7 Essential Oils For Relaxation And Better Sleep

Here in California, where my family and I live, we’re treated to a bountiful, year-round explosion of plant life. The bright citrus trees, the blooming roses, the clusters of flowering lavender plants all make for amazing sights—and scents. But you don’t have to live in Southern California to enjoy these fragrant smells, or to get the benefits that they can deliver to sleep and mood.

Often, scents get overlooked as a tool for better sleep. Inexpensive and easy to introduce to a daily and nightly routine, there are an array of essential oils that can help you relax, mentally and physically, and make it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep more soundly.

If you’ve ever browsed the selection of essential oils at your farmers’ market or natural foods store, you might have come away a little overwhelmed. With so many options, what are the best scents to choose for relaxation and sleep.

Today, I thought I’d share with you the essential oils I recommend to my patients to help improve their sleep, relieve stress, lift mood, and boost performance. I’ll also talk a little about what science tells us about the benefits these aromatic oils can have for sleep and health.

How scents affect the body and mind

You’ve probably had the experience of encountering a smell that instantly evokes a strong memory or feeling. Maybe a waft of perfume reminds you of your grandmother, or the scent of motor oil takes you back to hanging out with your dad in the garage while he worked on his car.

Our sense of smell is directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion. Cells inside the nose detect smells in our environment, and send information to the brain, via the olfactory nerve. (We also have a cluster of cells the top of the throat that detect scents from the food we consume, and pass that information along the same olfactory channel to the brain.) The information about smell does immediately to the limbic system of the brain, which includes regions like the amygdala that control emotional reactions and memory.

This makes smell unique among our senses. Information we take in from our other senses travels first to another region of the brain, the thalamus, which acts as a relay station, passing along sensory data to the other parts of the brain that produce our sensory perceptions. Only smell moves directly to the brain’s emotion and memory center. That’s why those memories you associate with the scent of garden roses, or banana bread baking in the oven, come on so quickly and so strongly.

The ancient practice of aromatherapy, still useful today

The use of essential oils for medicinal purposes has an ancient history, going back to early Egyptian, Chinese, and Roman societies. Ever hear of the Hippocratic Oath? That’s the ethical pledge taken by physicians for centuries (now, often taken by students upon graduation from medical school). It’s named for Greek physician, Hippocrates, who studied the effects of essential oils and was a proponent of their healing, health-promoting properties.

Aromatherapy is a modern term for this ancient practice. And for years, scientists have been conducting studies into the sleep-promoting, stress-relieving, pain-reducing and mood-regulating benefits of essential oils.

The scientific benefits of essential oils for sleep, mood, and health

I’m a big proponent of using natural, mind-body therapies to create better sleep, both by helping sleep directly and by relieving stress, anxiety, low mood, and physical discomfort. The practice of aromatherapy can do all these things. Essential oils have been used for centuries to promote relaxation and mental and physical wellness. Today, these same oils are increasingly being studied by scientists in search of a more rigorous, specific understanding of their benefits to sleep and health.

For sleep: A body of research shows that essential oils can provide relief for disrupted sleep and improve sleep quality in adults. A 2017 study compared the effects of aromatherapy and acupressure massage on sleep quality and overall quality of life in women. Researchers found that a blend of sleep-promoting essential oils worked more effectively to improve both sleep quality and quality of life than acupressure. The blended oil was also more effective at improving sleep than a single essential oil, lavender.

For stress and anxiety: Stress and anxiousness are frequent obstacles to sound, restful sleep. People who experience stress and anxiety symptoms often have trouble falling asleep and sleep restlessly throughout the night, leaving them tired and fatigued the next day. There’s a body of research indicating that aromatherapy using essential oils can help to relieve stress and anxiety symptoms, which may help improve sleep indirectly.

For depression: Depression and sleep problems often go hand in hand. A number of studies have examined the effects of aromatherapy using essential oils in people with depression and depressive symptoms, both with and without anxiety. Aromatherapy can help improve depressive symptoms, according to the results of several studies. A study found aromatherapy improved both depression and anxiety in a group of post-partum women. And a 2016 analysis found aromatherapy effective in reducing stress and depression—as well as symptoms of menopause—in middle-aged women.

