How Scent Can Affect Sleep

After the go-go-go of the day, slipping into bed at the end of the day is one of the best feelings. Even better if you are getting into fresh clean sheets - ooooh the smell and feel of fresh sheets is so comforting.

Sleep is a vital aspect of our everyday life. When we get a great night’s rest we feel amazing the next day. Our body has had a chance to do the cleaning up it needs, and so we are recharged, naturally!

Did you know on average we spend about 2 hours dreaming every night? Do you remember your dreams from last night?

Many factors contribute to enjoying a really good night’s rest. Elements like your bedding, room temperature, lighting and how close your phone is to you! What is often overlooked is the role of scent with sleep.

The research on scent and sleep

Scientific research has begun unravelling the connection between scent and sleep, showing us its potential to enhance our sleep quality. Certain scents, such as lavender, chamomile, and vanilla, have been shown to promote relaxation and sleep, while others, like cigarette smoke and strong perfumes, can disrupt sleep and cause sleep disturbances.

In a study by Sayowan et al. (2016) the effects of essential oil inhalation on electroencephalogram (EEG) activity and different states during sleep was analysed. The results suggested that inhaling essential oils, such as jasmine or chamomile, increased the duration of deep sleep stages and induced a more relaxed state of mind.

Lavender was found again to assist sleep in a comprehensive review of research by Hur et al. (2020). Using aromatherapy, particularly those involving lavender oil, significantly improved sleep quality and reduced sleep disturbances.

Additionally in a 2022 study it was found that odours can assist with helping you get to sleep faster, as well as the quality and duration of the sleep. They found that this was heavily influenced by past associations and expectations about the odour.

So when choosing to add scent to your sleep wind-down routine, choose ones that mean rest and relaxation to you.

Do We Smell When We Sleep?

While our sense of smell remains active during sleep, its level of sensitivity and awareness is significantly reduced. During sleep we are less likely to consciously perceive the smells around us. However, we do register them more subtly.

4 Ways to Use Scent to Get Better Sleep

Add scents to your bedtime ritual.

1. Diffuse Essential Oils: Invest in a high-quality essential oil diffuser and essential oils to fill your bedroom with calming aromas. Lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang are well known for their sleep-inducing properties. Start diffusing the oils 30 minutes before bedtime for a soothing environment. Be sure your diffuser is safe to use in your bedroom. Either have one that is on a timer and shuts itself off, or turn it off just as you turn off your lights. 

Sensoriam’s Feather & Seed Sleep

Sensoriam’s Feather & Seed Sleep

2. Pillow Sprays: Give your pillows a lovely spray with a natural scent that is calming. You don’t need much at all for this. Often children really enjoy a pillow spray as part of their evening routine. Create your own DIY pillow spray by mixing a few drops of essential oils with water in a spray bottle or use our Pillow Spray from One Seed.

Sensoriam’s One Seed Pillow Mist

Sensoriam’s One Seed Pillow Mist

3. Scented Candles: Opt for natural, non-toxic candles infused with sleep-enhancing natural scents. Create a relaxing pre-bedtime ritual by lighting the candle a couple of hours before sleep to fill the room with a soothing aroma.

Be candle safe and keep it away from anything flammable in your bedroom. Ensure you blow it out as you turn your lights out. 

Sensoriam’s Vanessa Megan Monarch Candle

Sensoriam’s Vanessa Megan Monarch Candle

4. Aromatic Baths: Add a few drops of essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood or a lovely blend to your warm bathwater before bedtime. The calming scents will help relax your mind and body, preparing you for a restful sleep.

Or you can use bath salts or a bath teabag for the sleepy calming effect before bedtime. 

Sensoriam’s Addition Studio Bath Brew

Sensoriam’s Addition Studio Bath Brew

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