You've probably heard of essential oils, but did you know that they are the ideal companions for a good night's sleep? From the oils to choose (or to avoid) to the advice on how to use them properly, we tell you everything.
In the beginning was the plant
What exactly is an essential oil? Simply put, it is the essence extracted from an aromatic plant that preserves the smell of this natural source. Several processes are used to recover this essence, such as distillation (with water and/or steam) or mechanical methods (cold pressing). The natural extracts are then combined with a neutral oil before being marketed as an essential oil. And that's it!
Okay, but what is it for?
Be aware that not all essential oils are the same and some are even harmful to your health. Our advice? Avoid ordering your essential oils from obscure websites - the chemical-free extraction process is complex and low-priced oils should give you the runaround.
Go to organic shops or pharmacies whenever possible, and be careful with the bottle. Essential oils are fragile and particularly sensitive to UV rays, which is why they should be packaged in dark glass bottles.
Don't forget to take a look at the label: it must indicate the usual name of the essential oil and the name of the plant in Latin (so as not to confuse the different types of lavender in particular), as well as the active molecules. We advise you to select oils bearing the label "100% pure and natural" to avoid finding a diluted product. Finally, the organic label AB guarantees the traceability of the ingredients and the absence of pesticides of any kind.
A whole ritual
Our favorite oils
Tastes, colours... and smells are not debatable. If the aroma of lavender evokes summer and Provence for many of us, some find it far too powerful. Fortunately for you, many essential oils have a soothing effect and will help you find sleep. Do not hesitate to test several to adopt the one that really suits you.
Lavender is probably the most famous (and one of the best-selling) essential oil, and not only because it smells delicious. Lavender acts on the nervous system to calm anxiety, and regulates heart rate and blood pressure. Choose lavandula angustifolia whose effectiveness on sleep has been proven by numerous studies.
We love jasmine essential oil(jasminum officinalis) and its sweet, otherworldly fragrance, ideal for creating a relaxing atmosphere. The good news? Several studies show that jasmine essential oil improves the quality of sleep for less restless nights and fitful days. It is even more effective than lavender.
It is often consumed in the form of herbal tea, but did you know that chamomile essential oil(chamaemelum nobile) is also effective in helping you get back to sleep? Known for its soothing properties, it is particularly recommended to fight against stress and anxiety, the two sworn enemies of Morpheus.
The ones to avoid
Like the plants from which they are extracted, essential oils have very different properties and some should be avoided at bedtime. If we love peppermint oil to calm cramps or digestion problems, it is a stimulating oil with an intoxicating smell that wakes us up more than anything else. The same goes for citrus-based essential oils (grapefruit, lemon or orange): their aroma is often delicious, but they are also super energizing. Use them in the morning to get up on the right foot after a long, well-deserved night's sleep.