Beauty

Ask Jean: Sleep and Stress Help?

Ask Jean: Sleep (and Stress) Help?

Ask Jean: Spring Color?

Dear Jean, I have trouble sleeping and get stressed out easily—everybody says to try lavender. Do essential oils really help? How do I mix them? Do I put them on my skin? Inhale? It’s too complicated!—Brooke K.

Dear Brooke, I don’t have trouble sleeping—one of the many gifts my mother gave me (whether genetics or 1960s parenting techniques or both, who knows). While awake, however, I am wracked by worries and anxieties. For which I do yoga, run, walk, meditate, take ashwagandha, go to therapy, take baths—and, before bed, give myself a little foot massage. Some people do this last thing to help them sleep, and many (including my kids) say it really helps. When I do it, I feel a little happier and a little luckier the next day. I think of it as a way of connecting, of saying you are okay in a way that my psyche will actually accept.

Use this beyond-gorgeous bottle of oil for the massage, and you’ll definitely sleep better; the next day, in my opinion, will be both happier and luckier. It’s made with only the most-calming essential oils—vetiver, Roman chamomile, jasmine, lavender, and more—in a blend that can go directly on skin, into a diffuser or inhaled. The makers of these particular oils have been growing and making them biodynamically (beyond organic) in India for centuries, literally, as official pharmacists of the Indian royal family, as well as perfume suppliers to the most luxurious fragrance houses on earth (hello, Tom Ford). So they’re some of the purest but also most expertly blended essential oils in existence.

In a weird but brilliant coincidence, one of the best ways to absorb essential oils is between your toes. I smooth it all over my feet, though, because then, as I lie in bed a few minutes later, they don’t exactly tingle, but they feel really, really fantastic.

Whether the effects of those calming, sleep-inducing oils are still coursing through my veins the next day are the reason I feel better, or it’s the beauty of the ritual (the sheer prettiness of the bottle and the scent is no small factor), that being soothed as you dream has results when you’re awake, or some other reason, this oil will make just about anyone’s life infinitely more pleasant. If you’re an insomniac or an ultra-worrier like me, buy two.

NOTE: Even unblended essential oils are not as complicated as they might seem. Here’s our guide if you want to go further.

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