses. This condensation is separated and stored and that is how most essential oils are extracted.
Lavender oil is considered one of the most common types of Essential oil treatment for sleep. It has a relaxing property. Most people associate the smell with soothing memories. It helps people who suffer from stress. It improves their mood and helps them to sleep throughout the night with a problem.
In a study done on 20 participants, treated with lavender shows to have reduced blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. All the factors that help to fall asleep.
Lavender especially helps women suffering from depression. It improves their mood swings during those time of the month. For pregnant women, lavender can help both the woman and the baby in the womb.
Lavender has also shown to help people suffering from infomania. Inhaling lavender can help you sleep through the deepest cycle of the sleep cycle, that is the REM sleep. The time for REM sleep increases considerably and the quality gets better when you sleep while inhaling lavender Essential oil.
2. Valerian Essential Oil
Valerian is a Herb that is found in parts of Europe and Asia and some parts of North America. Valerian is often taken for anxiety and psychological stress. The Essential oil extracted from Valerian contains properties to help people relax. And is often used to treat mild insomnia.
Valerian is also used to improve sleep quality. Inhaling Valerian through a diffuser or valerian scented candles help you to relax if you are trying other relaxing techniques such as meditation and breathing techniques. In general, people who are trying to quit taking sleeping pills get a lot of help from Valerian Essential oil.
For women going through menopause, valerian can reduce the symptoms of hot flashes. Valerian has said to help people with depression and stressful thoughts at night. You can either inhale Valerian through a diffuser or you can get a Valerian Essential oil massage.
3. Clary sage Essential Oil
Clary’s sage is a plant found in the North Mediterranean Basin. People who specialise in aromatherapy say that Clary sage act as an antidepressant. It relieves stress and improves blood circulation. Due to its anti-stress effects, Clary stage is considered one of the few essential oils that among the wide variety present in the market that help you relax in bed and sleep faster.
If you suffer from a lot of stress or anxiety, try using aromatherapy techniques mentioned above with Clary sage oil. Anxiety is a boon for your sleep, inhaling a little bit of clary sage oil or soaking in a bath with flew few drops of clary sage oil can help you relax, release stress and fall into a deep sleep. Clary sage oil when used in a diffuser can help you stay longer in REM sleep through the night.
You can orally administer clary sage oil few drops 1 to 2 drops in your tea, juice or smoothies.
4. Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
Marjoram is found in some parts of the Middle east. It is cultivated as a spice for its somewhat citrus flavour. There are a few types of Marjoram found in nature like Sweet Marjoram and Knotted Marjoram. Our interest is sweet Marjoram, which is known for its relaxing quality. Sweet marjoram oil is often used as a remedy for insomnia and is often used side by side to lavender. Using sweet marjoram oil in the diffuser or taking a few drops in the bath can help you release stress from your mind and focus on your sleep rather than something else. It can help you go into a deep sleep and stay in deep sleep throughout the night. You will look fresh in the morning. It also aids you with quitting sleeping pills.
5. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile is a small white flower. It is found in Europe, North Africa, the temperate region of Asia and in Great Britain. These are a sweet-scented flower that is used to extract chamomile oil. Chamomile oil is considered very effective in relaxing your brain. It can be used for people suffering from insomnia, people who usually have a hard time falling asleep on their own and take the help of sleep medicine. People suffering from stress and anxiety can use chamomile Oil in the bath, chamomile scented candles or diffusers and sleep better at night.