And in the beginning there was sleep.
Probably one of the first symptoms a woman can experience in pregnancy is extreme tiredness. I remember the sensation of hitting what felt like an invisible wall, of trying to drag my legs through wallpaper paste as I walked and the immense yawns that fully consumed me. Our body is undergoing the greatest changes that it will ever know in the first few weeks of pregnancy and all of our energy is directed towards your baby’s exponential growth. This can leave us feeling depleted, exhausted and simply unable to keep going.
The good news is, aromatherapy is excellent in either helping you sleep, or helping to keep you awake. You can use essential oils to help overcome the tiredness and sustain your energy, or ones that work hand in hand with your tiredness and promote deep, beneficial sleep and rest. My first advice is, if you can nap, then do so - nothing feels quite so wonderful, and sometimes it's easier to sleep during the day instead of at night time. However, if it’s a case that you’re at work, minding other children, or otherwise occupied and you have no opportunity to sleep, then it would be beneficial to use essential oils to help uplift and energise.
Suggested essential oil blend to energise and stay awake in pregnancy:
Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot
Method of Use:
Put two drops of each essential oil on a tissue. Place the tissue on your desk (not too close to you), or over a warm radiator. You can also use this blend in an oil burner or diffuser. If you're using an oil burner, fill the little dish with water and add two drops of each essential oil. This will be noticeable in a room for about 30 minutes, helping you to feel more alert and energised.
“The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.”
― Poppy Z. Brite
Ironically, often in pregnancy, tiredness and sleep are poles apart - especially in the later stages. You may feel exhausted, but slumber evades you like a beautiful dream cut short. Tossing and turning in bed trying to get comfortable, having to get up to use the bathroom, sore hips, restless legs, being too warm, having heartburn that prevents you from lying down - these are all contributing factors to not being able to sleep properly when pregnant. Using essential oils that can help ease physical discomforts, that are soporific, in that they encourage sleepiness, and are sedative, are great options.
Suggested essential oil blend to relax, unwind, ease discomforts and help you sleep:
Lavender, Frankincense, Roman Chamomile
Method of Use:
Massage or Bath
For a 1% dilution, add 6 drops of lavender, 4 drops of frankincense and 3 drops of Roman Chamomile to 50ml of carrier oil (grapeseed or sweet almond oil are perfect).
Add 10-15ml of your blend to a drawn warm bath, get in for about 20 minutes and relax. Be really careful getting into and out of the bath as the surface will be very slippery.
You can apply a moderate amount of your blended 50ml of oil directly on to your skin. You can choose to massage as much or as little of your body as you choose,or just concentrate on areas that would normally hold stress and tension, like your shoulders and neck, or lower back and hips. If you prefer not to blend the oils yourself, you might like my Relaxing Bath and Massage Oil for Pregnancy, which is already blended and is ready to use.
Aromatherapy is really wonderful for helping you to sleep and let go of stress. You might also want to try reflexology or acupuncture to help keep everything relaxed, and to alleviate your stress levels.
Wishing you perky alertness, or restful sleep - whichever it is you seek!