We all have trouble sleeping at times and this problem is becoming more and more common. Indeed, our current lifestyle is stressful with an environment that is often not conducive to falling asleep at bedtime. Approximately 15% of the French population suffers from sleep disorders (problems falling asleep, sleep disorders, insomnia, nightmares …).
The impact of our lifestyle on the quality of our sleep:
We spend more and more time on our screens, whether it is the telephone, the computer or even the television. The blue light that these screens send back to us interferes with our sleep.
In fact, several studies have shown that the production of melatonin was much lower in subjects subjected to the lights produced by screens at bedtime.
Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is a hormone naturally secreted in the human body. This hormone regulates the chronobiological rhythm in the evening and tells the body that it will soon enter a sleep period. It is therefore important that its level is not altered at bedtime. 1 2
Melatonin is produced by a neurotransmitter, serotonin, which is itself produced after tryptophan arrives in the brain. Tryptophan is an amino acid produced from Vitamin B6, which is supplied to the body mainly through food.
Faced with these sleep problems, some people turn to medicinal means such as sleeping pills, while others prefer to opt for natural, milder means, in different forms.
In fact, medications prescribed to combat sleep disorders are not without risks. An addiction can develop quite quickly, so the body will get used to having a chemical molecule that helps you fall asleep and will not be able to do without it if the treatment continues.
The main causes of sleep disorders:
The causes of sleep disorders can often be complex and extremely varied depending on the individual. Some disorders are mild and can easily be resolved, such as lifestyle disorders. Others are more complex and may require professional intervention, such as persistent or genetic disorders.
Sleep disorders can be caused by several factors. For example, we can distinguish factors of order:
- Psychological: stress, anxiety, depression, emotional shock…
- Physiological: too rich meals, taking medication, intense physical activity in the evening, excess caffeine or alcohol…
- Environmental: noise, brightness, heat, bad bedding, night work…
- Pathological: disease, genetics, fever, migraine, chronic fatigue…
Natural alternatives to sleep medication:
Plants and essential oils
It has been known for millennia that plants can offer solutions to our daily problems. There are a good number of plants whose beneficial properties on sleep are no longer to be demonstrated. Sleep treatments with these plants exist in many different forms. We can mention for example herbal teas or even essential oils which are more and more used as a means of prevention and treatment of sleep disorders. Some people also suffer from insomnia, which can also be solved by natural remedies.
Lemon has long been known for its calming properties on the nervous system. The essential oil of lemon will therefore help you to relax before sleeping so that your body understands that it is time to fall asleep.
True lavender is also known for its relaxing, calming and rebalancing properties. It is also a very good muscle relaxant and it has anti-depressant properties. It acts directly on the nervous system, which will help you fall asleep and relax you throughout the night.
The marjoram has antispasmodic properties, rebalancing the nervous system, sedative, used especially against anxiety and hypertension. Its essential oil allows you to recover a deep and restorative sleep.
We can also mention the sweet orange, whose main property is to be sedative, ie to facilitate falling asleep. It is recommended in cases of anxiety, nightmares, and more generally sleep disorders.
Bigarade grain is a very good sedative and a recognized antispasmodic. It is generally used in cases of anxiety, stress and sleep disorders.
The molecules present in this essential oil allow vasodilatation (increases the diameter of blood vessels), which will promote nervous appeasement.
You may also need:
- Lavander organic essential oil
- Lemon organic essential oil
- Orange organic essential oil
Of course this list of ways to fight against sleep problems is not exhaustive and there are many other plants that can help you fall asleep. However, the use of plants to help you fall asleep is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle (try to limit the screens before you sleep and have a regular sleep rhythm for example).
Some sedative virtues of plants are yet to be discovered, as nature offers us a multitude of possibilities.
The plants mentioned here have extremely different ways of using them. They can be used in the form of herbal teas, capsules or mother tinctures. The use of phytotherapy plants and essential oils is not recommended for children under 6 years old, as well as for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Remember to consult a doctor before starting a treatment.
Herbal dietary supplements can also offer an effective alternative to the synthetic drugs available on the market. They are also very effective and can relieve your sleep problems.
You may also need:
- GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID
- Bigarade grain bio essential oil
How to use essential oils to sleep better
Diffusion: Add 15 to 20 drops of essential oil in an electric diffuser and diffuse in the room 5 minutes before bedtime.
Other diffusion technique: Take a piece of cloth and put 10 drops of essential oil on it. Then slip the cloth into your pillowcase before going to sleep.
Massage oil: Pour 5 to 10 drops of essential oil in a vegetable oil such as Coconut, Avocado or Borage oil. Simply massage the solar plexus before going to bed. If you have the possibility, massage your feet and back, the effects will be better.
Bath: Mix 5 to 10 drops of essential oil with a carrier (e.g. bath salts) and add them to the bath water just before you slip into it. Stay in the bath for 15 minutes and go to bed immediately afterwards. You can of course use these essential oils in synergy. The synergy of essential oils is the association of different oils in order to multiply their effects tenfold.
You can make the mixtures of essential oils below and use them for the different applications above:
- Lavender essential oil + Marjoram essential oil
- Lavender essential oil + Chamomile essential oil
- Lavender essential oil + Orange essential oil
- essential oil of Lavender + essential oil of Petit grain bigarade