Sleeptember has come around again, and as many reach for their trusted Lavender Essential Oil, it might be met with reluctance by some.
We all know how effective Lavender is when it comes to sleep and relaxation, but what happens if you simply don’t like the aroma? All the research in the world won’t help you if you really don’t like the fragrance, and as smell is so personal you may find that another oil might be even more effective in helping you sleep. Here, our Aromatherapist Jo Kellett introduces three alternative essential oils that have sedative properties for mind and body that may help you with your slumber!
My first choice would be Chamomile Roman – Anthemis nobilis, which is steam distilled from the daisy-like flowers of the Chamomile herb. Aromatically it has a sweet ‘pear drop’ scent that transitions into a hay-like smell. It is soothing and comforting in its overall fragrance. Roman Chamomile is indicated as a sedative due to its chemical composition and is useful for irritability, over-sensitivity and anxiety – all things that can keep us up at night!
Next up I would choose Bergamot – Citrus bergamia. Most people associate the citrus essential oils with feeling uplifted and awakened but they are also very balancing and able to impart harmony. Bergamot, in particular, can be used to ease the effects of Insomnia, especially when linked to anxiety or depression. Like all the citrus oils, it is expressed from the rind of the fruit and has a warm, bright citrus aroma.
And lastly, you might like to try Sweet or French Marjoram – Origanum marjorana. Marjoram is a culinary herb as well as an essential oil – steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the plant. Aromatically it is bittersweet with a warm, yet slightly medicinal aroma. In aromatherapy, it is indicated for fatigue and stress and can aid sleep and rest. It is particularly useful for over-charged emotions and feelings of grief.
Why not try a home blend using these three essential oils to help you get a good night’s sleep, as an alternative to Lavender.
For a bedtime bath
To 20ml of your chosen blending oil add:
Add approximately half of the mixture to your bath water, swirl around before you get in, lie back and breathe deep!
For a bedtime diffuser blend
Add the following essential oils to the water in your Aroma Spa Diffuser:
Start your diffuser approximately 30 minutes before retiring so that your bedroom is full of the aroma by the time your head hits the pillow.
For a bedtime massage blend
To 10ml of your chosen blending oil add:
Spend time massaging the blend slowly and smoothly over your skin, paying particular attention to your neck and shoulders to help relax the muscles before you sleep.
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About Jo Kellett
Our essential oil expert, Jo Kellett TIDHA MIFPA CIMI, graduated from the Tisserand Institute of Holistic Aromatherapy in 1996. She returned to the college in 1999 as Essential Oil Therapeutics Tutor, where she taught until the college closed. Jo runs a successful private Aromatherapy practice in Brighton, specialising in Women’s health. Jo is also an internationally published author and has lectured on the subject of Aromatherapy both in the UK and abroad.