Can Scented Candles Help You Sleep?
Having a hard time falling asleep? Try lighting a scented candle before bedtime!
Candles can offer soothing fragrances that help you get a good night’s rest. Just don't forget to put the flame out before drifting off to dreamland.
HOW SCENTED CANDLES CAN HELP YOU SLEEP
Scented candles can be a great tool to help you fall asleep at night. When your brain registers smells, certain chemicals react in ways that cause calming mental and physical effects.
The relaxing effects of certain scents can be traced to the organs involved in our olfactory system (the system responsible for our sense of smell).
Humans have sensory neurons in the back of the nasal cavity called olfactory receptor cells (OR cells). Each neuron has tiny hairlike structures called cilia that use receptor proteins to bind to certain aroma compounds.
When binding occurs, a chemical stimulus transmits information from the neuron to the olfactory bulb in the brain.
Interestingly, the olfactory bulb is a part of the limbic system, which supports a number of functions including emotion, behavior, and long term memory.
So, whenever a scent makes you nostalgic or is noticeably soothing on an emotional level, it's probably due to the involvement of the limbic system.
Important SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
Forgetting to blow out your candle at night is scary - we’ve all been there.
It might not seem like a big deal to leave a candle burning overnight, but it’s really important to follow the proper safety protocol. Otherwise, it could lead to very serious consequences.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a third of all candle fires start in the bedroom. There are several ways that this could happen:
- Accidentally knocking the candle down - Your candle could get knocked over while you're sleeping by a pet, child, gust of wind, or other interruption.
- Candle flashover - This is when candle wax gets ignited, causing a much bigger flame that could spread to other areas.
- Shattered glass - Glass candle jars can shatter at high temperatures. Burning a candle for a long period of time (e.g. overnight) could overheat the glass, causing it to shatter and spill out hot wax and embers.
- Always blow your candle out before you fall asleep! Give yourself a gentle reminder at night to extinguish your candle flame by setting an alarm on your phone to let you know when it’s time to put out the flame and hit the hay.
- Place your candle in a well ventilated area, away from any combustible materials such as paper materials, clothing, curtains, bedding, etc.
The Benefits of Scented Candles for Sleep
Soothing scented candles can help with insomnia and reduce stress, both of which lead to a better night's rest.
Scents that help with insomnia:
- Lavender - Researchers conducted a study that showed lavender helps ease sleeping problems (as well as depression) among college students, heart disease patients, and middle aged women with insomnia. Lavender oil comes from Lavendula angustifolia flowers. It’s composed of linalyl acetate and linalool, which are commonly used in aromatherapy.
- Jasmine - The smell of jasmine is known to relax nerves and help calm the body at night. Derived from the stunning jasmine flower (Jasminum officinale), this aroma has been used to combat insomnia for centuries.
- Rose - The smell of rose is known to be closely related with the brains emotional and behavioral control centers. Not only does it help you sleep better, but it might also lead to happier dreams! One study analyzed the effect of roses versus rotten eggs on women’s dreams. Those exposed to rotten eggs were more likely to have nightmares, while those who inhaled the scent of rose were more likely to have positive dreams. In addition, research also suggests that inhaling rose could improve learning during sleep.
Scents that can reduce stress:
- Lemon - Lemon has calming effects on the body, which makes it a great option if you are feeling anxious before bed time. A 2006 study compared the anti-stress effect of lemon oil, lavender oil, and rose oil. Lemon oil was the strongest of all 3 in terms of its “antidepressant-like effects”.
- Lemongrass - Lemongrass-scented candles are another great option for the anxious soul at night. The lemongrass plant (Cymbpogon cirtratus) gets it’s peppery aroma from the molecules limonene and myrcene. A study done on 40 male volunteers found that exposure to the aroma caused a noticeable reduction in anxiety and tension.
- Pine - In a Japanese study, people who walked through a pine forest experienced reduced stress levels than those who didn’t walk through. Shinrin-yoku, the practice of walking in forests to promote health, is a popular form of relaxation in Japan. You can bring the peacefulness of a pine forest into your room at night with a pine-scented candle.
Our Favorite Candles For Sleep
"Holiday" Luxury Candle
The "Holiday" luxury candle is inspired by Billie’s favorite perfume, Emeraude, an aromatic green blend of fresh Winter spruce, pine needles, mint-infused eucalyptus, fir balsam and spicy cedarwood developing into a feminine heart of ethereal blue hyacinth. Strong and full-bodied, yet fragile and dreamy… just like Lady Day herself.
"Dream" Luxury Candle
The perfect relaxing fragrance that evokes a feeling of serenity and tranquility, The "Dream" luxury candle opens with the smells of provencal lavender, pimento berry, and bergamot. A lush, emotional heart of jasmine and iris is spiked with zesty wild ginger and crushed pine needles, while a seductive field of liquid amber, patchouli, and sandalwood adds warmth to balance this intoxicating blend.
“Ellington” Luxury Candle
The "Ellington" luxury candle pays loving tribute to Duke Ellington with an opening of juicy bergamot, tangy cinnamon and crisp clary sage that melts into a luminous heart of Lily of the Valley, heady rose and fresh lavender. It finishes with a warm swinging base of spicy patchouli, crystalline amber and soft skin musk.