I was at a conference in the Royal Marsden Hospital in London last month. It was looking at the benefits of using aromatherapy in clinical settings. One of the clinicians started his presentation by saying the the most important medicine is sleep.
His comment got me thinking about everything I’ve read about sleep throughout my life but especially since I launched my REST oil. Read on below to find out a few interesting things that have stood out for me.
Why is it so hard to get a good night’s sleep?
When I talk to customers this is the one area where they need the most help.
I formulated my REST oil as a solution to the problem of the whirling mind and to fulfil the need to for some calm. That feeling that your mind won’t let your body relax. That niggling sensation in the back of your mind that is keeping Mr. Sandman at bay.
Naturally, anytime I came across videos, articles or podcasts about sleep my interest was piqued! I have been learning more and more about the importance of sleep in our busy, modern lives. I wrote about this topic last year as well but here a few things that stuck with me in the meantime.
There ISN’T an app for that.
There has been huge interest and competition in the area of Consumer Sleep Technologies (CST) as the growth of wearable devices continues. Many apps of broadly varying quality claim to track your sleep patterns and some even claim to aid sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine are so concerned by the prevalence of these devices that they issued a position paper. While the organisation doesn’t dismiss sleep apps entirely they are skeptical about the credibility of the data that some provide:
“Given the lack of validation and United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance, CSTs cannot be utilized for the diagnosis and/or treatment of sleep disorders at this time. However, CSTs may be utilized to enhance the patient-clinician interaction when presented in the context of an appropriate clinical evaluation. “
In other words, your healthcare provider might review the information from your app but ultimately they will rely on their years of training and experience to reach a diagnosis and possible solutions. Inability to sleep is often both a symptom and a cause.
REST is what you want
“I adore this oil blend ❤️ It’s become a firm part of my nightly ritual before bed. I just put some on my temples and wrists – the smell is truly divine and my kids also get a small roll of it and love to smell it. Thanks FLORA+FIONA Fab product.”
Catherine really hits the nail on the head when she talks about that nightly ritual. Having a routine to prepare you for sleep is essential. When creating a blend to wind down and be ready for sleep, I wanted to be sure that the oils were beneficial. That is why I chose Frankincense, Neroli and Vetiver but also that the aroma would be a treat for the senses. Aroma has a powerful effect on the mind and body and can bring us to a happy place. I hope that my Rest blend does that for you!
A quick note: essential and botanical oils are a wonderful addition to everyday life but they are highly concentrated and can be toxic if used incorrectly. Read more about essential oil safety here.
Did you know that there is a whole subgenre of YouTube videos where people demonstrate their bedtime routines? My non-millennial self balked at the idea of sharing this much with others. Still I couldn’t resist watching a few. For research purposes, of course. Some are surprisingly relaxing, like this one by Izzy Wanders, who uses a number of essential oil products, like lavender oil in her diffuser, as part of her bedtime routine. Like many of the vloggers who share their routines, she hopes that her approach will help you destress. She hopes if you tune in after a hard day it will tackle some of your anxieties.
That may not be your cup of tea at all. However there are also many, many videos on YouTube that will introduce you to a short, gentle evening yoga practice to help you sleep. Roll on your REST oil and follow Adriene’s instructions, for instance, and you should be in the land of nod in no time.
I have a friend who, to this day, always keeps a cassette player in the house. Then if she needs, she can play her Tell-a-Story tapes from her childhood. She was delighted when I introduced her to Nothing much happens; bedtime stories for grown-ups This episode, entitled Rosemary for Remembrance, (opens in Spotify) was particularly appropriate to my love for the plant world.
How do you unwind before bedtime? Is there a ritual that you follow to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep? Do you use aromatherapy oils to help you create the perfect relaxed atmosphere? Let me know in the comments below: I would love to hear what works for you.