The one area I am working toward with the Blue Zones experience is sleep. I have been able to get more sleep each night, although not quite yet at the seven to nine hours per night. Through this process I realized that my quality of sleep isn’t as good as it could be. My mom uses essential oils and suggested I try it out as a way to get better sleep. I have been putting a couple drops of lavender essential oil on my wrists before bed each night — It actually works! Since using it I have been able to get a better quality of sleep each night.

Many people may not know this, but an easy and powerful way to relax and decompress is through the use of essential oils. They are the very life source of plants, extracted from various parts of the plant: the flowers, leaves, stalks, stems, sap, wood, bark, nuts, or berries. Good essential oils are very concentrated, so they are only used in dilution and in small quantities.

The aromas from essential oils can decrease stress levels; improving clarity and an overall sense of well-being. Lavender is known for its relaxation purposes by creating a soothing, calming effect. If you don’t like the smell of lavender, other oils known to help relaxation includes: chamomile, marjoram, sage and sandalwood.

One way to use essential oils for better sleep is to place a drop of oil on your pillow or add a drop to a cotton ball and slip it inside your pillow case. Place a drop on each end of the pillow, that way, no matter which way you toss or turn, you will always be able to get a whiff of the lavender.

Be sure to only use a few drops, over use of any oil can sometimes produce the opposite effect and can stimulate certain areas of the brain — we don’t want that to happen!