essential oils for a better nights sleep!
Vata is always predominant at the cusp of a new season - especially as Summer changes to Autumn as this indicates we are moving into the Vata time of year. The dry qualities of Vata accumulate in the body through summer and as we move through Autumn and early winter, the mobile and cold qualities of Vata are also increased making Vata symptoms more likely.
For all the details on Vata Dosha see my post Introducing Vata Dosha!
We have had some odd weather here of late, last week we had some beautiful sunshine and now it's icy cold, grey and wet - another quality of Vata is that it is changeable, variable and unpredictable! So this weather pattern is also Vata increasing.
Recently I noticed I was having a few nights of broken sleep - often waking around 2am tossing and turning for a few hours and then falling to sleep at 4am (funily enough this is the vata time of night). The last few nights my kids have taken longer to wind down - generally they are out like a light! However, last night, we were walking them back to bed and resettling them until almost 9pm - 2 hours after bedtime and it prompted me to write this post.
A very simple Ayurvedic remedy to help induce sound sleep is to apply 3 drops of warm black sesame oil to the crown of the head 20mins before bed. Sounds somewhat simple and random - I had the exact same thought when I first learnt about it, I always l needed to know WHY? These days I have more faith and trust and I tend to have my own realisations!
Our body has an electromagnetic field around it and the crown chakra is where we connect to the greater consciousness, so by placing an oil (that does not conduct) on the crown it blocks or calms the flow of energy, and it allows us to peacefully drift off to sleep.
We could also consider that the Crown Chakra is linked to the Pineal gland which governs your circadian rhythm, and associated with sleep disturbances, disrupted serotonin and melatonin levels, and anxiety. The physical human body is amazing, but the intricate detail of the subtle body and our energy system fascinates me.
Another wonderful Ayurvedic remedy is warm spiced milk in the evenings before bed. Always opt for organic, un-homogenized milk, warm it on the stove (not the microwave) with some nutmeg or Ashwagandha and sip before bed. Traditionally dairy is used to balance the Vata & Pitta responsible for the sleeping disruption, but you can try a plant based milk also.
Essential oils for a better nights sleep
I love infusing my life with essential oils, I like to diffuse them, inhale them from cupped hands, add them to my bath with magnesium salts or mix them with my warm sesame oil and massage onto my body.
I also like to make it a little self care ritual and intuitively select oils and anoint my third eye, crown, heart space, ears and the soles of my feet before bed. So many wonderful vitaplex points in the ears, hands and feet. Ayurveda also recommends massaging these areas every day as part of your daily routine.
Some oils I like to include in the evening are Cedarwood, RutaVaLa, Gentle Baby, Vetiver, Peace and Calming, Dream Catcher, Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Valarian.
Want to learn more about Essential Oils?
Live Wisely Guide
Subscribe to my Live Wisely Guide for great Ayurvedic lifestyle tips;
Please note there can be many reasons for disrupted sleep, sometimes pitta imbalance is the cause, if vata is disrupting your sleep then this simple remedy of sesame oil on the crown can work wonders.
Lastly, as I always say like increases like and opposite pacify, So if you have any sinus congestion, heaviness in the head or Kapha imbalance placing sesame oil on the crown can make these symptoms worse, just something to be mindful of!
Ps. not all essential oils are created equal, make sure you choose a pure quality product as many are synthetic or contain fillers which are more likely to give you a headache, nausea or feel unwell.