A Moment to Relax
Some days it seems nearly impossible to find any time to relax and just take in the day. Sometimes you can't relax even if you find the time because your mind is just too busy. It's times like this I find aromatherapy an essential part of the day. I'll give some simple recipes for you to try, most of the ingredients can be found at the grocery store or at a natural health food store.
One of my biggest problems that I combat with the use of aromatherapy is sleep. I work rotating shifts and because of this I can not form good sleep habits. There is no pattern to when I can sleep anymore and sometimes I just can't fall asleep. Enter the wonderful world of aromatherapy.
My favorite herbal and floral scents to use for slipping off to sleep are chamomile, lavender, and rose. I generally use the chamomile in a tea rather than using an oil I apply but the effect is the same. Remember to use honey to sweeten the tea rather than sugar, you're trying to calm down, not get a sugar rush! Try the chamomile tea first and if that doesn't do the trick move onto something else.
I love using floral scents to get ready to sleep. Lavender is my favorite and recently I found two local suppliers and can't wait to use them! One is the Peace Valley Lavender Farm and the other is the Carousel Farm. Both of these farms are located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is where I grew up and now I live just a stone's throw from them!
Aside from the scents I like to use you can also use clary sage, ylang ylang, marjoram, orange, sandalwood, or bergamot. This is entirely dependent on personal preference, what works for me might not work for you. Pick a scent that is soothing to you and that's what you want to use.
Now once you find an herb that you like you use the following recipe to make a massage oil out of them:
Add 10 to 20 drops of the scent you chose to a carrier oil, this could be sesame, olive, avocado, or sunflower depending on allergies or personal preference. The number of drops added to the oil is up to you, it depends on the intensity and strength you are looking for in the oil you make.
Many healers suggest rubbing this oil into your scalp and onto the bottoms of your feet to aide in sleeping. Many people do not realize that your feet are a big source of absorption and anything you put on your feet will enter your body quickly and efficiently. I'm sure I'll be coming back to that in a later hub so check back later!
Another thing I have done in the past to induce sleep is to make herb pillows. This is just a small sack of herbs I put near me to help me go to sleep. These are very easy to make and have been around for ages. Aside from the selection of herbs, all you will need is some scrap fabric and a needle and thread.
Here's what you do to make an herb pillow:
Take the fabric and cut two squares out of it. The size of these squares depends on you, mine was made from two squares that were about 3 inches long and 3 inches wide. After you cut the fabric you want to sew three of the ends together. Before sewing make sure that if you're using fabric with a pattern that the sides with pattern are laying on top of each other and you're looking at the "bland" or wrong-side of the fabric. In simpler terms, you want the pretty sides to be touching each other before you sew them together.
Now after you've sewn the three sides, flip the pouch so the seams are now inside and the pretty pattern is outside. At this point you want to add your herb mixture, I'll give the recipes after the directions. With the herbs in place you can now sew the final end closed and you have made your very own sleep pillow! To make this washable and reusable you can use either a zipper or velcro to close the open end.
Sleep Pillow recipes:
Restful Sleep- 1/4 cup lavender flowers, 1/4 cup mugwort, 1/4 cup sweet hops
Stress-reducing Sleep - 1/2 cup sweet hops, 1/2 cup mugwort, 1/8 cup sweet marjoram
Peaceful Slumber (My favorite!)- 1/4 roses or rose petals, 1/4 rosemary, 1/4 lavender flowers, 1/4 sweet hops
I hope that this helps some of you find better sleep! Remember if you have cats that you want to avoid essential oils in rooms where they live! Sleep well!
This is where I got my recipes for the sleep pillows! Wonderful book to have on hand!