Essential Oils 101: What Are They and How to Use Them 31

Essential Oils 101: What Are They and How to Use Them - let's reach success blog

This is a guest post by Sharon Picone, the founder of Sleep Metro, an online review and informational site that provides savvy, no-nonsense tips for the best sleep possible that’s beneficial to both health and wellbeing.

Do you struggle to fall asleep? Does your mind keep working, even after your head  hits the pillow? Are the stresses of your daily life impacting the quality of your sleep? If this sounds like you, keep reading.

Essential oils are known to reduce stress, improve the quality of sleep and aid in relaxation.

Forget a glass of milk before bed. Instead, try a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow, or take a soothing bath. Here’s how to get the best sleep with essential oils:

Best Essential Oils for Deep Relaxation, Sleep and Stress Relief

Aromatherapy is nothing new. 

Greek physician Dioscorides, wrote extensively about the properties of essential oils in 100 A.D. Ancient Egyptians used essential oils in cosmetics. Modern interest in aromatherapy took off in the 1980s, when it reached the United States. Since then, a number of studies have found essential oils effective in promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

How you use essential oils is up to you.

You can add a few drops to unscented hand and face lotion as well as massage oil or burn candles made with essential oils. For best results, use a diffuser. Or try inhalation. Add a few drops of oil to a hot bath or basin of boiling
water, and breathe in the steam.

I like to use a diffuser to gently spread the aroma of essential oil throughout a room.

Here’s what Purifier Advisors say about the best essential oil diffusers.

Lavender: Have the Best Sleep With Essential Oils

lavender is one of the best essential oils

You’re probably already aware that lavender is known to help with relaxation and sleep.

Before we answer the question of how to use lavender essential oil for sleep, let’s review: what makes lavender the superstar of the aromatherapy world?

Lavender essential oil comes with some seriously beneficial properties.

Multiple studies have shown that lavender has a calming effect. Certain neuroreceptors react to lavender the same way they react to anti-anxiety medication. In addition to reducing anxiety, lavender can improve sleep quality and combat mild insomnia.

So how do you use lavender essential oil for sleep?

Add a few drops of oil to a tissue and tuck it under your pillow.

If using a diffuser, set it up near your bed at least thirty minutes before you’re ready for bed (Note: make sure that your diffuser doesn’t have an annoying light or make noise that will prevent you from sleeping).

Alternatively, if you end your night with a hot bath, add a few drops of lavender essential oil directly to your bath water.

Bergamot, Ylang-ylang and Clary Sage: Reduce Stress with Essential Oils

Reduce stress before you get into bed. Fortunately, a number of essential oils are quite effective against stress. Simply choose your favorite, or experiment to find which is most effective for you.

So what essential oils are best for reducing stress and anxiety?

Bergamot, Ylang-ylang and Clary sage are not as well known as lavender, but all have a proven track record when it comes to relieving stress.

Bergamot is a citrus —a cross between bitter orange and lemon. Not only does Bergamot reduce stress, but studies suggest it is effective against chronic pain as well.

Ylang-ylang is a floral extract. It comes from the sweet blossom of the cananga tree originating in Indonesia.

While Ylang-ylang also reduces stress, it acts differently to the essential oils covered so far. While lavender and bergamot act on the mind, this one affects the nervous system. If other oils aren’t working for you, try Ylang-ylang.

Clary sage is a relative of the herb, sage. It has purple flowers, similar to lavender, and like lavender has an anti-depressant effect. Clary sage’s properties are so strong, some dentists use Clary sage essential oil to relax patients.

Lemon and Peppermint: Essential Oils for Clarity

lemon - essential oils 101

Are you caught in the caffeine cycle? You know your caffeine intake is affecting your sleep, but you need help remaining alert.

Trade the caffeine for an essential oil boost. You won’t just feel better—you’ll sleep better, too.

Peppermint tea is well known as an energizer. The same can be said for peppermint essential oil.

Sniffing peppermint can help you stay alert on long car trips, or ward off jetlag after a long flight.

At the office, add a few drops to a diffuser to prevent you from grabbing an extra coffee or an energy drink when you hit that mid-afternoon lull.

The humble lemon is another giant of the essential oil world. On the one hand, it has been shown to stimulate the body, providing a natural boost. On the other, it is recommended for use as a relaxant.

How can one oil both make you relaxed and give you an energy boost? By directly lifting your mood, that’s how.

Lemon provides a positive lift.

By improving your mood, lemon essential oil frees your mind of worry. This provides mental clarity and makes you more productive.

Add lemon essential oil to your home or office diffuser and enjoy a good day’s work—and a good night’s sleep.


You’ll be amazed at the difference essential oils may make to your life. Whether you want to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep or reduce stress and anxiety, there appears to be an essential oil for practically every ailment.

Use one oil or a combination of different oils to best suit your needs and lifestyle.

We encourage you to explore its possibilities! In this article, only oils with benefits that have been proven in studies are mentioned, but there are many more out there with potential that are only beginning to be understood.

One of my favorites is jasmine—also thought to have deep relaxation properties.

A word of caution: Pregnant women should consult with their physician before using any essential oils.

If you have questions or want to share your own recommendations for essential oils, leave a comment below.


Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

What the Richest People in the World Have in Common 4

What the Richest People in the World Have in Common

Getting rich is something everyone dreams about.

For those facing financial hardships, getting rich seems the only way out to tide over shortage of money. For the bourgeoisie – the working class – getting rich conjures up visions of stuff they want to buy for luxury or higher social status. Millionaires also wish to get rich: they want to become billionaires and enter Forbes List of the world’s wealthiest people.

