With the world progressing digitally, we can see major lifestyle changes among people. The increase in screen time and stress leads to a rise in mental disorders like insomnia. Insomnia is now a very common sleeping disorder; it is characterized as a problem that makes it hard for patients to fall asleep, or stay asleep. Most patients who have insomnia wake up early and cannot fall back to sleep.
Therapists are trying their best to find natural ways to treat insomnia, as medication can lead to dependency and other side effects. One common natural therapy used for managing and treating insomnia is aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is a treatment that uses fragrances of natural plant extracts – also known as essential oils for healing purposes. It is widely used for treating various disorders and helps enhance the mind and body functioning. Let’s get to know more about aromatherapy and how therapists use natural fragrances to treat insomnia.
What is Aromatherapy and How Does it Work?
As discussed above, aromatherapy is a type of holistic treatment method that uses natural fragrances, especially essential oils, to stimulate the olfactory senses – also known as the sense of smell - to promote wellbeing. The focus of aromatherapy is to activate certain parts of the brain to stimulate relaxation.
As the name suggests, aromatherapy works with natural fragrances or scents to stimulate the olfactory senses. During the therapy, patients are either given different blends of essential oils – that are famous for their scents – on a piece of cloth or cotton swabs to inhale. Otherwise, these oils are added to a diffuser where people can relax and inhale the scent. The ambiance of the room where aromatherapy is given is serene to promote relaxation and calmness.
Aromatherapy is commonly used for helping with issues like insomnia and anxiety, but most people still wonder how fragrances can play a part in this. Let's get to know more about how smell can impact and enhance good sleep.
How Can Fragrances Impact Sleep?
You might wonder about the connection between your sense of smell and your sleep cycle and how aromatherapy can help treat insomnia. Your different senses highly impact sleep – be in touch, sound, or smell. While you are not likely to wake up from your sleep because of a certain smell, like you would to a sound, different smells have a different impact on your brain.
Aromatherapy uses natural fragrances from essential oils to activate smell receptors in your nose. These receptors send a message to the nervous system and different parts of your brain. The limbic system in your brain is then stimulated and impacts the hypothalamus – which controls various hormones. Depending on the smell that is reaching the nose receptors, the hypothalamus responds to it by releasing chemicals or hormones. In the case of natural fragrances, the hypothalamus releases serotonin – this is a mood-stabilizing hormone that helps relax the brain, and encourages good sleep. And this is how aromatherapy uses natural fragrances to manage and treat insomnia.
List of Natural Fragrances to Treat Insomnia
Natural fragrances are complex compounds that are made from natural aromatics. Essential oils are the key ingredient for most natural fragrances. Essential oils are basically plant extracts; they are made up of complex chemical compounds that give them their unique scent and properties. Here is a list of 3 essential oils that are used for their natural fragrance to treat insomnia.
Lavender oil is extracted from the purple flowering shrub. It is one of the most commonly used essential oils. It is best known for its health benefits and calming effect. Numerous studies have shown that lavender oil contains 2 primary chemical compounds called linalool and linalyl acetate, contributing to its characteristics.
Research tells that exposure to lavender oil at night helps with a better sleep cycle and helps people wake up fresh and active. Moreover, sleep is also linked to improved mood and reduced anxiety. Take a bit of lavender oil and apply it to a cotton ball. Inhale the scent before bed for optimum impact.
Chamomile is a plant that is popular for its numerous benefits and healing abilities. It is not only known for its great fragrance, but chamomile is also a common drink recommended by doctors and therapists. There are two types of chamomile plants – Russian and German. The German plant is used to relieve pain, while the roman chamomile plant is used to reduce anxiety, calm nerves, and improve sleep.
Chamomile has a subtle floral aroma and is most effective when diffused in the air and inhaled in a serene environment. Its effects are more general than specific, but it’s one of the most famous essential oils for reducing sleep disorders and anxiety.
Bergamot is an herb native to northern America. It is a fragrant plant and its essential oil is well known for its benefits. Bergamot is commonly used in aromatherapies because it helps lower blood pressure and improves brain activity. Its calming properties make it one of the most vital oils in a blend for aromatherapies.
It is best used for treating insomnia because of its precise effects on the sleep cycle. Many researches have found that bergamot not only helps people fall asleep, but also improves sleep quality and promotes healthier brain functioning. Instead of being used alone, bergamot is recommended to be used in a mixture of other oils. A most common aromatherapy mixture includes bergamot, lavender, and ylang-ylang oil for insomnia and anxiety disorders.
Aromatherapists have been using natural fragrances and essential oils to treat various problems. If you are suffering from insomnia disorder or sleeping problems, you need to invest in natural fragrances to help you deal with the problem. Natural fragrances are known for their health benefits and calming effect, but they are also very safe to use. They are eco-friendly and non-toxic. If you are planning on investing in natural fragrances to treat insomnia, you can check out our collection of luxury fragrances, air fresheners, and perfumes.