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The scent of lavender can ease insomnia and help improve sleep. — Photo by Renee Comet

Insomnia

As many as one half of older adults have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, according to the American Psychological Association. "As we get older, sleep becomes more and more an issue. Sleep gets more fragmented — we wake up more often," says Dr. Philip T. Hagen, vice chair of the Mayo Clinic's Division of Preventive and Occupational and Aerospace Medicine and co-author of the Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies.

Studies have shown that the scent of lavender helps improve sleep and can prolong deep sleep. How lavender works its magic isn't yet clear. But scent receptors in the nose are very old, from an evolutionary standpoint, and closely connected to the brain, says Hagen.

For a sound sleep, try using lavender oil in a reed or other type of diffuser in the bedroom, or put a few drops of oil on a fabric that does not come in direct contact with your skin.

Next: A simple way to protect your nails. >>

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