Millions of people across the country suffer from depression and insomnia. To crunch some numbers, it’s estimated that more than 15 million American adults struggle with depression, while at least 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. Both depression and insomnia are serious disorders that can have profound negative impacts on your life. They can affect your mood, behavior and thoughts, with the potential to place you in a dangerous spiral. While medication is available, it comes with many possible unwanted side effects. For a more natural approach, try one of these five essential oils:
1. Roman Chamomile
Chamomile is a popular ingredient in candles, tea and many aromatherapy products. It’s one of the best herbs for alleviating stress and promoting relaxation. Research has shown that inhaling chamomile vapors using chamomile oil is a natural remedy for both anxiety and depression. Chamomile soothes the mind and relaxes the body to promote a better night’s rest. If you’re struggling with insomnia, try applying a few drops of roman chamomile oil to the bottom of your feet before bed. You can also add a few drops to your shampoo, conditioner or skin moisturizer.
Lavender oil has been used for years to help battle depression and insomnia. Research has proven that it has amazing effects on mood. One study conducted on people suffering from PTSD found that the daily use of lavender oil helped decrease depression by 32.7%. It also drastically decreased sleep disturbances and moodiness in those suffering from PTSD. To help relieve stress and fight insomnia, place a diffuser next to your bed and diffuse lavender oil while you sleep. You can also rub a few drops of lavender oil behind your ears before bed.
Bergamot oil is known for being an antidepressant. It works by improving blood circulation and stimulating feelings of joy and energy. A 2011 study found that pairing bergamot essential oil with lavender essential oil helps treat depression. Participants in the study experienced relaxation, calmness, attentiveness, mood and alertness. Try rubbing bergamot oil on you feet and stomach to relieve feelings of depression.
Orange essential oil naturally helps to reduce anxiety to promote a better night’s sleep. The citrus notes in orange oil has uplifting properties that also help with feelings of sorrow and depression. The best time to use orange oil is at night. Place a few drops of on your stomach before falling asleep, or create a soothing cream by mixing 1/2 cup of coconut oil with 15 drops of orange oil. Moisturize your skin before bed to fight anxiety and insomnia.
5. Ylang Ylang
Despite its funny name, ylang ylang offers some amazing health benefits. This floral essential oil acts as a natural remedy for depression. Research has shown that ylang ylang oil can help release negative emotions including anger, jealousy and low self-esteem. It has a mild sedative effect that lowers stress levels and aids in relaxation. It works to enhance confidence and boost mood. Try diffusing it at home or massaging it gently onto your skin.