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How to sleep: The Sleep Doctor recommends lavender and vanilla essential oils

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Essential oils are an inexpensive and easy solution for sleepless nights. Favoured since ancient history, the remarkable power of scent has been everlasting. Which ones can aid sleep?

The Sleep Doctor, clinical psychologist Michael Breus, shares his recommendations on the best essential oils to help you drift off into a peaceful slumber.

“Essential oils have been used for centuries to promote relaxation, and mental and physical wellness,” testified Breus.

His first suggestion is lavender essential oil; Breus describes it as his “go-to recommendation”.

“Lavender is a soothing scent that’s long been associated with relaxation and sleep,” he explained.

Plus, it’s been utilised as “a natural remedy for anxiety,” helping you to drift away from any worries.

Lavender has “sedative effects, meaning it can work directly to help you fall asleep”, says Breus.

Research has shown lavender can: improve sleep quality; increase sleep quantity; and elevate daytime alertness – including in people who suffer from insomnia.

READ MORE: How to sleep: Eat this food one hour before bedtime to promote sleep

Not a fan of floral? The rich, woody, earthy scent of sandalwood may be a better option for you.

Shown to “increase amounts of non-REM sleep,” sandalwood can also reduce wakefulness.

However, Breus warns: “Everyone reacts to scents differently. Sandalwood may promote wakeful, attentive relaxation in some people.”

Another one to be careful of is citrus essential oil, which can either induce sleep or provide stimulation.

An essential oil mist might be a nice touch, which involves combining essential oil and water.

For every half a cup of water, use four to five drops of essential oil, and place in a spray bottle.

Then Breus suggests “spraying the underside of your pillow” and to “spray around the room”.

He even recommends giving a “light mist to your bed linens” – let us know below how you slept after using essential oils.


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