Aroma and fragrance therapies are considered an effective method against stress, lack of relaxation and sleep disorders. You can find out here how certain scents influence our sleep and which aromas can help us to sleep more restfully.
Table of Contents
- stress, relaxation & sleep
- Our sense of smell & scents while sleeping
- Aromatherapy: Essential oils for better sleep
- Three essential scents for a peaceful sleep
- Cedar or sandalwood
- Balm balm
- Relax & sleep better
stress, relaxation & sleep
More and more people suffer from sleep disorders or regularly sleep too little, although sufficient and good sleep is the most important basis for our daily performance and a healthy everyday life. Stress and a lack of relaxation in particular are not only harmful to our health, but also to our sleep and ensure that the much-needed nightly regeneration is disrupted. If we feel stress before going to bed, our cortisol level rises exactly when the body actually needs to rest. This often leads to problems falling asleep and promotes restlessness and concentration disorders, which in turn has a negative effect on sleep.
In order for body and mind to recover sufficiently and for us to wake up really rested in the morning, we should rest and relax early, especially in the evening. Meditation, music or the proven evening reading are popular methods that positively appeal to our senses and alleviate stress. But can certain scents and aromas calm us down and help us sleep better and more restfully?
Our sense of smell & scents while sleeping
Our senses are constantly active and busy transmitting perceived stimuli from our environment via the central nervous system to the brain, where they are further evaluated and processed. When we inhale, fragrances reach the olfactory receptors in our nasal mucosa and trigger certain stimuli, which are passed on to our brain and, among other things, to the "limbic system" responsible for emotions and feelings. In this way, smells can evoke both physical and psychological reactions, arouse emotions or become part of our emotional memory.
Even at night, our sense of smell doesn't switch off completely. However, scientific research has shown that our sensitivity to smell is strongest in the evening (around 9:00 p.m.) and weakest at night until early morning. This means that we react more intensely to scents or smells in the hours before going to bed than at night, while important regeneration and processing processes are taking place in the brain.
Fragrances have a particular effect on sleep due to their potentially relaxing effect and by triggering positive emotions or memories. Positive feelings lead to certain messenger substances being released in our brain, for example endorphins or the "happiness hormone" serotonin. On the one hand, serotonin has a calming effect on the nervous system and, as a precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin, is crucial for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. The perception of certain smells, especially before going to bed, can help to optimally prepare for sleep and support falling asleep.
Aromatherapy: Essential oils for better sleep
Aromatherapy is a part of herbal medicine that has relied on the natural and healing effects of essential oils for centuries.These are absorbed through the smell or the skin as fragrances or care substances, especially in the form of candles, aromatic and body oils or baths
Several studies have shown that certain essential scents associated with calm, relaxation and a positive mood have a positive effect on the physical and mental state. Among other things, they help to reduce stress, tension and anxiety. Since these factors are directly related to the quality of our sleep and are often responsible for difficulty falling asleep or sleep disorders, aromatherapy can support healthy sleep.
Three essential scents for a peaceful sleep
Lavender is considered a classic in aromatherapy and has been known for centuries as a natural remedy for problems falling asleep, inner restlessness or fears due to its calming effect. The aroma of the plant has been proven to help relieve anxiety, banish nervousness and promote inner peace.
Lavender contains over 200 plant substances that reduce the release of stress hormones in our body, protect the nervous system from being overwhelmed by negative stimuli and also have a calming effect on heart rate and blood pressure. At the same time, the production of the happiness hormone serotonin is influenced. Lavender has a positive effect on our mood and melatonin synthesis in the evening, which can support a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Cedar and sandalwood
The scent of sandalwood, which is usually perceived as spicy and distinctive, has a balancing effect and can help to promote well-being and positively influence emotions and thoughts. Sandalwood has been used for many decades in traditional Indian Ayurveda to relieve nervousness and restlessness and helps to create optimal conditions for a peaceful sleep.
And the fragrant cedar oil is also said to have a sleep-inducing effect. The aroma strengthens the nerves and in some studies could help to fall asleep faster.
Lemon balm is also a proven remedy for relieving insomnia. The aroma of lemon balm not only has an antibacterial and blood pressure-lowering effect, but also has a proven calming effect on our mind, relieves stress, nervous tension and negative moods. In this way, the essential oils of lemon balm can ensure that nerve activity slows down in the evening, stress and anxiety signals are perceived less strongly and we relax and sleep better.
Relax & sleep better
Many studies confirm that rituals with essential oils support relaxation and can also improve the quality of sleep in the long term. Especially when mental or physical stress disturbs sleep and makes it difficult to fall asleep, targeted relaxation before going to bed can be supported with the help of the natural effects of essential oils. Among the numerous possible uses, the aromas of lavender, sandalwood and other medicinal plants are particularly popular in the form of room fragrances and scented candles.
Tip: For a pleasant fragrance experience and the most effective effect possible, you should also pay attention to the quality and origin of the plant substances used.
Perceived smells affect our body and psyche, can address the nervous system and arouse emotions or memories
Certain scents can relieve stress, tension, nervousness or anxiety and thus help to fall asleep and stay asleep and reduce sleep disorders
The essential oils of lavender, cedar wood, sandalwood or lemon balm have a particularly beneficial effect on relaxation and support a peaceful, restful sleep
Greetings and see you soon!