Let A Little Lavender Into Your Life For Peace, Rest, And Sleep

You're not alone if you're having trouble falling and staying asleep. You might also get up earlier than you'd like and not be able to get back to sleep. Insomnia affects about a quarter of Americans each year, as per Penn Today. "Whether caused by stress, illness, medications, or other factors, poor sleep is very common," said Michael Perlis, Director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition, increasing amounts of stress are often responsible for the inability to relax and get decent sleep. "Stress from family life, financial stresses, illness especially with the COVID pandemic all can alter one's ability to fall and stay asleep," explains Dr. Thomas Kilkenny, director of the Institute of Sleep Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital (via Healthline).

While good sleep hygiene is vital in battling insomnia, such as going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every day, adding this natural sleeping aid to your bedtime routine may help you catch those elusive zzz's.

What lavender can do for sleep

When it comes to essential oils to help induce sleep and relaxation, lavender is at the top of the list and its effects are rooted in science. According to BBC Science Focus Magazine, a few whiffs of lavender can work to induce tranquility and even help relieve pain. The main components of lavender oil are linalyl acetate and linalool. Together, they work to produce a calming effect.

Clinical psychologist and sleep medicine expert Dr. Michael Breus writes, "Lavender interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA to help quiet the brain and nervous system activity, reducing agitation, anger, aggression, and restlessness," via The Sleep Doctor. Breus says that it also can help fight inflammation.

In addition to the biological and scientific effects that lavender can have on your health and nervous system, it also has a wonderful floral scent that is quite recognizable. The soothing aroma makes using it quite enjoyable to use on a daily basis.

How to use lavender to foster relaxation and sleep

While some people use lavender oil directly on their skin to help heal fungal infections, on the scalp to promote hair growth, and on the face for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it should always be diluted, as per mindybodygreen.

A couple of drops mixed into lotion, moisturizer, or conditioner works best, Yet, in order to help induce sleep and soothe your system, breathing in the oil is optimal. One of theĀ best ways to use a diffuser and simply to place 2-3 drops into it before you go to sleep at night.

If you don't have a diffuser but want to breathe in the benefits, you can pour a drop or two onto a piece of cloth and breathe it in, via Verywell Mind. You can then keep it on your nightstand and let the aroma make its way around the room as you fall into a deep, restorative sleep.