Can't Sleep? Lavender to Rescue!

Published on 6 June 2024 at 12:43

Can't Sleep? Lavender to Rescue!


I wish you could see my lavender this year.  It's blooming like crazy.  I am finally getting a good growth of lavender after several years of struggle.  I honestly think it is because we have had drought the last few years.  I have lost many plants over that time period.  However, with the abundant rains we have had, this lavender is absolutely wonderful!  Every morning the last several weeks, I have gone out on the deck to see the bumblebees absolutely going crazy.  I counted 19 yesterday morning.  


You know me, I can't let the blooms go to waste.  I am busy cutting and bundling the lovely-scented blooms and hanging them to dry in my kitchen.  Have I mentioned the heavenly smell?  My whole house is wrapped in the scent of lavender...and that's not a bad thing!  Unless of course you want to stay up at night watching your shows. The living room is right beside the kitchen, so the scent just drifts right past our chairs.  Since I've done that, we are finding we can't stay up past 9:00 p.m.  and if I'm being honest, there was one night where we were out like a light around 7:30 p.m.!


That isn't unusual when it comes to lavender.  In 2014 several studies were done that showed inhaling the scent of lavender essential oil helped improve the sleep quality of those with mild sleep disturbances. This scent has long been used as a calming agent, helpful with mild depression and insomnia.  Since it contains a compound called linalool, which affects a portion of the brain that reduces nerve excitation and helps to encourage relaxation, that means that it will help to encourage deep sleep in REM, which is important for health and emotional well-being.  


Are you sold on lavender yet?  Yeah, me too.  I love the scent.  So how can you use it to its maximum value?  If you are growing and want to make your own bundles, for maximum scent and color, cut the stems right before it fully flowers.  Of course, you can cut it after it has bloomed out too.  Make your bundles whatever size you choose, but for me, it works to make it about the thickness of 2 inches or so.  Take a string and tightly tie it, and then hang upside down out of sunlight to dry completely in a couple weeks.


Lavender bundles can be used in a wide variety of ways.  The three basic ones are as an aromatherapy agent by hanging in the bedroom, living room or bathroom to promote a relaxing atmosphere, for crafting you can strip the dried buds from the stems and add them to sachets or potpourris, or use the dried stems to make a lavender wreath and last, cooking with lavender, in desserts, teas or even some savory dishes adds a delightful and surprising kick to food.  And an extra added benefit, the lavender makes wonderful gifts for friends and family.  Merely tie a ribbon around the bundle and let them delight in the smell or create something the recipient can enjoy, like a lavender jelly or tea blend.


You need not grow your own to delve into the world of lavender.  I suggest purchasing a good organic lavender essential oil.  You can put a diffusor in the bedroom to diffuse the scent as you sleep.  Or simply place several drops of lavender on a Cottonball and slip this between the pillow and pillowcase to help improve your sleep.  Refresh it each time you use it.


That said, I believe my bundles are done drying so I will be putting them away in the closet for when I want to use them, in whatever way that is.  I think we can finally get through our Lonesome Dove marathon then!  Maybe we can stay up until 11 p.m.



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