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Counting Sheep Never Smelled So Good!

For occasional insomnia, following good sleep hygiene is key to getting back on track. Adding a little plant power to your nightly routine may help, too. Long touted for its relaxation benefits, lavender essential oil has shown promise as a gentle sleep aid in a few small studies. Keep in mind, however, that “it’s most likely to work as part of an overall calming bedtime routine,” says Michelle Drerup, PsyD, a behavioral sleep-medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Linking the scent to a calming activity adds positive reinforcement.” To that end, add a few drops of pure lavender essential oil to a diffuser as you’re winding down for bed. Dim the lights, do some relaxing stretches, or take a warm bath — and then slip between the sheets. Next stop: the land of Nod.

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