How to use Lavender to induce better sleep (and how sleep works)
HOW LAVENDER OPENS THE PINEAL TO RELEASE MELATONIN
If you’re in a hurry, you’re about to read that lavender is a natural way to open the pineal gland to release melatonin to initiate sleep. The more potent the lavender, the more open the gland.
Every parent knows that if their kids have a poor night’s sleep the night before their children will be in a bad mood and be emotionally reactive the following day. Significant research has been and continues to be conducted on the subject of sleep. These studies all point to the same thing, lack of sleep leads to emotional distress, a wide range of health issues, and ultimately death if prolonged long enough. By contrast, getting adequate sleep floods the body with healing hormones, resets critical organs and bodily systems, reduces stress, and keeps aging at bay. Simply stated, getting proper sleep is the foundation for overall health.
We at ALFARAH know the negative impact poor sleep can have on a body. We saw our grandmother struggle with cancer years ago, only to understand later that poor sleep patterns were contributed to her decline.
Most understand that melatonin is important for sleep, but don’t really understand how or why. Many of us, including members of our family, have purchased over the counter melatonin thinking it will help our sleep. Some of these products do assist in initiating sleep, but at what cost? Using artificial melatonin can harm your own ability to produce this life-giving hormone. We suggest using your own internal, God given formula of melatonin through healthy rituals and supporting healthy products.
WHY REDUCING LIGHT IN THE EVENINGS HELPS INITIATE SLEEP
You see, there is a tiny little miracle gland in the center of your brain, called the pineal gland that is the initiator of sleep. Resembling a pinecone (how it gets its name) and being about 1 centimeter long, the pineal gland interprets light signals from all over the body and converts them to simple hormones (Serotonin and Melatonin) that regulate body functions (i.e., circadian rhythm).
Light from outside sources enter the back of the eye, sending bioelectric signals to the pineal gland to stop producing melatonin so you can wake up. Remember, for the entirety of human history, our only light source was the sun and it was on a regular cadence.
HOW LAVENDER HELPS INITIATE SLEEP
There are numerous studies on the positive effects of lavender on sleep. One University of Minnesota meta study of studies between 1990 and 2012 demonstrates that inhaling lavender has positive effects as to the onset, length, and depth of sleep.
A few nighttime tips
Dim the lights and use candles
If you’re having trouble falling asleep it is important to start dimming the lights in your home hours before actually going to bed. Avoid turning on bright overhead lights, use lamps or healthy, non-toxic candles to send signals to your brain that sleep is coming soon and to begin releasing melatonin to initiate sleep.
If you have young children
If you have children, place a few drops of pure lavender oil in their evening bath as a ritual to make the bedtime routine to go smoother. Make it a game, let them use the dropper to place the oil in the bath. They do a drop; you do a drop. See who can make the smallest drop. For sleep, place a drop or two on a handkerchief near their nightstand. The calming aroma makes for a beautiful, peaceful evening. See below for our warning for use around children.
If you’re parenting yourself, the same holds true. Placing a few drops of pure lavender oil in a warm bath helps calm the mind and release stress. After your bath, place a few drops of pure lavender on your forehead, or behind your ears to begin the process of melatonin release.
How to use lavender for better sleep
Having a lavender oil diffuser in the bedroom, near your nightstand not only smells beautiful, but provides the deep, restful, healing sleep you need. You’ll wake rested and start the next day in a state of empowerment over stress. By the time we are in our thirties, our pineal gland can become encrusted from environmental toxins, stress, lack of sleep, and fluoridated water. Regular exposure to lavender while sleeping, in combination with meditation and prayer, can aid in restoring the pineal to its normal functioning state.
To your Joyous state and your health!
The ALFARAH team
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