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What is aromatherapy, exactly, and are there essential oils for sleep? Aromatherapy, the use of aromatics, has been used since ancient times to promote wellness and relaxation and is thought to help treat sleeplessness. Today essential oils are used for many of the same purposes as they were in the past but are typically a complement to conventional treatments, including sleep aids and meditation. Read on to discover how the sleep experts at ZzzQuil use aromatherapy as a gentle, non-medicinal way to help restless sleepers calm their minds and bodies to get ready for bed.
History of Aromatherapy
A French chemist first coined the term “aromatherapy” in 1937 after successfully treating his severely burned hand with lavender oil. But the practice of aromatherapy dates back much further, to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Roman civilizations. Although the exact origins of aromatherapy are unknown, the therapeutic, spiritual use of aromatherapy has been noted by many ancient cultures across the world. It is known that oils were used for aesthetic pleasure and in the beauty industry as a luxury item and a bartered good. At the time, it was also believed that essential oils increased the shelf life of wine and improved the taste of food. While aromatherapy had many uses in the past, today calming essential oils, like lavender, are primarily used in association with sleep & relaxation.
So what is it exactly? Aromatherapy is a practice based on the use of aromatic materials, such as essential oils & fragrances, that can complement your bedtime routine through a gentle lavender soothing experience. Aromatherapy can be cosmetic and can provide fragrances that help soothe before bed. Often it is offered as a secondary therapy (alongside standard treatments) or an alternative medicine (vs. conventional, evidence-driven treatments).
Aromatherapists, people who practice aromatherapy, use supposedly therapeutic essential oils in unique, concocted blends that can be applied as a topical, inhaled, or used as a water immersion product. It is important to note that there is not solid medical evidence that suggests aromatherapy can either prevent, treat or cure any disease.
”many people rely on soothing scents – especially deep floral and herb scents – to promote relaxation and relieve stress.”
Aromatherapy for Sleep
If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, aromatherapy may become a part of your routine. While there are limited scientific studies on how exactly essential oils encourage restful sleep, many people rely on soothing scents – especially deep floral and herb scents – to promote relaxation and relieve stress.
One of the most popular scents, lavender has been recorded as an important essential oil since the 13th century, when a German Abbess named Hildegard grew and distilled hers as medicine. Lavender has a deep floral fragrance that can evoke feelings of calm and mental well-being. Of course, there are other calming essential oils as well. Chamomile essential oil is known for its calming, stress-relieving scent, and is well regarded as a gentle, soothing fragrance that can calm a restless body and mind and ease the person preparing for a restful sleep. Some common essential oil blends for sleep include combinations of lavender, chamomile, sweet marjoram, eucalyptus, angelica & cedarwood.
Vicks PURE Zzzs Shower Mist
There are many ways to experience essential oils, but one way is through an aromatic shower experience. Our Shower Mist tablets infuse with shower steam to soothe before bed. For aromatherapy benefits, Vicks PURE Zzzs Shower Mist uses the calming fragrance of the lavender essential oil.