Many of us fall into a routine of sleep, work, and responsibilities — it can be hard to find time for oneself in the mix. Studies suggest that the average American worker experiences a greater amount of stress than any previous generation; this is also indicated by the number of diagnosed mental illnesses across the nation. Stress plays an enormous role on our physical, mental, and emotional states with many experts saying that stress is responsible as an onset for many deaths every year. What has changed from previous generations; why is stress so prevalent in modern America?
Stress in America
For many Americans, the source of their stress comes from an increased work week with a decrease in pay. Although minimum wage has increased significantly over the past decade, this in reality represents a weakening economy as the U.S. dollar becomes less valuable — this means that while modern Americans are making more than previous generations of workers, they must also cope with an increased cost of living. Up to 40% of Americans say that their job is extremely stressful according to the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH). Stress in the workplace has become so widespread throughout our society that nearly one million American employees miss work on any given day. Up to two-thirds of both men and women say that work has a significant impact on their stress level with 25% saying they had called in sick or taken a “mental health day” as a result of work stress. By finding ways to relax more, Americans can help alleviate their stress and gain a better quality of life from a relaxed perspective.
A Lack of Sleep
We spend roughly a third of our lives sleeping — it is so essential to memory and basic cognitive functioning that those who do not get enough sleep are often unable to function at peak mental performance levels. In 1942 Americans averaged about 8 hours of sleep every night — now this is down to just 6.8 hours. Experts recommend that we get between seven to nine hours of sleep every night, however around 42% of adults fail to get at least seven hours of sleep. With about 60 million Americans suffering from sleep disorders or deprivation, it’s no wonder why our society is so stressed out. Investing in new bedding could help those of us who cannot sleep; nine out of 10 consumers said that having a comfortable mattress and pillows were necessary for a good night’s sleep. With a relaxed body, the next step for a good night’s sleep is a relaxed mind.
The Benefits of Aromatherapy
The essential oils used in aromatherapy have been used across cultures for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, Chinese, and Romans used essential oils for cosmetics, perfumes, and even drugs — these oils were typically used for spiritual, therapeutic, hygienic, and ritualistic purposes alike. Experts believe that there is a strong connection between scent, emotion, and memory; the scents used in aromatherapy sessions is meant to trigger states of relaxation through the smell of the essential oils. A recent Bedroom Poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than 75% of people said that they were more excited to go to bed when there was a fresh scent with another 75% of respondents saying that had a more relaxing night’s sleep thanks to the scent. An aromatherapy neck pillow or shoulder heat wrap could be the answer to restless sleep. Lavender scented neck heat wraps have been shown to reduce tension and help relax the body and mind; these lavender heat wraps were also shown to help some individuals who suffer from frequent headaches. Most aromatherapy neck wraps are designed to go in the microwave for quick heating. Aromatherapy neck pillows have been shown to have excellent heat retention; many aromatherapy neck pillows have been shown to retain their warmth for up to four hours or longer. For a more relaxing night’s sleep consider an aromatherapy neck pillow as the answer our predecessors have been using for centuries to achieve relaxation and a full night’s sleep.