7 essential oils for better sleep

So, what are some essential oils that are effective for sleep?

LAVENDER. This is the most popular essential oil for sleep and relaxation among my patients, and my first, general go-to recommendation for people looking to try aromatherapy for sleep. Lavender is a soothing scent that’s long been associated with relaxation and sleep, and used as a natural remedy for anxiety. Lavender is probably the most rigorously studied essential oil. A robust body of research shows lavender has anxiety reducing—or anxiolytic—effects, as well as beneficial effects on depression. Lavender can also help with pain relief, several studies show. One recent study showed aromatherapy using lavender oil reduced the need for pain medications in a group of 6 to 12-year-old children recovering from having their tonsils removed. Lavender also has sedative effects, meaning it can work directly to help you fall asleep. A number of studies point to lavender’s effectiveness for sleep: improving sleep quality, increasing sleep amounts, and elevating daytime alertness, including in people with insomnia.

VANILLA. The sweet scent of vanilla is appealing to many people, and it has a long history of use for relaxation and stress relief. Vanilla can have sedative effects on the body. It can reduce hyperactivity and restlessness, quiet the nervous system, and lower blood pressure. It also appears to help relieve anxiety and depression, with a combining both relaxation and an uplift in mood. If the smell of cookies baking relaxes and soothes you, vanilla might be a scent to try for sleep—without the calories!

ROSE and GERANIUM. These two essential oils have similar floral scents, and both have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, on their own and in combination with other essential oils. Some sleep experts recommend valerian as an essential oil for sleep aromatherapy. Valerian taken as a supplement can be highly beneficial for sleep. I wrote about valerian’s benefits for sleep and stress, here. But the smell of valerian is highly stinky! I recommend trying geranium or rose instead.

JASMINE. A sweetly floral scent, jasmine appears to have serious sleep-promoting capabilities. Research shows jasmine improves sleep quality and cuts down on restless sleeping, as well as increasing daytime alertness. A 2002 study showed that jasmine delivered all of these sleep benefits, as well as lowering anxiety, even more effectively than lavender.

SANDALWOOD. With a rich, woody, earthy scent, sandalwood has an ancient history of use for relaxation and anxiety relief. Scientific research indicates sandalwood can be effective in easing anxiety symptoms. Research has also shown sandalwood can have sedative effects, reducing wakefulness and increasing amounts of non-REM sleep.

It’s important to note: sandalwood has also been shown to increase wakefulness and alertness, even when it is also triggering physical relaxation. Everyone reacts to scents differently. Sandalwood may deliver sleep benefits for some people, while for others, it may promote wakeful, attentive relaxation. If that’s the case for you, sandalwood isn’t right for nighttime, but you can use it during the day to feel relaxed and alert.

CITRUS. Similar to sandalwood, this is a group of scents that can be stimulating or sleep-promoting, depending on your individual reaction and the type of citrus oil used. Bergamot, a type of orange, has been shown to relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality. Lemon oil has demonstrated anxiety and depression-relieving effects in research. Citrus may help some people fall asleep more easily, while others may find these fresh, bright scents are relaxing, but not sleep-promoting. If citrus scents are stimulating to you, don’t use them before bed—but do consider using them during the day, to help you feel both refreshed and relaxed.

How to use essential oils for sleep and relaxation

Many of my patients are interested in using essential oils for better sleep, but they’re not sure how. Here are some simple guidelines to get you started:

Add oil to your bath. This is a great way to get the relaxation and sleep benefits of aromatherapy while also taking advantage of the sleep-promoting effects of a warm soak. Put several drops of your favorite oil into your bathwater, and schedule your soaking time for 90 minutes to an hour before your bedtime.

Use a diffuser. Diffusers will disperse oils into the air in your room. Typically, you add water and oil, in amounts set by the manufacturer. Follow their instructions.

Make your own mist. You can combine essential oil and water in a spray bottle or atomizer and spray around your room, or give a light mist to your bed linens. I recommend spraying the underside of your pillow to avoid any skin irritation. For every ½ cup of water, use 4-5 drops of essential oil, or less if the scent is too strong.

