5 Scents for Relaxation and Sleep
Scent has the power of grabbing your attention as well as affecting your actions, however, you might be surprised by the effects of these aroma therapies. If you have difficulty sleeping or simply want to relax, then these aromas can certainly help. Aromatherapy is a natural method of stimulating relaxation and sleep, minus the side effects of sleeping pills. There are many aromas which can stimulate relaxation, however, the following are the most popular.
Lavender is a historical calming fragrance which has been used to quell anxiety and agitation. The scent slows down the nervous system, which relaxes the body and mind to improve the quality of sleep. A popular and traditional scent for aroma therapies, lavender has been the focus of extensive clinical studies for its effect on sleep.
Typically effective on women, lavender can also have positive effects for younger people and those with mild insomnia. Research has shown that lavender increases stage 2 sleep in women as well as decreasing REM sleep, with opposite effects for men.
One study focused on patients taking the powerful sedative benzodiazepine, which can provide short-term relief from insomnia. When the patients were taken off of the sedative, predictably their sleep troubles arose. Once the patients were introduced to lavender aroma therapies, the patients sleep levels returned to the levels witnessed when they were on benzodiazepine.
Further studies found that that individuals who used lavender to aid their sleep felt more energetic and wakeful in the morning. Another study founder that lavender combined with basil, juniper, and marjoram reduced sleep disturbances in older patients.
The popularity and benefits of valerian as an oral supplement are well known, commonly used to cure anxiety and sleeplessness. Prominent Greek physician and philosopher commonly prescribed valerian as an aide for insomnia.
Research in Japan found that rats which sniffed valerian fell asleep faster and slept for longer than those who didn’t.
With delicate petals and a sweet smell, you might surprised by the punch that jasmine carries. German research found that the scent of jasmine can be just as effective as valium and similar anxiety relieving drugs. Those who inhaled the scent whilst they slept experienced greater sleep efficiency, reduced movement and an overall improved quality of sleep.
Recognised by many as the scent of cookies and cakes, vanilla scent is famous for its anti-depressant and tranquilising qualities. People who have smelled vanilla whilst participating in stress level studies had more stable heart rates and improved blood pressure readings than those who participated in the studies in unscented rooms.
Chamomile is linked to feelings of calm and manages symbols of stress and relaxation. Whilst promoting relaxation of the mind and body, and in addition to working as a sleep-aid, the calming influence of chamomile has been recommended to ease the emotional symptoms of PMS and menopause.