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Sunday, October 25, 2020

The science behind why certain fragrances help us relax

Want to sleep better at night? Try these simple things.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | June 15, 2020 5:30:41 pm
scents, fragrances, aromatherapy, sleeping, better quality of sleep, how to sleep better at night, indian express, indian express news When you smell something nice, it stimulates your olfactory senses, which then send a message to the brain to relax. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Wondered why you feel a familiar sense of calm and nostalgia when you catch a scent of some particular things? It could be an old book from your childhood, or a dried flower stuck between its yellowing pages. Or it could be a bar of soap you have long associated with a family member or a loved one. Or it could just be the smell of a particular oil that has an association with your childhood. Alternatively, it could also just be new fragrances that help you relax.

Scientifically, scent has the power to control the mind and help allay stressful thoughts. Which is why aromatherapy is such a hit, and spas insist on it. Besides relaxing your body, you also need to unwind mentally, after a long and hard day. The lockdown, in particular, has been tough for many people. Which is why experts insist that more than anything, you give importance to your mental well-being.

ALSO READ | Mental health coping strategies during a pandemic and after

When you smell something nice, it stimulates your olfactory senses, which then send a message to the brain to relax. This relaxation can, therefore, be great if you are suffering from sleep-related issues. It is believed to pump your senses, soothe your nerves and improve your slumber.

Here are some suggestions for what you can bring into your bedroom to help you sleep better at night:

* Lavender plant: It has long been associated with its calming fragrance. Which is why the oil is also preferred. It can take care of your anxieties and slow down your nervous system, thereby relaxing the mind and the body. The best way to use it would be to use the oil for a relaxing massage before you hit the bed.

ALSO READ | Matters of the mind: Caution, courage and rationality may be answers to the crisis

* Jasmine: The sweet-smelling flower is another favourite for many people, who swear by its sleep-inducing properties. Just like lavender, jasmine, too, is available in oil form, and it can be applied on the head or inhaled for a long and lasting sleep at night.

* As mentioned earlier, it can be any other smell that you have long associated with happiness and relaxation. If it is an object, keep it close when you go to sleep, so that its smell can help you get an undisturbed sleep.

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