About 20 per cent of the world’s population is currently considered sleep-deprived; that’s one in five people. Our modern world is not just filled with long work hours, it is also overloaded with an endless array of stimulation. There is so much to see and do that sleep has almost become like an afterthought for many of us.
While it is imperative that we all make lifestyle changes to ensure that sleep becomes a priority for us, there will invariably be times when life gets in the way (sick kids to take care of; hard deadlines at work) and fatigue sets in. In those times, essential oils can be a real lifesaver by giving you the energy boost and emotional lift you need to get through the day.
Rev Up with Essential Oils
Just like uptempo music has been shown to improve our moods, essential oils can affect our mental state and energy levels at a physiological level. When we inhale these volatile oils, they enter our respiratory system and are rapidly absorbed into our bloodstream.
While every individual may have a slightly different response to the scents, oils may be grouped into certain categories of scents based on the general physical responses and emotional reactions that they elicit.
If we’re talking about oils that can energise you and help you stay alert when it matters, oils with citrus notes such as lemon, grapefruit and sweet orange are right on target. Citrus essential oils stimulate the part of our brain that triggers joy and happiness.
You can also consider those with herbal and floral undertones such as geranium, eucalyptus, peppermint, cedarwood, rosemary and bergamot. The herbal scents are like a breath of fresh air, encouraging people to breathe deeply, which fills the brain up with oxygen and helps you to stay awake and alert.
Aside from diffusing these lovely scents around the house, there are other efficient and easy ways to fit these energising essential oils into our daily lives. Just check out the following.
Invigorate Your Morning Shower
First of all, diffuse a citrus or herbal scent as you get ready in the morning. That alone will go a long way towards lifting your spirits. Here’s an even neater trick. Add two to three drops of oil (we recommend cedarwood, but feel free to try others) to your hand while you’re in the warm shower. When you rub your palms together, the aroma releases and you may just feel like you have been transported to a spa. Ahhhhh.
Galvanise with Shampoo
This hack for boosting your energy takes almost zero effort. All you need to do is add two or three drops of peppermint essential oil into your shampoo and conditioner (you could add them in your body wash as well). As you massage it into your hair, the oil in the shampoo will add a tingle to shampoo and wake you up almost immediately. Bracing!
By this time, you’re practically raring to go.
Charge Up Your Moisturiser
If the peppermint shampoo didn’t quite do the trick, how about adding a little boost to your moisturiser with grapefruit essential oil? A whiff of this citrus will invigorate your senses and infusing the oil into your moisturiser will perfume your skin and leave you all charged up and ready for the day.
All that’s needed is three to four drops of the oil in your face moisturiser. Alternatively, drop grapefruit oil into some jojoba oil for a brightening face oil that will leave you rejuvenated … and glowing. Hello, bright eyes. Say goodbye to dark eye circles!
Annihilate the Midday Slump
The mid-afternoon is when most of us really start to struggle. It is after lunch and it feels as if nothing except a pack of potato chips and a double-shot of espresso will suffice if you are going to get any more work done. But don’t reach out for the packet of Cheetos just yet.
Stash some energising essential oils and a small diffuser at your desk in place of unhealthy snacks; those will ultimately just make you feel more fatigued. Scents like rosemary and peppermint are clear choices, but we also recommend a blend of bergamot and cedarwood as a warm and invigorating combination to not just get you over the hump but have you skipping across the finish line.
Pep Up the Drive Home
Congratulations, you’re on the home stretch and I bet the day didn’t turn out quite as bad as you thought. Nevertheless, it was a long day and it makes perfect sense that you are tired.
There’s still the long drive home in the jam and some of you have to pick up the kids too, so it is very important to be alert and in the right state of mind. Sweet orange is a safe, excellent choice for both you and the kids. It’ll lift your spirits and boost your energy levels, and help you to cope with the stress that comes with sitting in traffic congestion.
Incidentally, sweet orange also happens to be a great scent for those who suffer from motion sickness.