If the sound of your alarm clock makes you want to throw it out the window in the morning, you’re not alone. In fact, one in three adults in America suffer from insomnia on a weekly basis.
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, a sleep massage using essential oils is a natural way to lull you into better-quality sleep.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils extracted from plant materials like bark, flowers, vines and roots. Using essential oils for healing the body—also called aromatherapy—is a natural, non-invasive treatment. When essential oils penetrate the skin, they work on the body at multiple chemical levels. Aromatherapy has been used for over 6,000 years to treat a variety of health conditions. Research shows that aromatherapy—both via massage therapy and inhalation of essential oils—can improve the quality of sleep.
So which essential oil should you use for sleep?
Lavender is the all-star essential oil when it comes to curing insomnia. Lavender doesn’t just smell nice, it is known to promote relaxation and calm the nervous system. By creating a more relaxed state, lavender prepares your body to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. This sedative effect means that lavender can also help relieve chronic insomnia. These special lavender oil properties are why Zeel uses lavender oil in our sleep massage.
How exactly does lavender oil work? The two main compounds in lavender, linalool and linalyl acetate, are absorbed easily by the skin, and act quickly to calm the central nervous system. This helps to switch your brain from the “fight or flight” state to that cozy “rest and relaxation” state that’s so important for falling into a deep sleep.
Research shows that using lavender topically via a massage is more effective than diffusing it for inhalation, since the relaxing chemical compounds in lavender enter the bloodstream within just 5 minutes when lavender oil is used in massage.
Other essential oils
Even though lavender is the obvious first choice, here are five other essential oils that can also help you get a good night’s sleep.
This oil helps to relax not only the brain, but also the digestive system The floral notes of the chamomile smell wonderful too.
Ylang ylang is another floral essential oil, extracted from the yellow flower petals of the tropical ylang ylang tree. The sweet-smelling oil helps improve mood and induce relaxation.
Valerian is one of the most common sedative herbs, extracted from the roots of the pungent-smelling white valerian flower which grows in high alpine meadows throughout the US and Europe. Studies have shown that valerian can help you fall asleep quickly and guide you into a deeper sleep.
Vetiver oil slows down the nervous system, perfect for those nights when you just can’t shut off your busy mind before bed. Vetiver is extracted from tropical grass and has a pleasantly smoky smell.
Besides evoking a cedar grove (or the inside of your closet), cedarwood naturally boosts your body’s melatonin production, a hormone essential for sleep.
How to Get Better Sleep with Sleep Massage
A soothing massage with essential oils is one of the best methods for using aromatherapy for sleep, since this allows you both the benefit of inhaling the oils on your skin and the chemical properties of the oil entering your bloodstream. Aside from aromatherapy, a relaxing Swedish massage can help soothe aches and pains that interfere with sleep.
With the combination of a skilled massage therapist performing advanced relaxation techniques and sleep-promoting essential oils, a sleep massage is sure to give you the elusive forty winks you deserve.
In celebration of National Relaxation Day, use the promo code RELAX815 for $25 off your first Zeel Massage. Book today (expires at 11:59pm on August 15, 2017).
Suggested Reading: Will Massage Oils Make My Acne Worse?
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.