Go to Sleep with Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is often used to help with difficulties in sleeping, 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.

Click here to buy Lavender Essential Oil.

For more uses for lavender essential oil see Lavender, Essential First Aid.

Essential Oils in the Bath

Delicious Bath

Using essential oils in the bath can be a deeply relaxing and nurturing experience.  One important point to be aware of is that the oils must be diluted before you add them, this is because they are very potent and can irritate the skin in their neat form.  I have heard many stories from clients who have sprinkled drops of oil straight into the bath and experienced anything from tingling sensations to nasty skin reactions, even unable to use that particular oil again, after developing sensitivity.  So, even though you may be adding the drops of oil to an entire bath full of water the drops do not actually mix with water (because they are hydrophobic), and will stay in droplets on the surface of the water, clinging to your skin as you enter, which is just like putting neat oil onto your skin.

To dilute the oil you must mix it with carrier oil / vegetable oil, a tea spoon of olive oil would work just fine (see ‘A list of Carrier Oils & their Uses’  for more options).  To make it easier to prepare I often pour a tea spoon of olive oil into an egg cup add and then add the essential oils to this.  I would suggest adding between 3 and 12 drops of essential oil depending on the oils you use and how strong you want the scent/blend.  To start with, you could use 6 drops of lavender.  You can use more than one oil, but keep the total number of drops of the oils combined between 3 and 12.  So you may like to mix 4 drops of Orange with your 6 drops of Lavender and perhaps a further 2 drops of Black Pepper (so 12 in total).  This would make a relaxing, warming bath blend, great for aches and pains at the end of the day. Give the mixture a little stir so the essential oils are evenly blended in the olive oil.

Now your bath blend is ready.  Wait until the bath is run and at the appropriate temperature for you and that everything else is prepared, e.g. towels warmed, candles lit etc. (how ever you like to set the scene).  Just before you’re ready to step in, pour the oil blend into the bath and give it a little swoosh to help it disperse, then lay back and enjoy.  Adding them at this moment ensures you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of the oil especially the scent.  If you were to add them as you start running the water (as I would with bath bubbles) the heat and steam created would evaporate a lot of the oil and by the time you lay in the water there would be little left to appreciate.  After bathing notice how nourished your skin feels, just a tea spoon of oil manages to envelope your whole body leaving it soft and smooth.

Simple Bath Blend Recipe:

1 tea-spoon Olive Oil,

3-12 drops of Essential Oil, eg. 6 drops Lavender, 4 drops Orange, 2 drops Black pepper.

Mix together and pour into the bath just before entering.

CAUTION: Be careful not to slip as you step out of the bath, as the olive oil can make it a little slippery.