Aromatherapy is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. By definition, it is a form of therapy that uses aromatic materials for improving and promoting health and well being, both physically and mentally.
It features many aromatic materials, such as scents, and essential oils. There are many little things you can do to enhance your sleep – change your bedroom environment, buy a new mattress that doesn’t feel like you’re lying on cardboard, getting into a better routine, and plenty more. Although aromatherapy doesn’t come up on the list of things you should try to get a better night’s rest, it’s extremely effective and is not only good for the body, but for the mind and soul too!
Many people know that lavender helps with sleep, and even research has shown that it increases slow wave sleep and relaxes the muscles. You really can sniff your way to better sleep with healthy and natural aromatherapy.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
What a good question! Aromatherapy can work on three different levels. This includes the sense of smell, through absorption and through absorption via the skin.
Smell – Our sense of smell is one of the most strongest senses. It is even linked to some of the deepest parts of the brain, which is why scents have the effect they do on us when we smell something absolutely delightful. This is the most common type of aromatherapy as it is quick, simple and inexpensive. As we breathe in aromas from essential oils, it triggers emotional and physical responses. It’s very similar to how we feel when we hear music. Let’s say you have a favourite song that you associate with a place or someone, every time you hear that song, you will be reminded of a particular place or a specific person. The same thing happens when you inhale certain smells.
When we breathe in aromatic molecules, they travel to the top of the nose where they then come in contact with special nerve cells, which are called Olfactory cells. These nerve cells are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose and these connect directly to the brain. They have tiny hairs which have the ability to recognise an aroma through what is known as the lock and key process. This ultimately means each hair recognises a specific aroma and because of this, it then produces nerve impulses which travel to the limbic system.
Find your perfect scent to see which enhances your sleep and calms your mind after a long, busy day!
Absorption – Inhalation of the essential oils is also a popular choice. It travels internally and absorbs the oils which is effective within the respiratory system. This is because their antiviral and antibacterial properties are ideal for a healthy respiratory system. There are many options you can use when it comes to this type of aromatherapy. Are you looking to relax and find peace when you have a bath? Essential oils come in the form and bath and shower fragrances. For the home, there are also essential oil diffusers which now feature cutting edge technology for the best experience possible.
Skin Absorption – Thanks to the small molecules in the essential oils it means they are able to penetrate through the skin and work their magic that way. The molecules are able to travel through the epidermis, which is the top layer of the skin, to reach the dermis, which is a deeper lay of skin, and eventually to the blood vessels. The skin is made up of 3 layers – the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. Once they reach the blood vessels, they circulate throughout the whole body.
Many essential oils are designed with antibacterial properties and antioxidants which ultimately help prevent cell damage and therefore protect the skin cells from a build up of toxic waste. They provide many benefits overall, including an improvement in blood circulation, aging and acne skin.
Popular Scents To Try
Evidently, aromatherapy is just one way of enhancing your sleep and it will take some trials to see which scents have the most impact on you and your body. If however, you’re still experiencing struggles with your sleep, it might be time to look at other factors such as your bedroom environment, noise levels, stress and bedding products. Are you comfortable in bed? Could it be that you need a new mattress more tailored to your body and it’s needs?