Traveling can be exciting, but it can also be stressful. When you're away from home and off of your usual routine, your body may pay the price.
One of the most frustrating parts of traveling is disrupted sleep. Staying up late, changing time zones or sleeping on an uncomfortable bed in a noisy hotel can all make it difficult to sleep.
Fortunately, using one or more of these top eight essential oils may help you sleep while traveling.
Lavender oil calms the nervous system. If you get anxious or nervous while traveling, this is the essential oil for you. Lavender oil is known for easing mild insomnia. It does this by lowering the blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature. The body does these things naturally within about 30 minutes of your usual bedtime, but that can get disrupted while traveling. Lavender oil also promotes a more relaxed brain state.
Valerian oil is commonly used for mild sleep disorder problems, including insomnia. It also helps lessen anxiety and stress, which often afflict travelers who deal with unexpected surprises or other travel problems, such as delayed flights or problems with a hotel reservation. Valerian oil acts as a type of sedative on the brain, calming it and encouraging relaxation and restful sleep.
Clary sage essential oil is traditionally used for eye health, but it also promotes stress reduction. Many people feel anxious when they travel, and using clary sage essential oil for aroma therapy calms down the part of the brain that triggers the fight or flight response. Clary sage has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone highly associated with stress. Lowering cortisol levels calms the body and the brain.
Sweet marjoram essential oil is known for its calming properties. It slows the heart rate and promotes a deeper state of sleep. Sweet marjoram also relaxes the body, helping you fall asleep in less time. If you typically toss and turn on the hotel bed because the mattress is hard or the pillows are different, this essential oil may help.
Roman chamomile oil is the best variety of chamomile for dealing with insomnia and anxiety. It may also help with nightmares or troubled sleep while traveling. Many people also find that it helps with sinus inflammation and headaches, and these issues may occur when traveling by plane or spending time in large crowds of people.
Bergamot oil lowers blood pressure and heart rate. It also reduces stress and anxiety. If thoughts keep you up at night while traveling, this essential oil is a good choice for relief.
Peppermint oil reduces inflammation. If you often catch a cold or sore throat while traveling, this could help. It may also reduce snoring.
Olive oil is the ideal carrier oil for these essential oils. It moisturizes skin, which helps in dry hotel rooms and planes. It's unscented, so it will not detract from aromatherapy.
In addition to these helpful essential oils to help you sleep, you may also want to consider melatonin to aid with sleep. Your body produces melatonin close to your usual bedtime, but traveling could disrupt this process. A melatonin supplement could be used with one or more of these essential oils for a restful night's sleep away from home.