InsomniaThe term insomnia is used to describe too little or poor quality sleep caused by not being able to go to sleep; waking during the night and not being able to go back to sleep; waking too early in the morning; waking feeling tired even when one has had 7 – 8 hours sleep at night.

Insomnia can cause one to feel excessively sleepy or fatigued during the day. One might also have trouble thinking clearly or staying focused. Some people may feel irritable or depressed when they don’t get enough sleep.

There are several types of insomnia:

  • Transient Insomnia – happens just one night or over a few weeks
  • Intermittent Insomnia – insomnia is short term but happens from time to time
  • Chronic Insomnia – insomnia occurs at least three nights a week over the period of a month or more
  • Chronic insomnia is either primary or secondary. Primary insomnia is not related to any other health problem. Secondary insomnia can be caused by a medical condition (e.g. cancer, asthma, arthritis) drugs, stress or a mental health problem (e.g. depression) or a poor sleep environment (e.g. a bed partner who snores, too much noise, too much light).

    The University of Maryland, Medical Center, lists the following tips for those dealing with insomnia.

  • Use the bed only for sleeping and sex
  • Go to bed at the same time every night
  • No daytime napping
  • No caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine
  • Eliminate the conditioned anxiety that comes with trying to sleep by reassuring yourself that you will sleep or distract yourself
  • Maintain comfortable sleeping conditions.
  • Eat at regular times daily (avoiding large meals near bedtime
  • Exercise early in the day
  • Get out of bed if you are not asleep after 5 – 10 minutes and do something else. Going to another room may help reduce anxiety about falling asleep.
  • Practice evening relaxation routines such as muscle relaxation or meditation.
  • Incorporating essential oils into your strategies to combat insomnia can prove to be very helpful. A number of essential oils have traditionally been found to be very helpful in relaxing the body and mind.

    One should consider all the possible causes for the insomnia as this will allow you to incorporated oils to cover any possible emotional or physical elements involved. There is never just one right synergy that works for everyone. Successful blending is as much an art as it is a science and one should always consider the person for whom the blend is being formulated. One should always take into consideration the person’s aroma preferences and their preferred method of application.

    Some suggested methods of application of the synergy include: a warm bath before bed; gentle massage (can be just of hands or feet); misting of the synergy in the bedroom and on the bed before retiring to bed; application of the synergy diluted in a body oil, cream, lotion or gel to the chest; apply a drop of the synergy to a cotton ball or tissue and place on the pillow or in the pillow case.  Remember that essential oils do not dissolve in water so add an equal number of drops of emulsifier, or if you don’t have an emulsifier add an equal number of drops of liquid soap to disperse the essential oil droplets through the water.

    Essential oils to consider for including in synergies for insomnia include:
    Chamomile, Roman; Lavender; Mandarin; Marjoram, Sweet; Melissa; Myrtle; Neroli; Petitgrain; Rose; Sandalwood; Vetiver; Ylang Ylang.

    Insomnia Blends

    Blend 1 Blend 2 Blend 3 Blend 4
    4 drops of Lavender 3 drops of Lavender 1 drop of Chamomile, Roman 2 drops of Rose
    3 drops of Marjoram 3 drops of Mandarin 2 drops of Melissa 2 drops of Marjoram
    2 drops of Chamomile, Roman 1 drop of Ylang Ylang 1 drop of Vetiver

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