Unless you inherit a fortune or get lucky at lottery or sweepstakes, getting rich can be quite tough.

Yet, there are countless rags-to-riches stories around the world. Enterprises such as Amazon, KFC, Facebook or SpaceX have become runaway successes within a short span. The reason: their founders have several things in common, which is rare among other people.

Here we look at various traits that the world’s richest and most successful entrepreneurs have in common.

The Common Traits of The World’s Richest People

The Common Traits of The World's Richest People

1. Serving People.

“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it,” said John D. Rockefeller, who laid the foundation stone for America’s giant petroleum industry and his own enterprise, Standard Oil. The same adage holds good today.

Facebook, for example, was launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his roommate, Eduardo Saverin to allow Harvard University students to share profiles and pictures

There are countless such examples of ordinary people striking rich. However, they share one thing in common: serving people. The main objective of launching these enterprises was to make life easier or enjoyable for people rather than earning money.

2. Reading Books.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, celebrity TV show host Oprah Winfrey, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet and several other extremely rich people of the world have one more thing in common: they are avid readers.

Bill Gates reads at least 50 books every year – an average of nearly four and a half books per month.

Elon Musk owes his success at SpaceX, the project to open space tourism to his love for books and the knowledge he gained from them about rocketry. Oprah Winfrey attributes her success to dozens of books, including some 70 top titles she read on her way to success while Warren Buffet spends about 80 percent of his day reading books.

3. Long-Term Financial Strategies.

A report by CNBC states, all wealthy people depend upon long-term financial strategies rather than short-term gains. They utilized their earnings and savings to invest in safe stocks that would assure gains in the long run rather than indulging in risky trading that can offer high returns.

Such financial planning and decisions ensured they do not lose money. Further, they invested money in their enterprises without the hope of immediate returns.

These wealthy people first focused on building a brand, offering value for people to identify with the brand. And later, popularize the brand through word-of-mouth publicity, which is more effective than traditional advertising.

4. Never Say Die.

Yet another common character trait shared by the world’s richest people is, they are not quitters.

Like every other human on Earth, these wealthy folks also witnessed ups and downs in life. Some of these were so overwhelming most ordinary people would have called it quits and gone in search of easier ventures.

Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Bleckharczyk, founders of Airbnb, the world’s largest hotels and accommodations aggregator were plagued with financial problems.


Heavily encumbered with debts, bankruptcy was staring at these entrepreneurs in the very eye. Yet, they did not budge. They innovated their service that made Airbnb the world leader in its field today.

Another excellent example is Colonel Harland Sanders, whose recipe for fried chicken was rejected as many as 1,009 times before it was accepted. Col. Sanders is the founder of global chain Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC.

5. Accepting Criticism.

Most people flee from criticism of any sort. Rather than learning from negative comments arising out of their behavior or work, they take umbrage rather quickly. Yet, they do not bother to amend their behavior or work pattern.

All wealthy people, however, are different. They are willing to be criticized for introducing new ideas or thoughts.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, rightly says that those who will try and do something new must be willing to draw criticism.

Steve Jobs, founder, Apple, Inc. puts it in even stronger words: “If you want to make everyone happy, do not become a leader; sell ice cream instead.”

The success of Amazon and Apple proves their founders were right when it came to accepting criticism.

6. Out of The Box Thinking.

how regular life looks like and why it won't make you happy

Thinking outside of the ‘box’ or a typical mindset is often impossible for most people. Understandably, because everyone draws their mindset from factors and circumstances they are raised and educated in.

This mindset eventually becomes a formidable fetter for anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur. Generally, most people follow the flock and take professions they falsely believe as best suited for their skills. Others try to follow footsteps of their parents.

The wealthiest people in the world never followed flock or took lucrative professions of their parents.

Mark Zuckerberg’s father was a dentist and mom – a psychiatrist. Bill Gates’ dad was a banker father while his mother was a lawyer.

Despite coming from wealthy families, they chose to follow their passion rather than confine their thinking to the proverbial boxed mindset. Col. Sanders had lost his parents at a young age of six years and had to shoulder responsibilities of his siblings.

Other Examples of What The Wealthiest People Have in Common

As we can see, these qualities or personality traits are common to the world’s richest people. It sets them apart from others. Most of them launched small enterprises with the sole purpose of bettering the lives of people. Their products or services gained popularity because money was never their consideration. Widespread use of their technology, products, and services eventually led them to become wealthy.

These traits are not typical to the US or the western world, as one may mistakenly come to believe. A glance at some richest people in India and elsewhere also reveals, they share the same characteristics with their American counterparts. This amply proves that richest people around the world share something in common, regardless of where they live and flourish.

Another common trait that all rich people share in common is philanthropy.

Since childhood, they believe in giving back to the society and helping the underprivileged. They practiced charity when they were not so rich and continue to donate money for the betterment of the society even after becoming billionaires.

These richest people on the planet never waited to become wealthy. Instead, they were philanthropists since childhood – a trait most other people pathetically lack or try to foist upon themselves to gain popularity.

In Conclusion

It is not easy to become wealthy. Or everyone would become a millionaire. People who do make it to the top have a different way of thinking combined with an undying zest for learning new things and educating themselves.

They do not consider conventional learning at universities as the end of their education. Instead, they try and acquire new skills every day and find ways and means to become better humans rather than focusing on fattening their purses.

The world’s wealthiest people also share one common trait: they are not people pleasers, despite their generosity and willingness to serve the society. Because they know, trying to please everyone will get them nowhere and could mean possible failure.