For many, getting a good night sleep is hard. The endless tossing and turning, drifting thoughts, and blank stares at the ceiling, are just a few of the many problems people struggle with each night.
Difficulty sleeping is a major epidemic, and it’s high time that you discover some simple tips you can try to help improve your sleep. One of these tips is to use lavender oil on your feet.
What Is Lavender Oil?
You may have heard about all the wonderful benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy, and it’s not all hype. Essential oils really do work! These natural plant extracts have gone through scientific scrutiny and they provide huge benefits to health.
If you think about sweet dreams and delicious sleep, lavender is probably the most famous essential oil for that. Lavender oil is extracted from the perpetual and evergreen plant lavender. The lavender plant has over 40 types, which are predominantly found in northern Africa and the Mediterranean mountains.
Besides its essential oils, the lavender plant’s flowers, leaves, bark and roots can be used for medicinal purposes. For its multitude functions, lavender is widely used all over the world.
Lavender oil has numerous medicinal benefits. It is widely used as an ingredient in many cosmetic products because of its natural scent and ability to maintain skin health. It also helps with fungal infections, hair loss and wound healing. But how does it actually help you sleep better?
Why Does Lavender Make You Sleep?
When it comes to better sleep, lavender is high up on the list. It has a calming and relaxing effect to the brain and body. Research says that lavender oil has the power to slow down your heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure.
Your mood dramatically changes for the better when you inhale lavender. A lot of people swear that they become happier and calmer. Besides all of these, lavender has natural compounds that go deep within the body to promote sleep.
Below Are Other Sleep Benefits:
- Relieves stress – in addition to its relaxing property, lavender oil helps reduce stress by reducing cortisol, the major stress hormone in your body.
- Regulates anxiety – lavender oil has an anxiolytic property that calms the central nervous system and tames the exaggerated response of the brain to stimuli.
- Increases serotonin and GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) – these two act as hormones and neurotransmitters that control how you react to stress and emotions. They also stabilize your body functions, so you can react rationally to pressure and stressful situations.
- Relaxes muscles – sometimes, you can’t sleep because there’s just too much tension in your body. Lavender oil has muscle relaxing effects that relieves and soothes tensed muscles.
There are many ways to use lavender oil for sleep. You can use a diffuser, spray it in your room, pour it in your bath and more. But applying lavender on your feet… sounds weird, but it really does work.
How Does Putting Essential Oils on Feet Work?
Feet may not always be the topic of conversation, but it’s actually a sweet spot for lavender oil absorption – especially the soles.
If you’ve used lavender oil before, but got underwhelming results, changing how you utilize it is the key. Massaging lavender oil on your soles can give you great results because feet are one of the best absorption points of the body.
Feet have the largest pores on the body. The openings are so large that essential oils can easily pass through the skin and give you immediate benefits. Besides this, your feet are one of the most sensitive, but strongest parts of the body. They have to endure so much on a daily basis. For this reason, it can take undiluted lavender oil better than any part of the body.
Lavender oil goes very well together with reflexology or foot massage. The circular motions and pressure applied on your feet opens up your pores even more and lets lavender oil enter quickly.
In addition to all these, your feet has thousands of nerve endings which can carry the effects of lavender oil to all parts of your body. And although it has the largest pores, it doesn’t have oil glands which can block the absorption of lavender oil. As bonus, lavender oil can soften hardened skin around your feet!
How Do I Apply Essential Oils on My Feet?
It’s super simple, you just need to drip, dilute and apply them on the soles of your feet. That’s it! You can dilute lavender oil with water, or you can also use coconut oil, almond oil, argan oil and a lot more.
If you want to experiment and get more fancy, you can give the following methods a try:
- Lavender oil foot bath – prepare a large container or tub that can fit your feet. Pour warm water, add Epsom salts and 10 drops of lavender oil. Soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes and see the difference when you sleep.
- Lavender stress relief cream – there’s nothing better than a little mint thrown in the mix! Mint gives a cooling and relaxing effect that help you sleep better. Mix 5 drops each of peppermint, oregano and lavender oils. Dilute with a carrier oil or water and massage on the soles of your feet. Doze off with the minty effect.
- Lavender sugar scrub – besides promoting better sleep, a lavender sugar scrub gives your feet a little love and TLC. Add in raw sugar, your choice of carrier oil and add lavender oil. Scrub your feet for 10 minutes and rinse.
You may not be a “foot person”, and that’s not a problem. But you never know, applying lavender oil on your feet may just be enough to help you get to sleep.
Why Can’t I Fall Asleep?
Quality, uninterrupted sleep is essential to health. Your body works all day long, non-stop. It needs to take a break and recover, and sleeping is its way to regain energy. Sleeping is a natural physiological function and your “biological clock” controls this process. Your body is supposed to automatically slow down as night time comes, but what disrupts this natural flow?
There’s a whole host of reasons why you can’t fall or stay asleep. It might be because of mundane things, which you can easily spot, but there are more serious reasons that are hard to notice.
Here’s Are Some Reasons Why:
- Your hormones are all over the place – Hormones play such a key role in relaxing the brain and body. When their delicate balance is disturbed, sleep pattern also changes.
- You have anxiety/depression – do you ever lie awake at night with endless thoughts and worries? If you can’t quiet your mind before bed, and it has been happening for several months, bring it up with your doctor. A racing mind means a tensed body, so it’s difficult to fall asleep.
- You’re drinking too much coffee – caffeine is a major stimulant, so if you drink more than 2 cups per day, you’re in for some trouble come night time.
- You have poor sleep hygiene – yup, sleep has hygiene too. If you eat too much at dinner, stay up late with your gadgets, or work at home last minute, know that you are literally throwing off your body clock. Slowing down 4 hours before you go to bed is highly advised.
These are just a few of the many reasons for why it can be difficult to sleep. Something as small as putting lavender oil on your feet could be a big improvement for your health.