For stress and anxiety: Stress and anxiousness are frequent obstacles to sound, restful sleep. People who experience stress and anxiety symptoms often have trouble falling asleep and sleep restlessly throughout the night, leaving them tired and fatigued the next day. There’s a body of research indicating that aromatherapy using essential oils can help to relieve stress and anxiety symptoms, which may help improve sleep indirectly.
Here in California, where my family and I live, we’re treated to a bountiful, year-round explosion of plant life. The bright citrus trees, the blooming roses, the clusters of flowering lavender plants all make for amazing sights—and scents. But you don’t have to live in Southern California to enjoy these fragrant smells, or to get the benefits that they can deliver to sleep and mood.
Fortunately, smelling it is not necessary for all benefits. Often smelling a certain essential oil will affect your mood, but other effects are incurred just by getting it in your system by way of your skin, breathing it into your lungs, or ingesting it. The largest pores on your body are on the bottoms of your feet (I know! Go figure!) and that’s often how I apply my oils (mixed with almond or grape seed or coconut oil).
According to a study published by Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, cancer patients have a particularly tough go at getting good sleep. Subjects were given aromatherapy over a 13-week period of time. The effects were very beneficial, producing more sleep for the patients. In fact, over 90 percent said they would continue use of the blend that included bergamot, lavender, sandalwood, frankincense and mandarin. (1)
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