Essential oils have been used in the practice of aromatherapy for thousands of years to treat dozens of ailments, but chances are that you’ve never considered adding them to your regular bedtime routine to maximize your sleep benefits. Whether you practice using aromatherapy or not, the simple act of adding a scented pillow insert to your bedding may make the difference between getting a great night’s sleep and still feeling tired when you wake up -- particularly if you are struggling with insomnia or other issues that keep you awake at night.
The University of Maryland Medical Center says that traditionally, pillows were often filled with lavender to help restless people sleep -- and scientific research has shown that this herb in particular helps reduce nervous system activity, improve sleep quality, and elevate the mood of people suffering from sleep disorders. Other scents that promote a good night’s sleep include jasmine, eucalyptus, lemon, sandalwood, and chamomile.
Unlike in years past, when creating a scented pillow meant filling a pillow case with dried herbs, modern day scented pillow inserts are easy to add to your existing favorite pillow. The new versions come in the form of liners that contain relaxing essential oils; the liners include a peel-off backing that exposes a sticky side which you simply apply to the inside of your existing pillow case. The sleep-inducing aromas of the liner will last for a few days before being ready to be replaced.
While you can use aromatherapy as a way to encourage a better night’s sleep without using a scented pillow insert, these products do allow you to get the benefits of aromatherapy without having to apply essential oils to your skin. They also last longer than a typical essential oil so you don’t have to reapply each night, making them convenient as well as helpful.
More Great Links
- “Lavender.” University of Maryland Medical Center. May 7, 2013. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lavender
- “Aromatherapy.” Holistic Online. http://holisticonline.com/remedies/sleep/sleep_ins_alt-aromatherapy.htm