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Aromatherapy Expert, Pat Princi-Jones’ Favourite Sleep Rituals

Aromatherapy Expert, Pat Princi-Jones’ Favourite Sleep Rituals

“Simply repeating a ritual at bedtime can be a powerful way to signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down.” A Scented Life p.141

Introducing essential oil therapy as part of your sleep ritual may just help to reinstate good sleep habits. It takes a little effort, but it’s so relaxing it could just re-program interrupted sleep patterns. Essential oils with their proven sedative action slow down activity in the nervous system, reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. A few drops of Lavender on your pillow, indulging in a scented bath or applying soothing oils to the body before going to bed help improve sleep quality. Regular use of pure essential oils can help you establish a consistent sleep pattern which allows your circadian rhythms to operate at its peak.

How does scent actually work to aid sleep? 

Pure essential oils are made up of hundreds of natural compounds that are extracted from specific plant parts. These properties, when inhaled or massaged onto the body work on the entire nervous system. Ester-rich oils for instance help balance hormones which play a major part in regulating sleep patterns. 

Heart notes such as Lavender and Chamomile, have high levels of the compound linalool which is renowned for its sedative and calming effect on the central nervous system. Citrus notes, with their high level of limonene compound, such as Mandarin and Sweet Orange are proven nerve tonics, while rich base notes with earthy aromas such as Cedarwood, Marjoram and Australian Sandalwood, have a natural sedative action and are deeply soothing. These oils actually support the final stages of REM sleep – providing a deeper and more profound night’s sleep.

More importantly and when used as directed, essential oils do not have side effects.  Unlike over-the-counter medicine you don’t wake feeling drowsy and foggy but rather renewed and refreshed!

Pat’s Favourite Sleep Rituals 

  1. WIND DOWN TIME: I create a relaxing environment throughout my apartment before actual bedtime and DIFFUSE a few drops each of Geranium, Mandarin, and Sweet Orange, plus 1 drop of Ylang Ylang and Patchouli.
  1. PREPARE YOUR BEDROOM: At least one hour before retiring, I DIFFUSE a few drops each of deeply relaxing oils such as Marjoram, Lavender, Cedarwood and Geranium in my bedroom.  And I set the diffuser for 3 hours at most. Note:  Remember to keep lights low and use yellow or red function on LED lighting option of your diffuser to help trigger the parasympathetic brain function.  
  1. TAKE A CALMING SOAK: For me, the ultimate relaxation before bed is to indulge in an AROMATIC BATH and calming soak. Add 1 drop each of Roman chamomile, Australian Sandalwood and Bergamot to 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil and add to warm bath water. Mix well and immerse your body and breathe in the rising vapours as you relax and unwind. 
  1. QUICK TIP:  If you are over tired, try mixing 5 drops of Frankincense and 3 of Mandarin into 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil and MASSAGE into upper body and shoulders before falling into bed. 

Discover more about sleep & aromatherapy through my book, ‘A Scented Life’

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