Sleep is the key to a successful day. Sleep is what allows our body to repair cells and restore our energy. Not getting a good night’s sleep leads to a lot more problems than just being cranky. A regular lack of sleep can cause medical issues like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Sleep apnea is a huge disturbance to sleep, so let’s dive into what causes sleep apnea, how essential oils work, and the best essential oils to help prevent sleep apnea.
How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep
There are a few different ways essential oils can be used. A diffuser will distribute the oils into the air giving the room it is in a lovely scent. Another option is to apply a few drops of oil to a hot towel and place it over your nose for a few minutes as you breathe in. Avoid contact with your eyes!!
Another common way to use essential oils is to apply them directly to the skin. Pure essential oils can be harsh on the skin. If you choose this route, it is recommended that the essential oils are mixed with a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil.
Do not swallow essential oils without a doctor’s recommendation.
Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea
Several essential oils can be used to promote a good night’s sleep, and we will get into those next. Right now, let’s talk about the 3 most cited essential oils for helping improve sleep apnea symptoms: peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender essential oils.
has anti-inflammatory properties that may help clear your nose and airways before bed. This will help reduce snoring and other mild symptoms of sleep apnea. Peppermint oil is said to improve brain functions and improve mood. The oil can be used to help relieve mild allergy symptoms.
has been shown to reduce mucus in your sinuses. This is the reason it is used in many over-the-counter rubs for chest congestion. Eucalyptus oil may help you breathe easier, get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
works to calm anxiety. Less stress equals better sleep. Lavender oil may help you fall asleep and spend more time in deep, quality sleep.
Best Essential Oils to Improve Sleep
There is a wide range of essential oils in the market today with all kinds of claims to help what ails you. Here are the essential oils that can help improve the quality of your sleep.
is known for its ability to calm nerves and reduce stress. Chamomile oil is great for relaxation, but the benefit of this plant is not restricted to the essential oil. Chamomile flowers can be brewed into a hot tea that can be enjoyed before bed.
has been shown to improve restless sleeping. Using this oil before bed could reduce those symptoms and allow you to get better quality rest while you’re sleeping.
Frankincense Oil: promotes relaxation to help you wind down and fall into a restful slumber.
Bergamot Oil: is said to help with anxiety and stress. It can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, allowing you to calm down and fall asleep.
Ylang Ylang Oil: is known to be a sedative.
Sandalwood Oil:is also known to have sedative effects. It can aid in relaxation and help calm anxiety.
Clary Sage Oil: can be used to reduce cortisol levels. Clary Sage is another known natural sedative.
Valerian Oil: has been shown to reduce anxiety, allowing you to relax and catch some well-deserved rest.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils have recently become a popular natural sleep remedy for issues such as sleep apnea. Essential oils are made from aromatic plants and work by promoting the production of endorphins and serotonin.
When you inhale, the scent from the essential oils triggers the amygdala, the part of our brain that sends the fight or flight response, to secrete neurotransmitters that tell your body to relax and elevate your mood.
Not only are neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine good for your mood, but serotonin is essential in the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy at night.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes continuous interruptions to a person’s sleep throughout the night. This is more than waking up a couple of times a night, someone can have 30 or more sleep disturbances an hour.
These sleep disturbances are being caused by extended pauses in breathing. They can be anywhere from 10 seconds to 1 minute. When the brain realizes it is not getting enough oxygen, it wakes the person up enough to breathe again. This cycle can continue all night long.
Sleep apnea can be caused by several different factors like genetics, smoking, and obesity. It is common to have sleep apnea without knowing it. If you have sleep apnea, you could be sleeping for 8 hours or more, but waking up tired and groggy.
Other signs to look out for are:
- Loud and excessive snoring
- Interrupted breathing while asleep
- Long periods without taking a breath
- Headaches upon waking
- Problems focusing
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea you should speak to a doctor. The disorder affects up to 9% of adults in the U.S. Experts say a lot of cases go undiagnosed and it is known to affect more men than women. It can lead to serious health problems such as stroke, diabetes, epilepsy, irregular heart rhythm, high blood pressure, heart attack, and heart disease if left untreated.
The oils can be used on their own or you can create your own blend of scents to use. Essential oils are not a treatment for sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, but they may be used to help alleviate symptoms such as mild snoring that are related to sleep apnea. Please consult a doctor with any health questions or concerns or if you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea.