The Bedroom Edit
The power of scent for relaxation and sleep
As part of our bedroom edit and the importance of sleep, we want to talk about how using fragrances can help prepare us for proper restful sleep. Establishing and maintaining a wind-down routine each evening can help us to balance the impact of our ‘always on’ lifestyles. While steps such as dimming lights and limiting brain stimulation can all help to signal to our brain that it is time to sleep, introducing fragrance into this routine can boost the process even further.
Scientists have proven that scent can help to promote a positive mood, enhance relaxation and rest to help you sleep. One study found that the natural scent of the person you love can help you to get a better night sleep.
“The very act of inhaling a fragrance may impact on many physiological parameters – such as blood pressure and pulse rate,” explains Dr Anna Persaud, biochemist and CEO of This Works. In particular, Dr Persaud mentions the impressive impact that notes such as lavender, vetiver and chamomile can have on preparing you for sleep.
Sleep happy scents include
Lavender – Is a perfect scent for when your mind is overactive. Lavender is believed to slow down your nervous system and decrease your heart rate and blood pressure which helps you fall into a deep sleep.
Jasmine – For better quality sleep try jasmine. Studies have shown that it can reduce tossing and turning, making you feel less anxious and help you feel more refreshed when you wake up. Studies have shown that it can be as effective as Valium.
Ylang , Ylang – Rubbing a small amount of this tropical scent onto your pressure points can help relieve stress and make you feel less anxious, making it easier to drift off to sleep.
Cedarwood – This woody aroma can make you feel at peace, relieving tension. It has sedative qualities and can reduce muscle pain.
Warning: Avoid contact with eyes. Avoid in case of known allergy to listed ingredients.
I am lucky enough to have a mother who is a beautician and I am forever grateful as I was basically raised in her salons. She taught me at a really young age, the importance of clean skin care routines and the powers of natural ingredients and essential oils. Did you know lavender oil soothes minor burns? And keeping an aloe vera plant in the house is an essential, simply break off a part, as and when is needed and store in the fridge, it’s great for soothing sun burn or any type of skin irritations. To this day she still mixes me oils to massage into sore shoulders or when my lower back aches, makes me organic body scrubs infused with natural oils when my skin is feeling dehydrated and sends incense sticks for when I’m struggling to sleep or stressed with work. I guess we are never too old to not need our mums.
Over the years we have tried and tested so many products in an effort to enhance our wellbeing and I would like to share some below to help with your bedtime routines and get you ready for that all important nights sleep.
There are many ways we can introduce fragrances into our bedtime routines, these include;
When burning a candle always trim the wick 1/4 inch before burning and allow the wax to melt to the edge of the glass before blowing out. This will prevent the candle from tunnelling (that annoying process that means you waste half of your candle) Ensure candles are blown out prior to falling asleep.
Have you ever had a paraffin wax treatment in a salon? This was one of my favourite treatments to do on myself in winter after walking home from school when my hands and feet would be freezing. You melt the wax and brush it over the desired area, wait for it to set as its warming the skin and then peel off (one of the most satisfying things ever). It leaves the skin feeling super smooth and hydrated. Neom introduced a candle a few years back and it is one of my favourite products from their whole range. Takes an element of trust to pour hot wax on yourself but is such an indulgent at home treatment. This amongst some other amazing scented candles are sure to prepare you for sleep.
Pillows and room sprays –
Spritz onto freshly laundered bedding, curtains and upholstery to aid restful sleep. My mum recently ordered me a lavender and camomile body mist from Avon after i’d been having trouble sleeping and I love spraying it on my towel before I get in to the bath and then all over myself after I get out (and it’s only £1.50 so spray as liberally as you wish!).
“A product such as a pillow spray can play an important role in sleep. The very act of inhaling a fragrance may impact on many physiological parameters – such as blood pressure and pulse rate,” explains Dr Anna Persaud, biochemist and CEO of This Works. www.thisworks.
For times when you get a bit fed up of lavender based scents in the bedroom I love Rituals Black Oudh interior perfume. It’s a much sexier scent for the bedroom but equally as relaxing. I avoid spraying this directly on my sheets instead I spritz my curtains and the space around my bed. Also great for spraying in the bathroom before soaking in the bath.
Reed Diffusers can be great for the bedroom just ensure that they are not kept directly next to your bed or radiator to avoid drying out.
They are also great for accessorising, place on top of a tray or a collection of stacked books.
You can buy pre mixed oils for your oil diffuser or why not be creative and make your own. Always consult a professional before mixing aromatherapy oils as not using the correct ratios can be dangerous.
There are some beautiful oil diffusers on the market now so lots to choose from. I use the Neom wellbeing pod and mix my own oils depending on my mood and I don’t strictly use it in the bedroom I often place it in the hallway so the whole house gets the benefit.
Face and body oils
Massage 2/3 drops into your face, cup your hands over your nose, breathe in for 7 seconds and breather out for 11 seconds. Use before bed but to avoid the eye area.
My sister got me hooked on the Aromatherapy Associates bath and shower oil. It’s pricey but smells divine and my skin has never felt softer after using this.
Aromatherapy oils , bath salts and scrubs
Use essential oils on your pulse points which enables the therapeutic property of the oil to work better with your body. There are also so many gorgeous bath salts available that enhance relaxation for body and mind.
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