With anxiety and stress levels skyrocketing as the world continues to rapidly change, pillow mist products have taken off since the start of the pandemic. Helping people relax into deep slumber, these bedroom additions can take on various scents and boast different benefits, but all of them are said to aid in getting restful sleep. Usually these are made with essential oils or flower essences that are diluted with water, Marie Claire explains. By spritzing your concoction a few times over your bed and breathing deeply, it can help calm your nervous system. Of course, finding the right scent for this process can make all the difference.
Lavender is the obvious go-to for sleep. Relaxing, soothing, and sedative, this scent characterizes massage spaces and wellness studios all over the world. Adding it to your pillow can have the same calming effect. As for the scientific reasons behind these benefits, Professor Tim Jacob, a neurologist from the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University, explains, “Smelling it increases alpha waves in the frontal regions of the brain, encouraging you to relax.”
Plus, it lowers your body temperature and blood pressure which spurs melatonin production, the outlet adds. Combined with a scent such as clary sage, a fragrance that promotes muscle relaxation, lavender makes for a perfect bedtime companion.
You can use a spray that contains lavender but is muted by other scents
If lavender isn’t your favorite smell, there are plenty of ways to reap the scent’s calming benefits without being inundated in the floral smell. Health recommends a blend of vetiver and chamomile that mask the smell of pure lavender and easily complement its relaxing benefits. Furthermore, if you want to remove lavender altogether, you can opt for a scent that reminds you of home and feeling safe.
W. Chris Winter, MD, tells the outlet, “Sprays can be helpful if we pair a certain smell in our minds with the act of sleep. This is particularly true with travel. If you associate a certain smell with your bedroom, spraying that in your hotel room can trick your brain into thinking you’re at home.”
So, whatever scent you opt for should help your brain move into sleep mode. “Studies have shown that scent can activate the limbic system, which processes emotions and memory,” Dr. Anna Persaud tells Marie Claire. “This, in turn, affects the autonomic nervous system, which controls our levels of energy and rest. Over time we also create a connection in our brains that links the fragrance of a pillow mist to the experience of feeling sleepy. It’s a stimulus for relaxation and can help to sustain a healthy sleep pattern.”
So, whether that scent is lavender, vetiver, rosemary, or simply your favorite lotion, you can train your brain to associate it with rest.
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