A good night’s rest is crucial to our health and happiness. The amount of sleep we get, and the quality of that sleep impact our cognitive ability, mood, and productivity for the whole day. While almost everyone knows how important getting quality sleep is, sometimes it is much easier said than done.
While establishing a nightly routine and limiting screen time before bed all help to improve sleep, we wondered if burning lavender candles might give us that extra boost we need.
Do lavender candles improve sleep? Lavender has been scientifically proven in studies to improve sleep onset as well as the overall quality of sleep and total sleep duration. In addition, they help reduce your heart rate and relax your muscles which can help you fall asleep more quickly.
Choosing Lavender Candles
What kind of lavender candle should I buy? Naturally scented lavender candles that use real lavender essential oil made from lavender are the only candles that will have a positive effect on your sleep. While many lavender candles may smell like the real deal, they don’t contain all the beneficial chemicals that natural lavender does.
How Lavender Candles Work
So how does lavender improve sleep? Lavender is an anxiolytic (anxiety-reliever) and a sedative. Natural chemicals in lavender interact with the neurotransmitter GABA to calm your brain and reduce feelings of stress, nervousness, anger, and restlessness.
When you burn lavender the natural chemicals given off to allow you to relax and slow your heart rate down so that you can prepare for better slow-wave sleep, also known as delta sleep.
This is the deep sleep stage where your body is able to rejuvenate itself so that you wake up feeling rested and recovered. It’s surely a no-brainer as to why more of it is better!
When To Use Lavender Candles
When should I burn lavender candles? We’ve found that burning lavender candles thirty minutes to one hour before bed while you perform your nightly routine is best. This allows your body to begin relaxing. The purpose of a nightly routine is for your body to start associating those things with sleep.
Incorporating the smell of lavender while you perform your nighttime routine will give your body a powerful cue that it is time to go to sleep.
Do I have to use lavender candles? Absolutely not! You can use wax warmers, potpourri, or even a humidifier with lavender essential oil. Candles are by far the easiest method as all you have to do is light them and you’re done!
However, as long as you use natural lavender and not a lavender fragrance, it doesn’t matter what method you use.
Lavender Candle Safety Concerns
Are lavender candles safe? Lavender oil has been shown in studies to be what is known as an endocrine disruptor. This means it can affect the body’s natural hormones. Lavender oil may have a weak, or mild effect on estrogen and testosterone. However, this only applies to lavender oil when ingested or used on the skin.
Lavender candles do not pose a risk to your body because you are not ingesting them. There have never been any negative effects of burning lavender documented.
Making Lavender Candles
Making your own lavender candles is actually very easy.
You will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups soy flakes
- 1 wick with metal base
- 20 drops of lavender essential oil
- 6-8 dried lavender flowers
- 1 large clothes pin
- 1 jar (mason jars are great)
Step 1: In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and add in the soy flakes. Stir the soy flakes every minute until they are reduced to a liquid.
Step 2: Remove the soy from heat. Take your wick and dip the metal end in the wax and then quickly place it in the center of your jar, using a spoon or other utensil to press down. This will essentially glue the metal portion of the wick to the jar.
Step 3: Once the wax is set. Position the wick in the center of the jar and use a clothespin to hold it in place. If the mouth of your jar is too large for a clothespin you can use skewers or utensils to hold it in place.
Step 4: Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil to the saucepan of melted soy and stir until it is sufficiently mixed. Carefully pour the mixture into the jar leaving 1/2 to 1 inch of space from the top.
Step 5: Trim and discard the stems from your dried lavender flowers and arrange the flowers inside the jar however you please.
Step 6: Allows candles to set for 24 hours. Once fully set, remove clothespin and trim wick to 1 inch above the wax.
*2 cups of soy flakes will make one 8oz candle. You can easily double or triple this recipe if you wish to make more candles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lavender candles help you relax by lowering your heart rate, stress, and blood pressure. Helping you become more relaxed and rest easier. Which all leads to a deeper, more beneficial sleep.
Lavender oil is generally considered to be safe for aromatherapy. However, as with anything adverse reactions are possible in a small percentage of people with breathing disorders such as asthma or COPD.
Lavender is an incredible herb with a myriad of uses and benefits. Among those is the ability for us to create lavender candles. These wonderful-smelling candles can help us in so many ways. From calming stress and anxiety to allowing us to get to sleep faster and sleep for longer.
Even if you get quality sleep most nights, keeping a lavender candle on hand is always a good idea as restless nights inevitably happen to all of us.
Scientists have been aware of the health benefits of lavender for decades. It is one of the few herbal remedies that is backed up by indisputable scientific evidence. So before you go looking for over the counter, or even prescription sleep aids. Give lavender candles a shot.