Sleep is essential for our physical as well mental well-being. However, most of us tend to take this important phenomenon very lightly. Extra work ours, travelling, late night parties, etc. easily makes us compromise on our sleep hours. As per the surveys nearly one third of office goers in India report that they compromise on sleep in order to balance their work schedule. Mental stress is another major reason for sleep problems. World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that sleep needs differ for people based on their age. Adults need at least 8 hours of sleep per day whereas babies need about 15 to 16 hours of sleep. Do you think you get adequate sleep of approximately 7 to 8 hours each day? Reason for sleep problems can vary from mental stress, illness, or overall stressful lifestyle. Inadequate sleep is associated with several health problems. People who have sleep problems are at higher risk of being obese, have blood pressure problems and develop diabetes. Poor sleep at night also causes irritability, lethargic and reduces concentration at work the next day. Overall lack of sleep is responsible for poor mental and physical health.
If you have been tacking with sleep issues on regular basis and looking for a natural treatment, this article is a best read for you. Some Ayurvedic treatments such as Shirodhara are well-known for their mind calming effects. Other natural therapies such as Aromatherapy too are proven to reduce mental agitation and induce sleep. The Aromatherapy works on the principles of aroma and touch. You may also bring in some healthy lifestyle changes to reduce sleep problems. Reducing coffee intake, taking warm bath before bed time, consuming warm milk or herbal tea, listening to soothing music, are some of the best habits to get good sleep. Given below are 5 herbs or plants that are popular for their relaxing effects on mind. Read on to understand how you can use them in your routine to get peaceful sleep at night.
Lavender oil is well- known for its sweet aroma and is a common ingredient of several perfumes, body lotions, soaps and other cosmetics. Obtained from flowers of Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis the purple coloured flowers have been used as an effective remedy to manage mental agitation and stress, sleep problems, headaches, etc. for centuries. Studies report that essential oil extracted from the lavender flowers can effectively reduce the state of anxiety and provide mental calmness. In one study the researcher found that people who slept in a room that had lavender oil diffuser reported 20 percent better sleep as compared to people who slept in normal room. Another study revealed that sniffing lavender oil for about 2 minutes before sleep leads to more sound and undisturbed sleep.
One of the most beautiful and popular fragrance in the cosmetic as well as perfume industry is that of Jasmine. Smelling the flower itself or its essential oil is quite soothing to mind. The essential oil of Jasmine is also known to relieve anxiety and calm down agitated mind. The exact mechanism needed to promote sleep! According to aromatherapy principles, inhaling Jasmine essential oil sends messages to a brain region involved in controlling emotions. It is also believed to affect a number of important physiological functions such as heart rate, stress hormones and blood pressure. Sipping warm Jasmine tea before bed time is also beneficial for inducing sound sleep.
Vetiver oil, also known as khus oil in India is obtained from a perennial grass Chrysopogon zizanioides. The Vetiver essential oil is obtained from the roots of the grass with steam distillation process. The essential oil has a very strong, earthy and spicy aroma and is effective in reducing mental agitation. The Vetiver oil finds special use in reducing mental problems such as insomnia, mental fatigue, anxiety and depression.
Lemon oil is a common ingredient of bathing soaps, perfumes, room fresheners, and body lotions. Its fragrance is very refreshing and reviving to the mind. Lemon essential oil is extracted from the Citrus limonum (also known as Citrus Limon). Inhaling lemon essential oil can have soothing effect on the brain leading to reduction in anxiety and mental tensions. The lemon oil is calming in nature and therefore serves as a best remedy to reduce stress and promote better sleep.
Bergamot oil plays an important role in reducing symptoms of anxiety and stress. The essential oil is obtained from the citrus fruits of Citrus aurantium var. bergamia. Researchers report that bergamot oil can causes reduction of blood pressure, and also induces mental calmness and relaxation. This is how it finds an important role in reducing sleep problems. Studies have found that Bergamot oil can reduce the presence of the hormone cortisol in the saliva, which reduces stress and promotes better sleep.