Your stressful day won't let you relax - do you know the feeling? We are all confronted with stressful situations now and then. However, those who are frequently or permanently stressed often have difficulty switching off in the evening. Sleep disorders often go hand-in-hand with permanent stress.
Hustle and bustle, time pressure and high expectations, in addition to life circumstances that are often not of one's own choosing, lead to enormous stress. Worries about the family, the workplace and the future deprive numerous people of sleep.
Stress and its consequences for body and psyche
Stress is a reaction of our body to external influences that is beyond our conscious control. Information about stress factors ends up via our sensory organs in the limbic system, the control center for a wide variety of processes - and from here it is transmitted to other important organs. Stress hormones (adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol) are released and the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for flight and fight, and puts the body on alert. The consequences of chronic stress are striking: dopamine release is reduced, the immune system is weakened, pain perception is increased and sleep is impaired.
Stress and sleep are closely linked
Those who are on guard against the saber-toothed tiger during the day remain on guard at night. One thing is clear: stress can negatively affect sleep quality and quantity. Conversely, insufficient and non-restorative sleep can increase stress levels - a vicious circle! Both stress and lack of sleep can lead to permanent physical and psychological problems.
Individual perception and handling of stressful situations varies from person to person. While some people maintain calm and composure even in demanding situations, others quickly go into a tailspin or the age-old "escape from the saber-tooth tiger mode."
The power of plants Essential oils to help with stress
Aromatherapy and appropriate rituals can help us cope better with stress, experience more serene days and relaxed nights. Essential oils trigger reactions in the brain via the sense of smell, but also via the skin - in the limbic system, which is also relevant for the stress response. Scents influence how we feel - including whether stressed or relaxed. The To Do list won't get any shorter with the right scent, but our approach to our stressors can certainly be changed a little.
Bot. Dipteryx odorata. Due to its high coumarin content, the essential oil has very relaxing properties for the central nervous system. It calms and soothes anxiety and stress. Helps to balance the serotonin and is therefore very conducive to finding a refreshing night's sleep.
Bot. Citrus aurantium bigaradia. The essential oil of bitter orange blossom is very complex with over 100 ingredients. It addresses deep spiritual areas, helps to relax, release anxiety and is considered very soothing in aromatherapy. In the Mediterranean pharmacopoeia it is valued for stress, insomnia and nervousness.
Swiss stone pine
Bot. Pinus cembra. Studies show that under the influence of its fragrance the heart rate is measurably reduced during sleep. The load of your circulation and heart are lightened, which improves the quality of sleep and the nightly recovery factor.
Fragrant rituals for restful sleep despite stressful everyday life
Just as your night's rest determines your day, you set the course for your sleep during the day. Light (quality), nutrition and exercise influence your sleep just as much as stress, which you can hardly counteract during the day. But with simple means, you can still get on course for rest in the evening. With the power of the aromatic plant, simple aromatherapeutic applications and suitable rituals, you can learn to cope better with stress and experience more relaxed nights.
Through breathing we influence our body simply and very effectively. Simple breathing exercises, gentle yoga or meditations can be perfectly combined with soothing, relaxing fragrances.
A gentle massage of the abdomen and solar plexus is a wonderful sleep ritual, especially when accompanied by the right fragrances. Choose an oil for the gentle belly massage or mix it with your favorite scent.
Before going to bed, shake up the sheets and covers, gently scent the pillow, turn on dream mode (e.g. Spotify), and feel like you're on cloud nine. As research shows, lavender essential oil has a calming, soothing as well as anxiety-relieving effect.