Every aromatherapy site in the world can you give you information on the sedative properties of lavender, so I'm not going to get into that here. But what I do want to dois give a few alternative oils that are also good for insomnia, a Su Jok trick for dealing with insomnia, and a few observations about what may be causing the lack of sleep in the first place, and how to deal with them at their spiritual root.
So let's start with the oils.
Typically, people with mild or short term insomnia will have a lot of success if they use a few drops (not more than 8 maximum) of lavender, chamomile or neroli in a warm bath, before they go to sleep. Soak in that for 20 minutes, and you should feel much more relaxed and ready for the land of nod.
If the insomnia is more entrenched, and / or you haven't got a bath, then you may want to go up a level, and try putting a couple of drops of lavender and sweet marjoram on the pillow (avoid sweet marjoram if you have low blood pressure. Some people also say to avoid it if you have asthma, but my experience of using it with an asthmatic was fine). It mamash makes you feel very calm, and very mellow, very fast.
Spiritually, sweet marjoram helps people face all the things they might be running away from, which have a habit of popping back up just as we're trying to go to sleep. This in itself is a big factor behind a lot of people's chronic insomnia. In the day, they're keeping themselves so busy, their soul can't make itself heard. So it gets you when you finally slow down, to try and go to sleep.
If you're having troubles turning off your brain before you go to bed, try a couple of drops of frankincense and lavender on the pillow. As well as slowing down the breathing, physically, frankincense is also reknowned for its ability to calm the brain down, and to dissolve all the extraneous thoughts. For this reason (amongst others), frankincense has always been a popular choice for people who are trying to pray.
There are many more oils you can try - anything that's a sedative will have the same basic effect physically, although psychologically, the effects on the psyche of each oil can be dramatically different.
OK, now on to Su Jok. Try putting an elastic band around the base of your thumb when you're sitting in bed trying to fall asleep, and leaving it for 10 minutes, until you start to feel drowsy. (It should feel tight enough to feel tight, but don't leave it on for more than around 10 minutes, or your thumb will go purple). Remember, the principle of Su Jok is that the body is reflected in the hand and the foot. The elastic band is constricting the area of the diaphragm, slowing the breathing down, and helping the person to fall asleep.
There's so much to suggest, but for now, try doing the following:
Crown pull - start at your forehead, and use both hands to pull the skin across your forehead. Work your way back over your head, to your neck, repeating the same procedure where you bring your fingers together in the middle, and then pull your hands apart, kind of firmly 'scraping' your head as you do so. This gets rid of a lot of the sort of 'head fuzz' that keeps us awake.
With the back of your fingers, lightly scrape down the inside of both forearms. This feels really good (so you won't waste your time, even if it doesn't help with the insomnia) and sends the body a message that it can relax.
Other things that help insomnia are:
- Doing hitbodedut in bed (guaranteed to put you to sleep in five minutes of less, especially if it's about something really important)
- Setting your alarm for 5.30 am, or even earlier, and GETTING UP when it goes off.
If you try any of the above, feel free to report back your experiences, especially if it works. Sweet dreams.