Do certain smells help you sleep? The truth about lavender, Jasmine and more

Smell is an incredibly powerful sense, triggering emotional responses and often memories of places or people.

However just how effective can scents be to our sleep? TEMPUR looks at smells that may help you sleep and why they have a relaxing effect on the body…

Why can scents affect our sleep?

Ever since the medieval period, scents have been used to promote and aid sleep. The practice of aromatherapy has been around for centuries, proving to have healing and relaxing qualities.

As many people struggle to drift off into a deep sleep, trying to forget about their daytime anxieties, there is a constant and progressively hurried search to find a sleep remedy that actually works.

However, some scents have calming effects on the body, such as decreasing heart rate and lowering blood pressure. In turn, this allows us to feel more relaxed and drift into a deeper sleep with ease.

Relaxing scents for a better sleep

The most effective and universal scents which can help you sleep better include:

  • Lavender – this is the most popular and often most effective scent which we use to aid sleep. Lavender has a sedative effect, helping to relax our nervous system, lower our blood pressure, and decrease our heart rate which all combine to prepare our bodies for sleep.

Lavender also helps to increase the level of stage three sleep we reach, which is known to be the deepest part of our sleep cycle. It comes in different forms such as oils, herbs, and spray and is mild enough to use with children

  • Jasmine – jasmine is a great scent for relieving anxiety and promoting sleep. Some studies even shown that jasmine reduces sleep movement
  • Chamomile – just as we drink chamomile tea often before bed to help us relax, the scent also has a calming effect on the body
  • Vanilla – vanilla contains the ingredient, vanillin, which is known for its anti-depressant properties which help to relieve tension, ultimately aiding a good night’s sleep
  • Rose – the essential oils from rose petals also have anti-depressant properties and the scent can prolong sleeping time

Any of these essential oils can be rubbed on the wrist before bedtime, or bought in candle form and burnt to release the sleepy aromas in to the room. You could also try making your own sleep spray by mixing half a cup of water with five drops of your chosen essential oil. Mist this over your pillow ten minutes before bedtime and you should drift into a deeper slumber.

Personal scents

Whilst the above scents are recognised as having calming effects on the body, any scent that you love can also have positive impacts on your sleep. For instance, a favourite perfume or laundry detergent.

Freshly laundered sheets particularly make climbing into bed more appealing, and often enable a more comfortable night’s sleep. You should aim to wash your bedding twice a month. You may also consider cleaning your mattress for an ultimate fresh smell.

Do you think scents can help us sleep? Let us know in the comments below.

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