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September 24, 2019

A ritual is like a routine. While a routine can feel a little inflexible, a ritual is a nurturing and peaceful space for you to take care of yourself. Turning your mind off is a challenge when you’re stressed or anxious. A nightly ritual helps you relax, fall asleep easily and be better prepared for the next day.

 

When you have had a busy day and are maybe anticipating another one tomorrow all you need is a good night’s sleep, but, as soon as your head hits the pillow you are wide awake and sleep seems elusive.  Or falling asleep is easy but you wake up a few hours later and are unable to fall back to sleep.  If this sounds familiar you are not alone.

 

Sleep deprivation seems to be on rise around the world and although some groups are more vulnerable, anyone can be affected.  Studies have linked a lack of sleep to

  • Daytime sleepiness and becoming more accident prone.
  • Decrease in mood, optimism and sociability.
  • Hormonal changes; in particular insulin sensitivity and leptin (appetite suppression hormone) production; diabetes and weight gain.
  • Lowered immune system and an increase in inflammation.

How can aromatherapy help?

Essential oils enhance our lives on a physical and emotional level.  Essential oils are absorbed into the body either through the skin or lungs where they enter into the bloodstream or they stimulate the limbic system in the brain.  The limbic system is responsible for memories and emotional responses and becomes effected when the aromatic molecules of essential oils are inhaled through the nose.

There are so many wonderful ways to include aromatherapy to help you rest deeply.  Developing a relaxing aromatic night ritual tailored especially for you is a way to gently acknowledge where your health could improve and decide how you would like to address these issues. 

How we can incorporate aromatherapy into a night ritual?

Magnesium Bath

Magnesium is a crucial element that eases tired and cramping muscles, helps to calm your mind and is readily absorbed through the skin.  Fill your bath with warm water and add up to 3 cups of Epsom salts, stir the water to help the salts dissolve.  Add up to 8 drops of essential oil in a tablespoon of dispersant such as honey or coconut milk.  This will prevent the essential oils from potentially irritating your skin.  Rest for up to 20 minutes enjoying the healing aroma of essential oils.  You may like to enhance the experience by listening to relaxing music or an inspiring podcast.  Or dim the lights and soak up the silence.  Try these blends below or create one for yourself.

 

Unwind

Tired Muscles

Silence

4 drops Lavender

2 drops Geranium

2 drops Ylang Ylang

3 drops Lavender

3 drops Chamomile

2 drops Marjoram

2 drops Mandarin

3 drops Jasmine

3 drops Sandalwood

 

Foot Bath Ritual

If a full bath is unsuitable a foot bath could be used instead.  To a basin of warm water, add 6 drops of essential oil. Your feet and calves will feel light and relaxed after moisturising scrub.

Moisturising Scrub

1/4 cup of finely ground salt

1 tablespoon of oil, (olive or coconut oil)

3 drops of essential oil (if desired)

Mix all ingredients together and apply to feet and legs using a small gentle circular motion.  Using the water in the foot bath wash off the excess salt and sit back and let the tensions of the day drift away.

 

Massage

Massage eases tight muscles, reduces pain and calms the nervous system. 

A self-massage nourishes the skin and is an easy way to end the day with the benefits of essential oils.  For an adult add 15 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil, for a child 2 to 5 drops of essential oil to 10ml of carrier oil.  Try adding either Dream Drops or Sleep to your massage blend.

 

Room Spray or Pillow Mist

A quick and easy way to add aromatherapy into your night routine.  In a spray bottle add 100ml of water and up to 15-40 drops of essential oil.  Shake well before using then spray liberally in the air or a small amount over bedding and pillows.

Sweet Dreams

Roses

 20 drops Neroli 3%

15 drops Rose 3%

15 drops Chamomile 3%

12 drops Rose 3%

8 drops Patchouli or Cedarwood

8 drops Geranium

 

Your night ritual should include practices that are enjoyable for you and simple to do.  You may like to start with one or two rituals and experiment with different essential oil blends remembering to include practises that address any areas that make resting difficult.  Your ritual may also change over time and is simply a reflection of our ever-changing lives. 

May you have the sweetest dreams.



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