The ability to get a good night’s sleep is critical when you are a healthy individual without any specific injuries, trauma, disease, or other types of mental or physical health issues. For those recovering from a disease or a health condition, including those recuperating after surgery, rest is an integral part of the healing process.
The Body and Rest
To understand the importance of rest, it is helpful to consider how the body is controlled by two opposite systems, the parasympathetic nervous system (the restorative system) and the sympathetic system, which is all about preparing the body for action and reaction, otherwise known as fight or flight.
The parasympathetic system also helps your body with all necessary maintenance and upkeep functions. This includes the ability to heal, relax, digest, and to rest. The sympathetic system controls the action and the active elements of the body. Together, these two systems regulate blood sugar levels, heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, hormonal levels, and even where the blood circulates in your body.
When the parasympathetic system is engaged, your body is relaxed. You are breathing moderately deep and slow and inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide in a cyclical fashion. At the same time, your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels are at the resting rate and your blood is flowing throughout the body and into the digestive system.
The time we are at rest is when the body sends the necessary building blocks to the cells to heal and regenerate. It is also a time when the body can remove inflammation, allowing complete healing. It is easy to see why rest is so important, but getting rest after a surgical procedure or any type of injury or illness can be a challenge.
Helping Your Body to Unwind
There are three options in Young Living Essential Oils that are particularly effective in promoting mental rest and relaxation. These oils assist in relieving tension and stress, providing grounding and refocusing, and for simply unwinding and allowing the body to go into a deeply restful state.
One of the essential oils I recommend is Valor. This is a grounded, natural, woodsy essential oil that can be used topically as a massage oil or in a diffuser. This oil can be used at the end of the day to promote a deep, natural sleep.
Peace & Calming Essential Oil is another favorite. It offers a sweet, slightly citrus aroma that is perfect for use in the bedroom prior to going to sleep. It can be used topically or in a diffuser. It can be combined with other oils, including lavender, for increased sleep benefits.
Lavender is one of the essential oils used in Stress Away, another Young Living product that is beneficial to promoting relaxation, rest, and sleep. The aroma of this essential oil blend has notes of vanilla and lime, but also the distinctive scents of lavender and cedarwood.
Stress Away is particularly effective to use if you are struggling with calming your mind and getting rid of unwanted worries and thoughts. Use in a diffuser to create a stress-free environment to drift off to sleep and healing.