Essential Oils & Stress
Not all stress is bad. Stress is a natural process in our bodying is designed to protect us. But prolonged stress can lead to lack of sleep, poor immune function, anxiety and so much more.
Sleep and Stress
Stress releases cortisol. When this stress hormone is released over a prolonged period, melatonin levels can't rise like they normally would to promote good restful sleep. What can we do? Obviously, anyone will tell you to find ways to manage your stress. Did you know that essential oils can help promote restful sleep and can encourage relaxation? Sounds pretty good, right?
One of the most beneficial ways to support our mental and emotional health is through aromatherapy. Using a diffuser, making your own hand diffuser, or just smelling the oil right from the bottle will soothe anxious feelings, calm the nervous system, and promote relaxation. The olfactory system (part of our nervous system) is connected to the limbic system, where emotions and memories are stored. When we smell the oil, the olfactory sensors pick it up, the molecules travel through your nose to your olfactory system, where they are processed and intensified.
For example, did you ever smell something that brought you back to a good memory? I know certain smells bring me back to a happy place. It will even cause me to reminisce for a moment. For us moms, there is nothing like that new baby smell. The smell of a newborn causes us to hold our babies close and promotes a relaxing response. The opposite can also be true. What if you were to wake up in the middle of the night to the smell of smoke? That would cause stress and a 'flight or flight' response. Have you ever driven down the road and a tannic smell hit you (AKA a skunk). Not pleasant, am I right? What kind of response did you have?
These examples show us how our olfactory system (our sense of smell) is linked to our emotions and memories. This process helps us to understand and appreciate how essential oils can support restful sleep and promote relaxation. I don't know about y'all, but that sounds like a cocktail for a good nights rest to me!
What Oils Support Restful Sleep?
I have been a Firefighter/Paramedic wife for 20 years. When my hubs is working a 24 hour shift, it was so hard for me to sleep at night for years. On top of other daily stress, I would wonder what he was having to deal with on shift. I started to use Copaiba, Lavender, Cedarwood, and a Grounding Blend. These oils seem to be the combo that works best for me. I still remember the first restful night, Ryan came in from a 24 hour shift, and he woke me up with a kiss. I couldn't believe I had been sleeping! I usually put 3-4 drops of each oil in my diffuser, add water, and let that run all night. It has been almost 8 years since I started this routine, let's just say I never run out of these oils!
Here is another recipe some use:
- Roman Chamomile
Taking Oils Internally
I know I'm a broken record, but please remember that not all oils are created equal. Do you research and know your oils are safe to ingest before using them internally.
That said, yes! I love taking a restful blend and copaiba in a softgel before getting into bed. The restful blend calms the nervous system & promotes relaxation and sleep. Copaiba soothes anxious feelings & promotes homeostasis and rest.
Using Essential Oils Throughout the Day
Stress doesn't just come around at night. Make up a rollerball that works for you. Have you found those go to oils that seem to promote calmness? Add them to a rollerball, top it off with fractionated coconut oil, and roll it on the inside of your wrist or the back of your neck.
I also keep a zipper keychain of my 8 most used oils. I'm a mom, so this is 'our' 8 most used oils. My youngest son generally needs a grounding blend, my older son usually always needs the respiratory blend, and I really like keeping Cedarwood and the soothing blend with me. Cedarwood supports my renal system & calms the nervous system. The soothing blend helps relieve discomfort. Um, yes. Please and thank you. I always have something to support our immunity too!
I hope a few of these tips help you, please feel free to reach out to learn more about essential oils and how they can benefit you and your family. Sign up for a free wellness consult here.
Want to try Roman Chamomile? Ask me how to get it at wholesale cost!
Y'all come back now, ya hear?