Essential oils certainly aren’t a cure-all but there are certain health conditions, both mental and physical, that that they are perfectly suited for.
You’re probably reading this article because you or someone you know is jet lagged and you’d like to about some of the best essential oils for jet lag.
Before we get to the oils, however, let’s quickly go over some important points about jet lag and essential oils.
What Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is defined as a sleep disorder that affects individuals who travel across multiple time zones in a relatively short amount of time, usually by air.
Also known as desynchronosis, this condition is commonly characterized by extreme tiredness, headaches, insomnia, and irritability. Some individuals may also experience poor concentration and mental performance.
The root cause of jet lag is a disturbance of the body’s circadian rhythms which help to regulate and maintain our sleep as well as a host of other bodily functions. When our circadian rhythms are altered and our sleep cycles are interrupted, the symptoms mentioned previously start to plague us while our bodies adjust to the new time zone.
Jet lag will usually go away on its own with a suggested recovery time of one day per time zone crossed but essential oils can help to expedite or make the process much smoother.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are substances that contain the concentrated aroma and healing properties of the different plants they’re extracted from.
They possess the ability to soothe the symptoms of many different health conditions and improve mental and physical health.
They can be used in the form of the oil itself, or they can be used in creams, gels, lotions, and perfumes in order to benefit from the positive effects that they provide.
Additionally, you can also benefit from essential oils by inhaling their scents, rubbing them on certain areas of your skin, or by putting them in your bath water.
Listed below are the 5 best essential oils specifically for jet lag, and how to use them.
Lavender essential oil is derived from the leaves and flowers of the Lavandula angustifolia plant, and it is most commonly known for its calming effects but it is a staple in the EO kit of most aromatherapy enthusiasts because of its wide range of applications.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that this oil is one of the best to have on hand when dealing with the multitude of discomforts that jet lag brings.
For one, lavender oil is an incredibly effective mild sedative which can help to expedite the process of synchronizing your circadian rhythm with the new time zone by inducing QUALITY sleep.
The emphasis is placed on quality sleep because getting more deep, slow-wave sleep is necessary for combating jet lag fatigue. Quality sleep is also important for cognitive function which may be impaired by jet lag.
Another known strength of lavender oil is its ability to reduce stress and irritability by soothing the nervous system and restoring a sense of peace and tranquillity.
Lavender oil also reduces motion sickness, anxiety, depression, headaches.
You can use this oil for your jet lag by inhaling its aroma when symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and irritability show up or when you want to counter insomnia (which is particularly prevalent after west to east travel).
Due to its pleasant fragrance, some users also place a few drops on their pillow to experience the benefits.
It has the ability to relieve many of the symptoms associated with jet lag such as headaches.
Headaches caused by jet lag are often partnered with sinus pressure and tension.
Eucalyptus oil contains properties that eliminate the tension and pressure in your sinuses, helping to reduce or clear up your headache in record time.
Furthermore, eucalyptus essential oil has the ability to boost your mental clarity.
Jet lag often causes many individuals to feel dazed and out of their mental state but inhaling the aroma of eucalyptus oil can quickly restore that your alertness and focus while also reducing fatigue.
To use eucalyptus oil for jet lag headaches, create a solution of about 4 drops of eucalyptus oil with a non-comedogenic oil such as argan oil and massage into your temples and forehead every 20 to 30 minutes.
Along with this topical application of the oil, you should also inhale (directly or by diffusion) its aroma for even better results.
Inhalation is also the recommended method of application if you’re experiencing fatigue as well.
Peppermint oil is beneficial for jet lag because it attacks the condition on various fronts.
It relieves symptoms of headaches, reduces feelings of nausea and cuts through the mental fog, poor concentration and alertness problems that jet lag is notorious for.
Furthermore, peppermint is an awesome pick-me-up and is great for increasing your energy levels to combat jet lag fatigue and postponing your desire to fall asleep (many east to west travelers tend to fall asleep and wake up earlier until their bodies adjust).
In fact, it is so calming that it is a known natural intervention for reducing blood pressure.
When dealing with jet lag, however, ylang-ylang is an excellent sedative, helping you to fight insomnia and get effective, restful sleep so that when you wake up you’re fully refreshed and ready to take on your vacation.
And if you’re feeling constantly irritated, anxious or stressed after your long travels, ylang-ylang is fully equipped to help you balance your emotions and return to a place of contentment.
To get the benefits of ylang-ylang oil for sleep, simply inhale directly from the bottle or diffuse a few drops in a nebulizing diffuser of your choice when it’s time for bed.
The same can be done when using ylang-ylang for your mood and overall mental health.
Lemon oil is a great pick me up which boosts mood and increases energy levels in individuals that are fighting the effects of jet lag.
To use lemon oil for the fatigue and mood and focus dampening effects of jet lag, add a few drops to a glass of water and drink it when you need a pick me up.
Alternatively, you can combine a few drops with about 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil such as olive oil and apply to your wrists and behind your ears.
In either case, you can get even better results by inhaling the aroma of the oil as well.
Geranium oil is derived from the flowers and leaves of the Pelargonium graveolens plant, and it’s beneficial because it contains compounds that are known for their ability to enhance your health, such as citronellol and geraniol.
Geranium oil has the ability to help with jet lag because it acts as an anti-depressant, which is good for insomnia because of its stress-relieving properties.
The oil also relieves jet lag because it treats depression that’s commonly experienced by people who had jet lag. Not only this, but this oil also has the ability to promote mental clarity, which is associated with quality sleep.
Geranium oil works best when it’s inhaled through an essential oil diffuser, but you can also experience its benefits by using it topically.
Final Word On Using Essential Oils For Jet Lag
Overall, jet lag is something that affects a great number of people in the world and its side effects can be irritating to deal with.
When you’re traveling, the last thing you want to be worried about is jet lag.
Thankfully, essential oils are a great, natural intervention to help relieve and reduce many of the associated symptoms such as headaches, irritability, indigestion, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.
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