Lavender essential oil is often used to help with sleep problems, it has a very clearing effect in general which is useful as quite often people struggle to sleep because they are stressed, tense or their mind is racing, and lavender can help to clear and ease these symptoms. There are some great ways to use lavender as part of a wind down routine before bed, to support the body in preparing for a restful night. You could simply use lavender oil in a burner to scent your bedroom before you get into bed; taking a bath with lavender oil in the evening is a great way to really relax your body and let go of any tension held from your day; it can be as simple as sprinkling a few drops of essential oil onto your pillow at night or on a tissue placed under your pillow. It’s more about the way you do it, rather than what you actually do -so having a bath isn’t going to be better than a drop on your pillow, it’s all about the quality. The preparation for bedtime before your head hits the pillow, will support the body greatly, compared to an evening of distraction (TV, computer, etc.), and waiting until you feel really tired and then getting into bed and hoping you’ll sleep because you’re so dog tired. Bringing lavender into your evening rhythm can be much more effective at easing the stress of the day, and a busy mind. It’s worth experimenting to see how you like to use it, it maybe that you use it in a face cream that you apply in the evening and this is the way you really love to use it, or you might have a lavender bag that you hang by your bed, and you sprinkle a drop on each night so you can enjoy the scent. It’s important that it is something for you, rather than something you ‘do’ to try and make you sleep ‘better’… if you’re intention becomes about supporting yourself, rather than to fix the sleeping issue, it can be so much more effective, especially in the long term.
The cleansing action of lavender makes it very appropriate to use in washing powder and fabric conditioner. Just add a few drops (5-10) of lavender essential oil with the fabric conditioner to the washing machine (you can also add it to the washing powder/liquid if you prefer) and your wash will come out smelling heavenly. It’s such a simple touch but actually brings plenty of health benefits as well as the lovely smell, because lavender essential oil has an anti-microbial action, your lovely smelling bed sheets and clothes will also be fighting off germs as you wear them.
You could also add lavender floral water into the iron rather than just water when ironing bed sheets, this is such a treat when you get into bed and your whole body feels lovely under the sheets. Make sure you don’t use the essential oil in the ironing water, as the oil may leave a stain on your clothes. Floral water has had the essential oil filtered out so it won’t leave any marks.
Make sure you use a good quality essential oil and not just a perfumed synthetic oil. You can still enjoy benefits and effects from the perfumed smell, but a good quality essential oil will be more beneficial, (a synthetic version will not have anti-bacterial properties) and the natural scent will probably smell much nicer.
For more uses for lavender essential oil see Lavender, Essential First Aid.