Welcome back to Man Versus Oils, a site where I outline my uses, experiences and some research into the world of essential oils. Over the past couple of weeks, Man Versus Oils was tired… So tired that I needed a little lift. I had work to do and needed to be on my man-game. I drank coffee – but too much milk made me a little queasy, I tried to get some sleep – that obviously worked (if I hadn’t had too much coffee) but I was still tired by late afternoon. So I undertook another of my world-famous, record-breaking mansperiments (well record-breaking in the amount of times someone can write the word ‘mansperiment’) to see how I could use essential oils to keep me awake and on point.
What did I use? Well the list is below and we will discuss them all. I am happy to say that over the course of a few weeks I actually used all of the oils in my list so I am speaking from experience here. And in the interests of trying to put some tangible proof into the outcomes, I even tried to be a bit more experimentally sound with my testing. So here are my 7 essential oils to wake you up – and a few that don’t.
How did I test these?
For this mansperiment, I wanted to just test the oils I had at my disposal and how they effected me. One thing I havelearned over the past few months is that essential oils tend to have slightly different effects on different people. For example, Copaiba works on my muscle cramps but not my son’s. So with that in mind, and as with my post on the oils that I use daily, I deliberately didn’t do any research into what oils should be good for this rather just tested them to see how they went. Obviously I took an educated guess, but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story.
So what I did was when I felt tired and was working at the laptop – which I do a lot – I picked an oil and sniffed it! – Simple as that – no carriers, no diffusers or blends, just up the nose and see how it goes! In order to maintain some sort of credibility to this however I only ever tested them around the same time each night – I do a couple of hours each night at about 8pm once our son is in bed – And what started this mansperiment was that sometimes I have to stop at this time as I am too tired to concentrate.
My success criteria – I was able to keep working without thinking about being tired so I guess we are looking at ones that clear the mind and give me a bit of a pick-me-up – again, just trying to keep it simple. Oh, and I didn’t even try Lavender, that way at least there will be one post on this site where I don’t have to write about it…
My top 7
Ok, so these are the ones that worked for me. And in the interests of jumping to the highlights reel for those of you who just want to get on with being awake… Stick with the strong and minty or anything citrus and you are probably going to be on a winner. Avoid anything that has ‘wood’ in it (or smells ‘woody’) such as Cedarwood or Frankincense.
Anyway, here are my top 7 – in no real order:
Why did I choose it? Ok, I have to confess that this is one that I have researched a bit recently for other posts and did remember that it is supposedly good for this.
Did it work? Yes, yes it did. I certainly was able to keep going and the Eucalyptus aroma stuck in my nostrils for a good while. I actually did quite a bit that night so I am definitely putting it on the ‘yes’ column. Be careful with this one though as I am not sure it is supposed to be inhaled straight from the bottle as it is quite strong, but it certainly gets you moving.
Why did I choose it? Again this is a bit of a no-brainer and chosen due to its strength. It smells just like you would imagine peppermint should and that minty minty goodness gets right in there!
Did it work? Yep, it almost the same as with Eucalyptus. Immediately cleared the head and I was able to keep going. I will say here that with this one and Eucalyptus before it, I was ever conscious of it in my nose and mind. I had also read research on how it improved physical performance in athletes so whether this subconsciously kept from feeling tired or not I don’t know. But either way, it worked although it will make your eyes water if you use it too much so be careful.
Why did I choose it? Ok, another easy one as it has a strong aroma eerily similar to the previous two – and it is the one my wife grabs and sniffs if she is feeling a little tired.
Did it work? I actually thought this one worked a little better than the peppermint. I know I have said this before but it reminds me of sport gels in its aroma and did remember thinking as I was sniffing it during my writing of my muscle soreness post that it did seem to give me a little burst of energy. My only issues with this one is that I like the aroma, so I tended to over-sniff – which should not be done with any essential oils.
Why did I choose it? For my next round I moved onto the citrus family. Again, much I had written about these oils mentions using them to clear the mind and as a pick me up. So had to give them a shot. I decided also to include Lemon and Lime in the same section as, to be honest, I couldn’t really think of a way to write about them separately without repeating the same thing.
Did it work? Again, these are two oils that smell exactly how you would expect them to. They do the trick and I like the aroma of them. I think the only thing I found is that I had to use them then remove them from the table as I kept opening the bottle and sniffing them. But I wasn’t thinking about being tired and got a lot of work done so since that is my only criteria, another tick here.
p.s. You could also try Orange or Grapefruit here.
Why did I choose it? This one was recommended for this reason and I have been using it for a while. But be warned this one does NOT smell as you think it should – in fact it is really not great.
Did it work? As I have said, I have been using this one for a while and it really does seem to give me a bit more energy and I have never had to stop working when using this one. Maybe I am just thinking that so I don’t have to smell it again but hey, any port in a storm!
Why did I choose it? We use this one as a cleaner and whenever we do I instantly notice the Cinnamon and Clove (Thieves is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary). They are quite strong so I thought I would give it a shot. This, like Rosemary was recommended by others as being good for this type of use.
Did it work? It seemed to. I don’t love the aroma of this one – I had a rather unfortunate clove incident as a child – but I was able to keep going once I sniffed in this one. I am not sure you are supposed to inhale undiluted and it did affect my eyes a little also so be careful!
7 Northern Lights Black Spruce
Why did I choose it? Because it is my favourite essential oil in the whole world.
Did it work? Of course it does. I could sniff this one all day as I really do enjoy its aroma. The only problem with this one is that, like the lemon and lime, I have to put it away or I give myself a headache from over inhalation – that’s a thing you know!
What didn’t work?
There were a few that I tried that really didn’t it well with me. Either I couldn’t keep working or I just didn’t enjoy inhaling them, but for whatever reason, they simply weren’t going to be ones that I could suggest for this use:
Why did I choose it? Because I put lemongrass it in the citrus category (it is not citrus – who knew?) and tried it when I was on the citrus train.
Did it work? Nope – the aroma just put me off and made it hard for me to concentrate. I really thought it would work but it just didn’t. I was too busy stressing over the fact that it didn’t work that my planned endeavours for the evening were also shot! Great in Thai food, not good for clarity of thought it would seem.
Why did I choose it? I chose this one as I often refer to its manly aroma – I even had my post written in my head… Something along the lines of “it works and it has the added bonus of a manly scent…”
Did it work? It actually made me feel more tired and heavy. I love the aroma and will use it now if I am trying to sleep but as a pick-me-up. Hard pass!
Why did I choose it? This was another I chose based on the manliness of scent and that it is anti-stress agent. I have written about it quite a bit so though t it might work here – I even tried it twice.
Did it work? Nooooo… Even when I sniff it it feels like it should. But when I am tired, it seems to make my eyes ‘hurt’ as if I am exhausted. I could hardly see the screen after that so I went and lay on the couch – and fell asleep within minutes both times. Again, love the oil, just not for this!
And there they are, 7 oils that, if I am tired, I can get a good nose full and keep on going. As always, I have given you a list so that you can have a look and try and choose the best ones for you personally.
I fully admit that the results may also depend on my mood, how tired I really am or what I am trying to get done but I can attest to the top 7 and definitely rule out the bottom three. I did try some others such as Idaho Blue Spruce, Sacred Mountain, R.C. and Purification but they didn’t really give me a good marker either way. They might for you so give em a shot if you have them.
Let me know below any results you get from my suggestions and if anything does, or does not, work for you.
By for now and as always,
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