Sometimes I have trouble sleeping. It doesn’t seem to be linked to stress or problems; happy, sad, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes I just can’t sleep. During periods of sleepless nights I turn to Lavender Essential Oil products.
I have Fibromyalgia so sleep is very important to me. A few bad nights can trigger painful episodes of tense muscles and even muscle tics. When I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia my doctor gave me powerful sleep aides that left me groggy all day. This was when I realized the power of all natural Lavender as a sleep aide.
Lavender has been used for centuries to speed relaxation and induce restful sleep. I love Lavender for what it brings to us as humans, it is my best friend in the plant world.
Research supports that the scent of lavender eases anxiety and insomnia. In a study conducted at Britain’s University of Southampton, researchers tracked the sleep patterns of 10 adults. For a week, half of the participants slept in a room where Lavender essential oil was diffused in the air throughout the night. The rest of the participants slept in a similar room where a placebo, sweet almond oil, was released. After a week the groups switched rooms. At the end of the study participants ranked the quality of their sleep 20% better on average when in the Lavender scented room. (Find an abstract here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16131287)
In a more recent study, psychologists at Wesleyan University asked 31 men and women to smell Lavender essential oil for four 2-minute periods just before bedtime during one night. Researchers substituted distilled water the next night. The researchers monitored participant sleep cycles with brain scans. On the night participants sniffed Lavender essential oil subjects slept more soundly and felt more energetic the next morning. The researchers found that Lavender increased slow-wave sleep. “Slow-Wave Sleep” is a very deep sleep in which the heartbeat slows and muscles relax. (Find an abstract here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16298774)
For a Lavender based routine to work be sure to use products made with Lavender Essential Oil, not Lavender Fragrance Oil. Check your product labels to ensure the ingredient listed is not fragrance oil. Only essential oil will give you the benefits of the actual plant constituents which will work with your body to create a therapeutic result.
Brown Barn Botanicals “Violet Moon” Bath & Body Collection, products with “Lavender” in the label or ingredients, and Nest+Honey “Lavender” products are made with high quality lavender essential oil (commonly referred to as “therapeutic” or “pure). Any of Brown Barn Botanicals all natural lavender scented products will work well for this routine.
My personal “sleep” routine:
I believe what makes this routine fail safe for me is that lavender is layered throughout and that it is a ritual – first this, then that. I have trained myself to associate this routine with sleep.
I need to add a disclaimer here as well. I have been exposed to lavender most of my life and never have had an adverse reaction. Before trying any routine this intense you should test your tolerance by using a combination of a few of these products at a time before diving in all the way.
- Approximately 60-90 minutes before bedtime: Draw a hot bath. Put on quiet relaxing music or grab a relaxing novel. Why a warm bath? Our body temperature does not remain constant throughout the day. Part of our natural body rhythm includes a lowering in body temperature in early afternoon and again in the evening. This temperature drop results in our feeling sleepy. Taking a warm bath will raise body temperature, the resulting drop in body temperature after leaving the bath will help induce feeling sleepy.
- I drop a Lavender Essential Oil bath bomb into the bath water or I mix a few tablespoons of Brown Barn Botanical’s solar infused “Violet Moon” Lavender Botanic Bath/Body Oil (or opt for a “Lavender Body Shot” in 1oz size) into the water. Both are made with lavender essential oil to provide true aromatherapy.
- I climb into the tub, being careful not to slip if I’ve added oil to the water.
- After soaking for a few minutes I wash myself with a Lavender all natural Bar Soap.
- Then I use Lavender Violet Moon” Essential Oil Sugar Scrub or Nest+Honey Lavender Scrub. I am careful to scrub in circular motion from my outer extremities toward my heart to stimulate circulation. I scrub until all of the sugar I’ve applied has dissolved so as not to waste a drop.
- I soak for at least 20 minutes, adding a little more hot water to the tub if needed. Read, relax, close my eyes.
- As I exit the tub I am VERY CAREFUL as there is a lot of oil in the tub after using all the great Brown Barn Botanicals products. I pat dry (never rub – you don’t want to remove the fragrant oil you just invested in). If you still feel like you could use more oil feel free to slather more body oil onto your wet skin, then just pat dry or air dry. Body oil is fabulous for your skin and putting a little on wet skin helps lock in moisture.
- I then get in my pj’s and relax a little longer by watching tv or reading until the oil has sunk fully into my skin.
- Approximately one half hour before bedtime: I turn on my electric blanket so my bed is warm when I enter. If you own an essential oil diffuser try adding a few drops of any pure Lavender Essential Oil to prepare your sleep space. Alternatively try a few drops of essential oil on a tissue tucked under your pillow. If using Essential Oil does not appeal to you opt to mist your pillow (test fabric for safety first) with Brown Barn’s Lavender Honey Botanic Toner (don’t you just love products that can pull double duty?)
- I then use either Brown Barn’s “Violet Moon” Lavender Aromatherapy Essential Roll On or Lavender salve around my nostrils so I am inhaling luscious Lavender as I drift off to sleep.
- I drift off to peaceful sleep – medication free!
Wishing you a great night’s rest…
Christine Untiedt, Founder, Brown Barn Botanicals
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