I’ve been using the Young Living oils since September 1998. 20 years – that’s a long time, right? And you’d think maybe I’d be a little bored with the journey by now. Well – no, nothing could be further from the truth. I get sooooooo excited when I make new discoveries.
So here I was, having difficulty sleeping because I was putting in long hours leading up to our recent big event (the Aroma Spirit Festival)…and I made an amazing discovery that I can’t wait to share with you!!!!
What I discovered…
I’ve been closely observing my sleep patterns of late, and made an interesting observation. Anytime I work on the computer at night, my sleep is significantly less restful. Even with our beautiful oils, I sleep lightly and fitfully, and have difficulty accessing those rejuvenating deep sleep cycles….no doubt because of the effect of the blue light being emitted from the computer screen,
Research is now showing that the blue light emitted from phones, computers, tablets, and TVs switches off melatonin production, the hormone responsible for deep sleep, thus making it harder to fall and stay asleep.
For that reason, I do my best to stop work at least a couple of hours before I head to bed. But there are times in my life that this is not possible, and my workload mandates that I will be at my computer right up until bed time.
I had one of those periods a few weeks ago, preparing for the biggest event we’ve ever run (the Aroma Spirit Festival). There was so much preparation involved that I was putting in 10 to 14 hour days.
One night, after working late on the computer, I decided to try to “knock myself out” with some Sacred Sandalwood oil, which is one of the oils that I love using for deep sleep.
But this time, instead of just putting a drop under my nose, for some reason I put a drop on my third eye as well.
I have no idea what prompted me to do this. Was it intuition? Was some deeper part of me tapping into my unconscious knowing? Regardless the reason, the result was mind-blowing (pun intended!).
To my amazement, I fell asleep easily, entering a deliciously deep sleep. When I woke to use the bathroom, I added another drop of Sandalwood oil under my nose and on my third eye, and quickly slipped back into a deep deep sleep…Wow!!!
I’ve used Sandalwood oil under my nose many times, yet on its own it’s not normally counteracted that wakefulness I experience from doing mental computer work at night….so I can only put the powerful sleep benefits down to the addition of Sandalwood oil to my third eye.
I love that after so many years of using essential oils, I still feel like a kid when I make a discovery, and want to shout it from the rooftops.
We are all explorers, re-awakening ancient knowledge about essential oils and how to use them.
Essential Oils for a restful sleep
So do I think Sandalwood is one of the best oils for deep sleep? Absolutely! However, it is possible to desensitize to an oil if you use it every day, so that’s why I like having a toolkit of oils at my fingertips. Sandalwood is my #1, but it’s not my ONLY sleep oil.
Each oil works in a slightly different way, and we refer to this as the oil’s “personality”. Get to know your oils, and it’s like having a wonderful group of friends around you. In any situation, you know which friend you most want to reach out to, because of their particular strengths.
There are many Young Living essential oils which are deeply calming and wonderful to use prior to sleep. Here are some of my favourites, to add to your tool kit:
A “Universal” oil which is calming in almost every situation. Suitable for children, adults and pets, Lavender oil has been the subject of much scientific research for its benefits in aiding restful sleep. Add 5 to 15 drops to your diffuser (depending on room size and desired intensity of aroma), or apply a drop under the nose or to the big toes. For children or the elderly, you may even just want to place a drop on either side of the pillow.
Peace and Calming
A calming oil with the most exquisite, comforting, uplifting, citrus-inspired, sweet aroma (you can tell I like the smell of this one, can’t you!). Add to your diffuser, or apply a drop or two under each foot.
Caution: Because it’s photosensitive, you wouldn’t apply this oil blend to your face. Photosensitive oils will make our skin more sensitive to UV light for a period of 24 hours, and can leave a mark (like a birth mark) on the skin after sun exposure.This mark can take months to grow out, which is definitely not what you want on your face!
I think of Cedarwood as the “little brother” to Sandalwood oil. They both have many similar effects on us, however Cedarwood oil is at the opposite price spectrum to Sandalwood, being one of Young Living’s least expensive oils. So the scientist in me came out, and I experimented with Cedarwood oil under my nose and on my third eye, to see if it gave me the same results as the Sandalwood. I noticed that it was a bit irritating to my skin, so instead of helping me sleep, on this occasion I had to get up and put some V6 carrier oil on my forehead to settle down the slight irritation to my skin.
Nevertheless, I have in the past seen great results in normal sleep situations when a drop of Cedarwood has been placed under the nose or over your face (just remember to have your V6 or other vegetable oil handy in case it irritates your skin in any way, or mix it with your facial moisturizer or a bit of carrier oil).
With its deeply woody, soothing, mellow and enriching aroma, this is a wonderful oil for sleep. It’s one of our more expensive oils….yet achieving a restful night’s sleep is a priceless gift!!! When we are alert and rested, we can achieve more of our dreams throughout the day, we are more connected with those we love, we have more energy for fun….and our health is built on the foundation of good sleep.
I never diffuse Sacred Sandalwood, because of its cost. Instead, I like to get the full effect of it by using a single drop or two directly only my skin, applied neat (undiluted). And unlike Cedarwood oil, I’ve never had any skin irritation from Sacred Sandalwood oil.
