Aromatherapy is becoming an ever more popular alternative means to promote sleep and relaxation. We take a look at some of the most popular scents and fragrances, and the research behind them.

Aromatherapy can a powerful way to improve the quality of your sleep. Since ancient times essential oils have been noted for their healing properties, and in latter years many of their positive effects are backed up by years of scientific research.

For example, a controlled trial looking into how frankincense and sandalwood could be used as a safe way to complement your sleeping patterns found that aromatherapy oil can reduce fatigue and boost your quality of sleep.

In another study, researchers analyzed how vanilla and clementine decreases stress. They measured the physical effects for how these aromas reduce muscle tension in addition to improving your mood.

Even in ancient times, the Egyptians relied on cinnamon and cypress to enhance their dreams during sleep. These practices are still put to use today. Studies, like this Northwestern University study for example, reveal how these scents benefit your brain as you sleep.

FragranceX analyzed 15 proven scents to help you sleep. They highlight key ways that lavender, lemon, vanilla and rose, for example, can promote better quality sleep.

15 scents to help you sleepCLICK TO SEE THE FULL INFOGRAPHIC

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most well-researched sleep remedies.  So how does it work? When you inhale lavender, your brain initiates a response for your nervous system.

Scientists have observed how heart rate, blood pressure and even skin temperatures changed after volunteers inhaled the scent. They concluded that the scent of lavender make it easier for people to relax.

Lemon

Scientists have also looked into how the scent of lemon can give you several other benefits, including reduced anxiety. Researchers reviewed the effects of aromatherapy for patients with allergies as well.

They concluded that the scent of lemon calms allergies for people with perennial allergic rhinitis, giving you more restful sleep. Lemon has also been shown to reduce insomnia.

You may give roses to someone you love, but did you also know about the aromatherapy benefits it can give that person? Rose oil can even be used to ease pain. It treats depression and eases physical body aches, thanks to the abundance of phenolics found in it.

Vanilla

Vanilla, as another example, creates the ideal environment for sleep. It acts as an antidepressant as well, giving you deeper, restful sleep.

It doesn’t stop there, researchers compiled a study and mood map reviewing how certain smells affect mood. They found that the scent of vanilla bean makes people happier and more relaxed.

These are just a handful of benefits and ways aromatherapy can help you sleep better. All of the scents mentioned are reliable, natural alternatives to something you could otherwise need a prescription for.

15 scents to help you sleep better - infographic

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Jeff-Mann Founder Sleep Junkies

Jeff is the founder and editor-in-chief at Sleep Junkies . A passionate sleep advocate, he started the site in 2012, reaching millions of readers across the globe. Jeff also runs the product curation platform SleepGadgets.io . He is often asked to speak at about current trends in consumer sleep technology at various events.