While many people know the physical and mental health benefits of getting a good night’s rest, the CDC’s study showed that more than one-third of adults in America self-report not getting enough sleep daily. If you’re like many others who find sleep elusive at night, you likely have heard that setting a nighttime routine and reducing blue-light exposure a couple of hours before getting into bed can work wonders. However, some people need an extra boost to relax a hyperactive mind or reduce feelings of stress. The benefits of using relaxing scents in aromatherapy have been significant in this area.
Choose Relaxing Scents That Can Help Aid Sleep
While some scents can invigorate and excite you, other scents directly affect the brain to relax and sedate it. Experiment with the following aromas to see which are the most successful at calming your mind and helping you successfully fall asleep.
Ask anyone what their go-to scent is for unwinding after a long day, and their first response will almost always be lavender. There are many ways this distinguishable purple flower is used to emit a relaxing scent, from lotions and rubs to candles and oils. Since lavender can grow in almost any region, many people choose to grow and cut a fresh bundle to sit on their nightstand.
The beneficial effects of lavender reach beyond old wives’ tales. Many studies have been done on this miracle plant, with noted benefits in treating insomnia, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, relieving pain, and even helping mitigate the effects of certain neurological disorders.
2. Clary Sage
A common ingredient found in herbal tea, clary sage can also be used in aromatherapy. This perennial plant that originates in the Mediterranean is believed to reduce cortisol levels and blood pressure, reduce anxiety levels and allow the user to relax. When used topically or orally, this herb has also been shown to improve eye health, treat bacterial infections, alleviate menstrual cramps, and minimize menopause symptoms.
Made from cedar trees, cedarwood essential oil has a wide variety of uses and health effects, including having anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties in addition to acting as a natural insecticide. This scent is also believed to have sedative qualities, helping reduce stress and encourage peaceful sleep.
Extracted from the valerian plant’s roots, valerian gives off a very earthy scent and is often added to tea. Its strong sleep and anti-anxiety benefits have given it the nickname “nature’s Valium.” Valerian root has a strong effect on the brain, inhibiting amygdala activity and preventing GABA levels from getting too low, increasing stress levels.
A popular ingredient in baked goods and one of the most-used candle scents, vanilla releases a sweet aroma that is irresistible to most people. For vanilla lovers worldwide, it is good news that this relaxing scent can also help induce sleep. Like many of the other ingredients on this list, vanilla is believed to reduce feelings of restlessness, relieve anxiety, and lower blood pressure, preparing the mind for a night of long rest.
Used in many perfumes, shampoos, and other scented beauty products, jasmine is well known for its sweet, seductive smell and supposed aphrodisiac properties. However, jasmine is also one of the most effective aromas for inducing sleep as well. Like valerian, jasmine interacts directly with the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, reducing how much is being broken down.
Another ingredient often found in tea, chamomile, is known for its anti-inflammatory and anxiety reduction benefits. It is also thought to help aid digestive issues and relieve body aches. Often found in sleepy time tea blends, this herb contains the antioxidant apigenin, which is believed to help relieve insomnia and encourage sleep. While often taken orally, chamomile oil can also be used for aromatherapy purposes at or before bedtime.
Apart from being used as a popular perfume scent, rose also has several healing properties and health benefits, including encouraging a good night’s rest. This aroma can function as an antidepressant, a stress reliever, and a relaxation inducer. Not to mention, it’s also known for its aphrodisiac effects.
It has also been studied for its ability to help reduce pain from menstrual cramps, which can negatively affect sleep. Another fun fact, releasing the scent of rose at night increases memory and learning during sleep as it has a strong effect on the hippocampus, aiding in the process of permanent memory storage.
9. Ylang Ylang
With similar properties as jasmine and rose, ylang-ylang is another common ingredient found in perfume with a noted aphrodisiac element. The scent is similar to that of jasmine but with a more tropical or exotic smell. Many describe it as strongly floral with musky undernotes.
When used as an essential oil, ylang-ylang can be diffused or mixed with a carrier, such as a coconut oil, to help with relaxation. It helps lower blood pressure and heart rate. It is also used as a natural remedy for lice and is generally safe to be inhaled by children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Frankincense has been used for thousands of years for both its fragrant scent and medicinal properties. It has a strong, earthy aroma that smells of spice, citrus, and pine. Many consider it to be one of the most effective oils one can use in various ways. It is believed to help people relax and de-stress before sleep.
Diffuse Relaxing Scents With a Whole Home Fragrance System
Used alone or combined with other relaxation-producing scents, all of these relaxing scents can help you get a good night’s sleep. When used with a whole home fragrance system, you can target multiple rooms in your house at once and ensure the whole family is well-rested the next day. To learn more about how you can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy no matter where you walk in your house, visit Whole Home Scenting to explore high-quality, IRFA-compliant fragrances and diffuser systems that work with the Whole Home Scenting app.