A great “knock me out” oil when I’m physically exhausted and just need to head on that elevator and ride to sleep-land….When I’m ready to turn the lights out and go to sleep, I use a drop under my nose or on my occiput, where my skull joins my neck. It works so quickly that if I put it on too earlier (before bed), the peak of its relaxing effects have already passed before I am ready to sleep.
This oil blend is a combination of Ruta, Valerian and Lavender oil, and it’s like Valerian oil on steroids. Like Valerian, it can be used under the nose or on the occiput prior to sleep. Its secret ingredient is Ruta, a plant used in South America to put crying children to sleep.
I remember a funny story of Gary Young diffusing Ruta (or maybe it was RutaVaLa) in one of his staff meetings with his executive team. The staff members sitting closest to the diffuser felt like their eyes were rolling in their head as they fought to stay awake!
This is a beautiful oil for children and adults alike. I like to put a drop of Valerian or RutaVaLa on the occipital area where my skull joins my neck, and then 3 drops of Roman Chamomile oil down my neck. This is a combination given to me by Gary Young, the founder of Young Living essential oils, when I asked him once about oils for restful sleep.
A drop on each side of my pillow helps me “leave my body” and return both refreshed, and in a state of bliss. I love the spiritual effects of this oil blend, so of course it’s one of my favourites alongside of Sacred Sandalwood oil (and was in fact one of the first oils I ever ordered from Young Living).
Caution: Awaken oil blend is photosensitive, hence I apply it to the far sides of my pillow rather than to my face.
When Gary Young was inspired to make this oil blend, he wanted to recreate the feeling of being protected by the canopy of the forest. For this reason, it is deeply soothing and nurturing, helping to comfort us in the face of feelings of vulnerability and fear. If emotions are keeping me awake, or if I wake up and start grinding over some emotions, Sacred Mountain is my friend who takes my hand and leads me back to sleep.
I put a few drops on my chest. At first, I think nothing is happening….it’s just soothing me. But then I wake up and its morning already, and I realise I drifted off to sleep under the protective “canopy” of the Sacred Mountain oil.
Get the best sleep ever with these
12 amazing tips:
Even though essential oils are wonderful at calming us and facilitating a restful sleep, there are other steps we can also take to prepare us for the best sleep we’ve ever had, night after night.
1. Do some physical activity each day, so that you can release pent-up physical energy, allowing a good balance between physical and mental work
2. Take a daily 10+ minute cleansing walk on the grass or beach with bare feet, in order to “earth” yourself.
3. Eat your main meal at lunch time, and have a lighter vegetarian dinner at least 2 hours before sleep
4. Avoid your computer, tablet, phone, TV and other digital devices for 1.5 to 2 hours before sleep. There is a new type of lens that can be used in spectacles/glasses which helps to counteract this blue light emission. It’s worth considering if you do need to do a lot of work on technology of an evening.
5. Take 15 minutes in the late afternoon or evening to plan your following day, including jotting down any ideas or concerns. Having them out of your head and onto paper can “clear the slate” and avoid unnecessary mental stimulation at night
6. Choose a 30 minute evening sleep ritual – something that tells your body that it’s transitioning from wake time to sleep time.
This could be an evening meditation, or reading a book, or any other “down time”. Our body loves ritual, as it teaches it that when the ritual happens, sleep is just around the corner. You could enhance this further with a few drops of Valor oil under each foot before your sleep ritual.
7. Make sure your room is completely dark, by utilizing block-out curtains and by covering any artificial light sources like alarm clocks and those red lights on smoke alarms and TV sets.
I always travel with Blu-Tac so I can eliminate these unexpected light sources in hotel rooms.
8. Take a sachet of Young Living’s Alkalime powder in water as you head to bed – this alkalizing powder helps our body to maintain optimal pH levels, which is the foundation to good health and good sleep.
9. Apply a drop of Sacred Sandalwood oil under your nose and on your third eye. If you don’t have Sacred Sandalwood, use one of the other oils or combos from my list above, following the instructions on how/where to apply it.
10. Make sure you are in bed with lights out before 10pm, because the sleep you have earlier in the evening is the most rejuvenating. This is because non-REM (deep) sleep dominates our sleep cycles earlier in the evening, so this is when a lot of rejuvenation is occurring for our body and mind.
11. Once the lights are out, spend 5 minutes repeating a sleep affirmation over and over. Make sure you are completely engaged with the affirmation, feeling it as you say the words….eg. “I surrender easily to sleep, allowing my body to align and rejuvenate through deep, blissful sleep”.
12. And my final tip is one that I learned 30 years ago. It’s completely crazy, but I use it as my last resort if nothing else is working…and it often does the trick….and that’s to:
Yell loudly at yourself, “Go to sleep [then your name]!!!” The name is your name or nickname as a child. Try it! You’ll be amazed at how your inner child suddenly pays attention and becomes still (physically and mentally).
If you have a partner or spouse, make sure you warn them before you start to yell at yourself! Otherwise you get to sleep, and they are hanging onto the ceiling in terror.