If you don’t know what your sleep smells like, that’s fine. Here is the good news: sleep can smell like anything you want. You just have to create it.
Scents contribute to our emotional well-being and link us to memories. The minty odor of sage burned during morning meditation brings us to a tranquil place of clarity. The crisp scent of rain-kissed leaves during a sunrise hike awakens our body and soul. Smell is intrinsic. And, smell can enhance sleep.
We can create our own scent memories, according to Dr. Rachel Herz. Herz is a professor at Brown University and Boston College and is known around the world as an expert on the psychological science of smell. She absolutely loves smell! Herz not only believes aromas can enrich your life, she knows they can. The sense of smell is the only sense directly hardwired to the emotional center of our brain, thus evoking passionate memories.
We bring Herz’s scent memory creation into the bedroom. Pick a scent not tied to a previous memory or emotion (if you choose a familiar scent, make sure it is linked to a positive memory). Don’t know what to inhale? Try one of these aromas:
- Breathe in the powerful sweetness of vanilla. This scent is known to reduce stress and anxiety, two common causes of sleep complications.
- Combine the sharpness of peppermint essential oil with elegance of lavender essential oil. In addition to the pleasant scent of peppermint, it can be used topically for muscle aches and headaches. Balance the pain-relieving qualities with the calming qualities of lavender. Lavender is also known to help reduce insomnia.
- Try the fragrant odor of mugwort, known by its folk name “moonwort.” Mugwort is a sacred women’s plant which clears away negativity when burned. Bring it into the bedroom to cleanse your mind and the physical space around you to prepare for sleep.
Weave the desired scent into your sleepcare routine. You can do this through candles, lotions, essential oils, smudging, misting the scent throughout your bedroom or bathing in it. Night after night, breathe in your sleep scent with intention. Over time, a positive connection will be built between the desired aroma and sleep. When you inhale your sleep scent, your body and mind will decelerate and prepare for rest.
Don’t ignore your nose in the bedroom. Create your own sleep scent and enjoy a better night’s sleep.