A few posts back I mentioned I’ve been having trouble falling asleep.
A while back I turned to aromatherapy as a way to help me unwind and relax. I had a small bottle of lavender essential oil from a hotel actually. This hotel Dan and I stayed in on our anniversary weekend last year had a small electric oil burner next to the bed with a full size bottle of lavender essential oil. That was the first time I used scent as a means to drifting off to sleep. Which is a bit odd for me considering my home is scented throughout every room every hour of the day. Why not use scent at night too?
There is something incredibly calming and relaxing about breathing in a soft, soothing fragrance while bundled up under the covers, ready to shut down for the night. It’s like being enveloped in a soft hug and truly puts my mind at ease. I like to take a few moments to lay face up, close my eyes and take some really deep meditative breaths. At this point, right when I get into bed, my mind is typically racing a mile a minute so the breathing exercises aren’t easy. To be honest, I can’t get through more than three deep inhale/exhales before my mind opens back up and fixates on a million more thoughts. However, that is three deep breathes MORE than I could do before I added the fragrance. Call me crazy but it works. Probably because the scent is a meditative focal point. I try to focus on the fragrance, how strong it is, how I can smell it with each breath, how relaxed it makes me feel, etc.
It may not be a quick fix to falling asleep but every little bit helps and this is a tool that I quite enjoy. I know the easiest thing would be to pop a sleeping pill but I’m scared of becoming dependent on them, because knowing my personality–I would. I do have bad allergies in the evenings sometime and if my nose is too stuffed to breathe easily I will take a Benadryl which definitely helps me sleep, but I don’t want to rely on that.
While I occasionally use a lavender essential oil at bedtime I mostly just burn a scented wax melt. It’s become a soothing part of my nighttime routine — unwrapping the wax, placing it in the warmer’s tray. Plus the wax molds are so pretty to look at and something about the whole process just instantly relaxes me. Recently I’ve branched out to some scents other than lavender like mint and pink sugar. Pink Sugar is a dupe of the Aqualina perfume (which I used to wear in high school!) and I never would have thought it’d be a scent I use to sleep to! Turns out, it’s incredibly relaxing. I was surprised that mint actually helped me sleep because I had associated it to be more of a clean/fresh/wake me up type of scent. But I think mint has some anti anxiety, destress type powers that helped calm my racing mind. Unfortunately my husband was NOT a fan of sleeping to mint, so that won’t be a nighttime go to! I always go back to lavender though, it’s my favorite and my husband likes too. He prefers the pink sugar or lavender blends (lavender + chamomile, lavender + pink sugar, lavender + buttercream). Typically I melt the pink sugar and lavender blend so we can both be happy.
Either way, scent has become a huge part of my nightly routine. It leaves a soft lingering fragrance in the morning and it’s just so relaxing. If you don’t like to have anything on or plugged in while you sleep you can rub the essential oil onto your wrists/behind the ears before bed to still get the benefits of the fragrance. Lavender linen sprays work as well! If you have trouble falling asleep and haven’t tried aromatherapy, definitely give it a try.