Blue light exposure, excess stress hormones, insomnia, and anxiety are some of the most common reasons that people cannot fall asleep. So what do they do? Too often do people resort to sleeping medications, alcohol, or watching Netflix to help fall asleep more easily. Well, it’s time to stop this nonsense and promote a more restful night of sleep with a homemade sleep balm.
How Scents Affect The Mind & Body
A smell can evoke a thought or feeling. Perhaps a flower reminds you of the perfume your grandmother used to wear, or fresh cut grass takes you back to mowing the lawn with your father as a child. Our sense of smell is linked to the memory and emotion centers in the brain. The cells in our noses send messengers to the brain via the olfactory nerve, and the brain interprets this information, associating it with images, experiences, memories, etc.
The Practice Of Aromatherapy
The use of essential oils for medicinal purposes goes back to the ancient times of the Egyptians, Romans, and Chinese. Aromatherapy is merely the modern term for using scents to promote healing. Many of these scents have been scientifically proven to relieve stress, reduce pain, regulate mood, and even promote sleep. A large body of research indicated that essential oils can improve the quality of sleep in many adults who suffer from irregular sleep schedules or insomnia.
For this article, we are going to focus on the essential oils that are used in the homemade sleep balm, highlighting how they improve sleep.
The cananga tree, which produces ylang ylang flowers, is native to Indonesia, and the essential oil has been known to have a sedative effect on the body. Historically, people have used ylang ylang to help reduce hypertension, but it has been incorporated into aromatherapy practices for its ability to reduce anxiety and help people fall asleep faster. The floral scent is also quite relaxing.
This is the most popular essential oil for sleep or relaxation because it works to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and calm the mind. It has been proven to be very effective for helping insomnia patients fall asleep, often relieving physical discomfort and racing thoughts. Studies have shown that postpartum mothers who are still nursing benefit from inhaling lavender essential oil for a natural sleep aid. For children who need assistance relaxing at bedtime, place a couple drops of lavender essential oil under their pillows to encourage sounder sleep through the night.
The anesthetic and tranquil properties of marjoram essential oil have been used to help fight feelings of depression and anxiety. Studies have also found that this oil helps people with insomnia sleep more soundly through the night, especially after mixing it into a warm bath about one to two hours before bed. Men with insomnia often prefer to use marjoram essential as a sleep aid because it has the most masculine aroma.
Homemade Sleep Balm
Note that this recipe makes about four ounces of sleep balm, so you may want to get four one-ounce tins for storage.
- 1 tablespoon beeswax pellets
- 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
- 2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
- 30 drops lavender essential oil
- 30 drops ylang ylang essential oil
- 20 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
- small metal tins or glass jars
- Bring a small saucepan that is halfway filled with water to a boil. Turn the heat down low and maintain a low simmer.
- Place a pint size Mason jar in the simmering water and add the beeswax pellets, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. Use a wooden stick to mix everything together until thoroughly melted.
- Since high heat can reduce the effectiveness of essential oils, turn the heat off and carefully remove the Mason jar from the saucepan. Stir in the essential oils and then carefully pour the mixture into the small metal tins or glass jars.
- Allow the mixture to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour. Screw on the lids and store these in a cool, dry place. These balms will stay fresh for about one year.
How To Use
After an evening rinse, rub the balm on your temples, wrists, under your nose, stomach, soles of your feet, or lips. You can’t overdose on this sleep balm, so you can be liberal with your application on the stomach, soles of your feet, and wrists. Go easy under the nose because the scents can be intense at first. We hope this helps you sleep better.