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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Lorraine Rimando, RN, BSN, RA
Aromatherapy For the Sleeping Beauty
Spiritual Scents Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy For the Sleeping Beauty

Our overall appearance, mood, and ability to function can be greatly affected by how much sleep and the quality of sleep we receive during the night. In order to look and feel our best, most of us know, getting a good night's rest is key.

According to the Merck Manual, almost half of all people in the U.S. suffer from some type of sleep related problem. The consequences of sleep disturbances and disorders can cause emotional issues, problems with memory, changes in motor skills, affect work performance, and contribute to traffic accidents.

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders reported. There are two categories of insomnia, sleep-onset insomnia and sleep-maintenance insomnia.

Sleep-onset insomnia involves difficulty falling asleep; whereas maintenance insomnia involves frequent or early wakening. Contributing factors to sleep-onset insomnia include anxiety, tension, environmental changes, emotional arousal, fear of insomnia, pain or discomfort, caffeine and so much more.

Sleep-maintenance insomnia may involve depression, environmental change, sleep apnea, low blood sugar, pain or discomfort, drugs and alcohol. A professional health care practitioner should always be consulted with chronic, persistent, and long-term insomnia.

Therapeutic strategies in managing insomnia include eliminating factors that are known to disrupt sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol. Regular exercise and relaxation techniques may also encourage a more restful sleep. Aromatherapy is a natural remedy that includes incorporating essential oils that have a calming, soothing, balancing and anxiety reducing effect.

Lavender is a common essential oil used to assist with alleviating insomnia. The organic chemistry of lavender exhibits sedative properties, making for a relaxing and calming essential oil, even through inhalation. This is how essential oils work; their chemical makeup gives them the ability to function in certain ways.

There are other essential oils that can help; it really depends on what is causing the insomnia. Roman chamomile is believed to be soothing, calming and alleviates anxiety and stress. Other essential oils that are believed to have sedating, relaxing qualities include sweet marjoram, mandarin, sandalwood and valerian. Because these are quite strong, a small amount in an organic base (such as a vegetable oil), goes a long way.

As always, aromatherapy is a holistic practice. Other contributing factors are taken into consideration, such as key components in the person's over all life situation and emotional and psychological health. Essential oils are combined to encourage not only a restful and healthful sleep, but a better quality of life to leave a person feeling great and looking beautiful. It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do.

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