You don’t have to be a wearer of perfume or cologne to appreciate that, sometimes, smells can have a real impact on your mood, outlook and energy levels. And we’re not talking about the scents coming out of your kids’ gym bags!
Mankind has known about the relaxing, restorative and soothing effect of certain smells for hundreds of years. One of the most well-known of these is lavender.
Lavender is a pretty herb, the flower of which has calming and sedating properties. Lavender has been used for hundreds of years to treat restlessness, insomnia, nervousness and depression. Research shows that inhaling lavender can lower heart rate and blood pressure, leading to the kind of relaxation that speeds up sleep and keeps you in deeper sleep for longer.
Another famous sleep-promoter is the smell of vanilla. Not just for cookies and cakes (though cookies and milk before bed sounds lovely), vanilla also lowers heart rate and blood pressure. It’s both a gentle tranquilizer and mouthwatering!
Jasmine is another exotic scent, commonly known for packing a punch in strong floral perfumes of decades past. However, the strongly sweet smell from this delicate flower is not just sexy, it also promotes greater sleep efficiency, less limb movement during sleep, and overall better quality of rest.
Chamomile is another flower with restorative and relaxing properties. Unwinding with a cup of chamomile tea is a well-known strategy for stepping softly into a sweet slumber. In fact, the scent of chamomile is an all-natural mild sedative without the side effects of chemical sleep aids. It can soothe your nerves, and is also believed to settle stomach aches and ease the ill effects of PMS and menopause. For those averse to aromatherapy, a cup of chamomile tea half an hour before bed could be just the ticket.
Keep in mind that your sleep is unique to you, and there may be other scents that relax you. If a traditional sleep-inducing scent isn’t your style, go with some other scent that triggers happy, relaxing memories for you. Once you’ve picked your favorite sleep scent (or combination), the next step is to find the best delivery method for your chosen olfactory option. We like soaps or scented oils in a nighttime bath, sachets under your pillow, and lotions. You can also try an aromatherapy diffuser on your nightstand, an essential oil-infused massage oil, or even a few drops of essential oil on a handkerchief underneath your pillow. Heck, you can even spritz a bit of perfume on your pillow (you do use a pillow protector under your pillowcase, don’t you?). Another popular option is scented candles – but please blow out the light before you drift off into your sweet, scented slumber!
After a long night of relaxation, scents to help you wake up will definitely be in order. Grapefruit room spray, anyone?