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  • Writer's pictureJessica Montgomerie-Kieft

Using essential oils to restore your sleep cycle and melatonin production

Aromatheraphy essential oils for improved sleep and wellness

Sleep has always been widely talked about as one of the most important factors affecting our overall health and wellness, and if you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep this can indicate that your circadian rhythm might be a little out of balance.

Did you know that Aromatherapy can be added to your routine to naturally support and restore an optimal sleep routine as part of your focus on holistic health?

What is circadian rhythm?

Your circadian rhythm is an internal process that regulates your sleep–wake cycle like a biological clock, which is controlled by the pineal gland. Forming part of the endocrine system, your pineal gland’s main function is to control your sleep–wake cycle with light cues, secreting the hormone melatonin to induce sleep. Our melatonin levels increase as the sun goes down and your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep rises; but when your circadian rhythm and pineal gland are out of balance, the lack of melatonin production not only affects your sleep but can affect your immune system, hormone regulation and can contribute to chronic diseases over time.

How do aromatherapy essential oils help?

Essential oils can help to calm and sedate the mind and body, but can also be used to help heal the pineal gland and restore its function to trigger the release of melatonin. This is due to both the pharmacological and physiological response essential oil molecules have on the body, as each essential oils’ chemical properties dictate the therapeutic actions that that essential oil will have. These unique properties have a biochemical interaction with the body’s systems and affect both mental state via the central nervous system and the endocrine system.

My favourite way to use essential oils is to incorporate them as part of a consistent sleep routine every night. Over time your Limbic System, which is responsible for our behavioural and emotional responses, will attach the scent of the essential oil to memory and create a physiological response; so if you start to incorporate a particular essential oil into your sleep routine, your body’s first response when smelling that scent will be associated with preparing for sleep.

When using essential oils as part of your sleep routine, you want to ensure you are using essential oils that have sedative therapeutic benefits to help calm the mind and central nervous system, preparing your body for sleep and creating the desired pharmacological response.

Some of my favourites are:

Lavender: This amazing oil is by far the most popular of choice when it comes to sleep! Numerous studies have cited the effectiveness of lavender to assist with insomnia and depression. Lavender essential oil can also help balance the central nervous system and melatonin production, helping to maintain a consistent sleep cycle.

Ylang Ylang: Due to Ylang Ylang’s sedative properties, this oil will start preparing your body to relax due to lowering your blood pressure and in turn lower your heart rate and slow down your breathing. Ylang Ylang works to also reduce stress and anxiety levels, and will reduce the amount of cortisol in our bodies making you either fall asleep and stay asleep.

Chamomile: Chamomile has long been associated with promoting a good night’s sleep, as it acts like a mild tranquilliser and sleep inducer. Chamomile also calms the nerves and targets the same parts of the brain and nervous system as common anti-anxiety drugs making this a great oil to use if you get racing thoughts before bedtime.

Clary Sage: With sedative properties Clary Sage essential oil provides a calming effect and is another great oil to help with anxious thoughts, helping you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Clary Sage is also a nervine and will support and bring balance to cortisol levels, your body’s nervous system and pineal gland.

How do you incorporate essential oils into your sleep routine?

To incorporate essential oils into our sleep routine, the first step is to smell these oils and see which one (or two) resonate with you and bring about relaxation for you personally. This is important because if you don’t resonate with the scent of a particular oil, you will not find pleasure in incorporating that scent into your home and your sleep routine.

When it comes to using essential oils, one of the easiest ways to incorporate them into your sleep routine is by diffusing these oils in your bedroom, as inhaling these aroma molecules only takes a few seconds to start having an effect on your body and mind.

Here’s some blend ideas for either diffusing essential oils or applying with a roller bottle.

Sleep Diffuser Blend

Diffuser in your living room or bedroom while winding down for the night

● 6 drops Lavender essential oil

● 2 drops Clary Sage essential oil

Sleep Essential Oil Roller Bottle

Apply to your wrist and over your heart before bedtime

● 10ml Roller Bottle

● 10ml Carrier Oil (eg. Sweet Almond Oil)

● 7 drops Lavender essential oil

● 5 drops Clary Sage essential oil

● 3 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil

Guest writer: Jessica Montgomerie-Kieft, Aromathérapie Co

Jessica Montgomerie-Kieft is the creator behind Aromathérapie Co, a devoted instagram sharing all things aromatherapy. As a clinical aromatherapy student with a passion and focus on women’s health, Jessica shares her favourite ways of incorporating essential oils into your routine though easy to make DIY’s and natural recipes, alongside the why’s and science behind aromatherapy.

Follow Jess on Instagram: @aromatherapie_co

Find out more about Jess on her website:

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