Have you ever caught the smell of freshly cut grass and it's instantly put you in a summery, energised mood? Perhaps the warming aroma of cinnamon, orange and clove takes you right back to cosy nights in front of the fire during wintertime?
When you smell something, your ‘olfactory nerve’, which is the nerve that carries impulses for your sense of smell from the nose to the brain, sends signals directly to your limbic system and amygdala. These parts of your brain strongly influence your mood and your memory.
This is why smell is so intricately connected with our emotions and certain scents allow us to feel more happy, calm or alert.
The practise of aromatherapy uses essential oils from plants to positively influence the state of your body, mind and soul. Discover our top 3 essential oils that can be used to gently melt away your stress from the day, helping your body prepare for a nourishing, restful night’s sleep.
The Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks all made use of the therapeutic benefits of Roman Chamomile, due to its powerful sedative, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This sweet, herbaceous oil can help your body move into a state of tranquillity and relaxation, and research has even shown that it could help to alleviate nightmares. If you’re struggling with insomnia or anxiety this is a great oil to reach for, inhaling the aroma will carry the fragrance directly to the brain and serve as an emotional trigger to help you unwind.
This delicate oil smells sweet, floral, slightly spicy and with camphoraceous (minty) undertones. Sweet marjoram may help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can build up over time due to prolonged stress. This oil is particularly useful if you find you often wake up multiple times during the night. It will help to reset the mind, encourage feelings of calm and serenity, and its natural sedative properties promote a night of deep, rejuvenating sleep.
Lavender is grown in gardens and farms all over the world for its sweet, intoxicating aroma and versatility. Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils today to promote health and wellbeing, as it can calm the nervous system by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Numerous studies of lavender suggest that it’s a natural sedative and is particularly useful in times of stress, insomnia and situational anxiety. It has also been shown to help to soothe pain from menstrual cramps. This oil is balancing and softening, just a few deep inhales can provide you with a sense of ease, relaxation and contentment before bed.
What are some of your favourite oils to help you on your way to dreamland?