Health

Are you dreading going to bed tonight? One essential oil could help you to fall asleep

Tossing and turning at night isn’t an experience to look forward to. If you’d rather get into bed and drift peacefully off into a deep sleep, then one essential oil could work its magic.

There are two things you’ll need to relax into the evening – a home diffuser and the essential oil.

Noted to have a woody aroma, the essential oil has “sedative qualities” that could enhance your sleeping quality.

The health store Holland & Barrett attest that it can “relieve tension” and “leave you feeling uplifted when you wake”.

What essential oil does all of this and more – in terms of easing muscle pain?

The answer you’re looking for is cedarwood essential oil; add it to a home diffuser 60 minutes before bed to help you drift off to sleep.

There’s a key ingredient in cedarwood that has been shown to have sedative effects – cedrol.

What’s a sedative?

Everyday Health explained sedative “slow brain activity”, which have “a calming effect and can induce sleep”.

Evidence published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology has supported the sedative quality of cedrol.

Tokyo Research Laboratories observed the effects of cedrol on autonomic nerve activity.

They did this by recruiting women from Norway, Thailand and Japan who completed a questionnaire survey on their sense of stress and sleep conditions.

The index of autonomic nervous activity was measured by “the miosis rate”.

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The miosis rate was determined by the “ratio of pupil diameter variation after light stimulus to initial pupil diameter”.

This was measured before and after cedrol inhalation, which came up with some interesting results.

The researchers observed “the miosis rate significantly increased after cedrol exposure”.

This suggests that “the parasympathetic nervous system became dominant”.

“These findings suggested that cedrol produces a sedative effect in people,” the researchers concluded.

Science Daily explained the parasympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system.

Otherwise referred to as the “rest and digest system”, the parasympathetic nervous system “conserves energy”.

It does this by slowing down the heart rate and relaxing sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.

The Sleep Foundation recommends making the bedroom “a place of comfort and relaxation” in order to fall asleep much easier.

Tips include investing in a quality mattress and blackout curtains to block light from interfering with your sleep.

A cheaper alternative to blackout curtains is a sleeping mask – widely available online or on the high street.

Moreover, the organisation agrees that essential oils “can provide a soothing and fresh smell for your bedroom”.

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