Essential Oils for Sleep and Relaxation in the Elderly
Most people suffer from an occasional bout with insomnia. Sleepless nights may be brought on by anxiety, illness, or even diet. A restless night here and there is unpleasant, but usually doesn’t bring with it any long-term consequences. Chronic insomnia, however, is another story. When normal sleep patterns are disrupted for an extended period of time, it can lead to problems such as memory loss, irritability, and depression, to name a few.
It has been estimated that insomnia affects nearly 50% of people over the age of 60. If you or someone you love have been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, you may have consulted with a doctor or tried various sleep aids, either prescription or over the counter. You might be interested to know that many essential oils can be used to induce relaxation and help with sleep issues.
7 Essential Oils That Can Help You Get to Sleep
- Lavender. You’re probably not surprised to see this oil at the top of the list. Lavender is commonly associated with relaxation and is the go-to oil for many people seeking to use aroma therapy for sleep issues.
- Chamomile. Chamomile is often used in tea form to help with relaxation, but it is also effective as an oil. If you plan to use this oil, Roman chamomile is the most effective variety for treating insomnia.
- Sweet Marjoram is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system and can lower blood pressure, ease nervous tension, and soothe loneliness or grief.
- Valerian is also calming to the nervous system, and may help you to fall asleep faster and sleep better.
- Ylang ylang helps with relaxation, and you may also enjoy its sweet floral aroma.
- Vetiver has an earthy scent that may remind you of patchouli. It is known for its grounding, calming, and stabilizing effects.
- Cedarwood can help your brain to “shut off.” It is known to be both soothing and relaxing.
You can use any of these oils alone, or you may want to create a custom blend to suit your personal preferences.
Using Essential Oils for Sleep
There are many ways that you can enjoy the calming effects of essential oils. Here are a few that you may want to try.
- Add 6-8 drops to a bath before bedtime.
- Use them in a diffuser.
- Dilute a few drops in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, jojoba, or fractionated coconut oil, and massage (or have someone else massage) onto the bottoms of your feet or the back of your neck.
- Add a few drops to a bottle of water and spritz around your bedroom (avoiding polished surfaces) just before bedtime. Make sure to spray a little on your pillowcase or bed linens.
It is important to note that you should always check with your doctor before beginning any new treatment for insomnia, and this includes essential oils. You will want to make sure that they are safe for you personally and will not interact with any medications you may be currently taking.
For tips on using essential oils for other common issues facing seniors, click here.
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living in Wilmington NC
At Davis Community, we use essential oils as part of our wellness program to help facilitate improved health and senior wellness in Wilmington NC. For more information about Davis Community or our programs for senior wellness, just give us a call today at 910-566-1200 or visit our Facebook page.