How Essential Oils Can Help Replace OTC Sleep Aids

Sleep is crucial for our wellness, but without quality shuteye, our lives could be considerably affected. Over-the-counter sleep aids could be an excellent remedy for some individuals. However, more naturally occurring products like essential oils could offer an effective treatment without addictive properties.

Sleep struggles and other conditions that complicate rest aren’t uncommon. Either way, whatever is prohibiting your shuteye, we’ve got a few options that could help.

How Essential Oils Can Help Replace OTC Sleep Aids

Lavender Oil for Sleep, Pain Relief, & Anxiety

Many individuals have turned to melatonin to help with sleep. While this is a naturally occurring hormone and not known to be harmful, melatonin can sometimes leave you feeling groggy in the morning. Research on lavender, on the other hand, has shown no adverse side effects.

Studies on the sedative effects of lavender make a strong case for its use in sleep. Research has demonstrated a more rapid sleep onset coupled with longer durations of rest. Not only should lavender improve the quality of restful sleep, but it’s also been shown to improve symptoms associated with insomnia, like restlessness and disturbed slumber.

Clinical studies on lavender and benzodiazepine, a group of drugs commonly used to treat sleep issues, have shown promising results when replacing benzodiazepine with lavender, reducing the side-effects of stronger sleep aids, like addiction.

Lavender oil appears to be a jack of all trades, promoting not only sleep but pain relief as well. Instances have shown that patients reported a significant reduction in pain and discomfort through needle injection after receiving oxygen with a face mask tinged in lavender oil.

Peppermint Oil for Sleep, Snoring, and Sleep Apnea

Peppermint has been used for a variety of health purposes for thousands of years, with records dating back to ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt.

Sleep apnea is often associated with blocked airways, which peppermint’s anti-inflammatory qualities are known to alleviate. Issues like snoring and sleep apnea caused by nasal congestion could be relieved through peppermint oil.

Research studies have reported significant evidence demonstrating the positive effects of this essential oil when treating sleep apnea, including longer sleep duration and less frequent night wakings.

Chamomile Oil for Sleep, Anxiety, & Depression

Chamomile oil has been used for centuries to treat various issues. The herb is known to promote sleep and alleviate other problems, including anxiety, depression, digestion, eczema, back pain, and arthritis.

Research on the effects of chamomile shows considerable promise in promoting sleep. In a study of 60 older adults, half the group was prescribed chamomile, and the other half were given a placebo. By the end of the study, the sleep quality in those who took the chamomile increased significantly.

Evening Primrose Oil for Sleep, Pain Relief & Skin Problems

Cramps and backaches are well known to be common symptoms of PMS. Evening Primrose oil has been shown to help sleep as well as alleviate discomfort due to menstrual pain. Research has specifically shown its effectiveness in reducing breast pain, so individuals who struggle with this issue specifically around their period, taking Evening Primrose Oil could provide relief.

Valerian Root Oil for Sleep, Headaches, Cramps, & Anxiety

Valerian root has been commonly used in traditional and folk medicine, and proponents claim the herb encourages relaxation by soothing anxiety, aiding in rest. While research is inconclusive, studies that support the use of the herb show that valerian root appears to interact effectively with the nervous system, acting as a chemical messenger to the brain.

Valerian root is meant to work similarly to anti-anxiety drugs like diazepam or Valium. Other sources report other uses for valerian root as well, including menstrual cramps, stomach aches, hot flashes, and migraines.

While over-the-counter sleep aids may be helpful in some respects, turning to essential oils for sleep and other health solutions could be a better alternative when seeking a more holistic remedy.

Find even more helpful tips, uses and recipes for using essential oils in our archives!

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