With Daylight Saving Time upon us, we are slammed again with a clock change. The disruption of going into Daylight Saving Time hurts more than coming out of it, as now we lose an hour of sleep.

Making up for lost sleep is difficult for the body and mind. Studies show that traffic accidents increase during the first week of Daylight-Saving Time. Wisdom dictates to take advantage of therapeutic aids for adjustment.

Aromatherapists believe that the scent of lavender sends a message to the limbic system that affects emotion, behavior, and long-term memory. Additionally, lavender fragrance is associated with insomnia relief.

Lavender aroma is credited with facilitating falling asleep easily, staying asleep, and having a better quality of sleep. Inhaling the sweet herbaceous floral scent evokes calmness and tranquility. At bedtime it helps relaxation which prepares the body for sleep that may improve energy and vitality the next day.

Pioneer Drug, 1428 Center Ave. in Dos Palos and Health Time, at 940 Sixth St. In Los Banos both have lavender essential oil in its aromatherapy section. Lavender oil is steam-distilled from purple Lavandula flowers.

Both Pioneer Drug and Health Time have diffusers and free brochures about using essential oils. Essential oils also are available from local Scentsy representatives.

Lavender oil can be used in a variety of ways but never apply directly to the skin. It needs to be diluted before application. Dilute in a carrier such as a basic lotion or moisturizer. Mix 12 drops of oil per fluid ounce of carrier. Coconut, olive, and avocado oils are common carriers. The mixture can be made ahead and stored in a dark bottle.

Massage infused lotion on the body. Avoid showering for at least 20 minutes to allow time for skin penetration.

A lavender spritz may be applied to bedding. In a 16-ounce glass spray bottle, combine one cup distilled water with one cup witch hazel, purchased at the drug store. It will dry the spray more quickly. Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Shake and spray.

Apply lavender spritz to linens at bedtime or to towels used after an evening bath. Sprayed furniture may facilitate winding down before bed. As a caution, test spray in an inconspicuous area.

Lavender oil scent may add a calming effect to the home. Add several drops to an essential oil diffuser for the aroma to permeate a room. As an option, essential oil may be dripped on cotton balls placed in attractive containers.

The scent of lavender might reduce mild anxiety and stress. Aromatherapy, though, is not a substitute for primary care. Anyone with excessive anxiety or depression should consult a medical professional.

Essential oils can remain potent for three years if stored in a dark area with lids tightly closed. Store at room temperature and away from heat or flame. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid eye contact.

While lavender oil is generally considered beneficial, any product including essential oils may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction. If someone experiences nausea, vomiting, or a headache after exposure to an essential oil, discontinue use immediately. Never ingest lavender essential oil.

Please be aware that aromatherapy should not replace consultation with a medical professional. Products containing essential oils should not be applied to children’s skin.

Turning the clock forward an hour disrupts a person’s body rhythms. Bedtime seems to come quickly without time to slowly slip into a relaxed state. This makes awakening in the morning difficult during the adjustment period.

Be gentle with your body this week, begin altering sleep time 15 minutes each night now to help reduce the shock. Use fragrances, meditations, soothing music, and other tools to help reduce the stress on the body’s circadian clock.

Janet Miller

Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email jmiller@dospalos.org.