Apply to the body directly. Some people find it soothing to apply essential oils to pressure points, like the wrists or behind the ears, or use oils to give themselves a light self-massage. (Massage for–or from–your bed partners work great, too!) Essential oils in undiluted form are highly concentrated and intense, and can irritate your skin. DO NOT APPLY undiluted essential oil to your skin. If you’re planning to use essential oils topically on your body, be sure you’re buying an already diluted oil—a mixture of the fragrant essential oil of your choice and a carrier oil (often a vegetable oil).

As you’re using essential oils, pay attention to how you feel. Scent is a highly individual experience. Each of us react to smells differently. The right scents for your relaxation and sleep are the ones that make you feel relaxed and sleepy! You may need to experiment with different oils before you find the right one for your nightly routine. If a scent makes you feel alert and awake, it is NOT the right one for sleep. But you can use it in the morning to help get you rolling into your day.

Michael J. Breus, PhD, DABSM

The Sleep Doctor™

Regardless of how busy you are and how many women’s circles you squeeze in to your already jam-packed schedule, getting sufficient sleep is essential. And in terms of maximizing shut-eye time, there are a lot of choices out there: everything from infrared pajamas (Tom Brady’s choice for restorative snoozing) to biofrequency stickers that supposedly support your body clock, and even workouts catered to helping you catch zzz’s.

If you’d prefer something a little more low-key, however, you could always turn to essential oils—the ever-so-strong plant and botanical extracts known for their health-boosting benefits (from reducing anxiety to improving your mood). Just as these elixirs can lift you up, they’re also capable of helping you get a good night’s rest. And, never a bad thing: You and your bed will smell amazing.

“Essential oils are great because your body doesn’t grow dependent on them.”

“Essential oils are great because your body doesn’t grow dependent on them,” says Kiara Le Blanc, vice president of brand and creative director of Saje Wellness, the quickly growing Canadian natural-beauty store. “As a society, people are too used to the one-pill-and-go approach. This natural alternative has zero side effects, even when used regularly.”

While energizing oils include powerful scents like grapefruit and peppermint, the blends that are perfect for bedtime are all about reducing stress and relaxing the body—in other words, they take a more holistic approach to calming you down for sleep.

Since you aren’t ingesting them like you would with, for example, melatonin, Le Blanc notes that it’s all about applying essential oils the just the right spots. “Either rub them on the bottom of your feet or your pulse points with a carrier blend, or drop into your diffuser,” she says. Voila—your room will transform into a dreamy, serenity-now sanctuary.

The Best Essential Oils for Sleep

This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products and experiences we think you’ll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale.

Perchance to sleep…

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Perhaps you can blame staying up late on finishing a project or even binge-watching a favorite series on Netflix, but when you want to sleep and can’t, it can feel like torture. Tossing and turning can also have an impact on your mood, ability to concentrate and, of course, your energy levels.

Life seems busier than ever, so it’s important to get adequate rest. In an effort to calm the mind and fend off insomnia, many rely on essential oils. If you could use some help getting to bed, trying these scents might just help you drift off to sleep.

Lavender

When you’ve been up all night counting flocks of sheep, you’ll probably try just about anything to get some rest. Fortunately, lavender has an excellent track record when it comes to sending people off to dreamland. That’s probably why the scent is used in so many baby products—infants (and their parents) need plenty of sleep.

Lavender Essential Oil

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Many studies have been conducted on the potential benefits of lavender. As an essential oil, it has been shown to improve sleep quality and alleviate symptoms associated with mild insomnia and restlessness.

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Valerian

Scan the list of ingredients in herbal teas marketed for insomnia and you’ll probably find valerian root. Known for its sedative effect, it’s believed that using valerian oil can help you get the rest you deserve without feeling groggy in the morning.

Valerian Essential Oil

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Many studies have shown evidence that valerian may not only help people fall asleep faster, but it could improve the overall quality of sleep as well.

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Bergamot

Many know about the invigorating properties of citrus fruits and oils such as lemon, but despite belonging to the citrus family, bergamot has a different impact. In fact, it helps slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and reduce feelings of anxiety. No wonder people use it for sleep.

Bergamot Essential Oil

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A study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that diffusing essential oils such as bergamot improved sleep quality. The effects were so positive, in fact, that 92% of participants planned to continue using it on their own.

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Roman Chamomile

If you’ve been dealing with insomnia for any amount of time, there’s a good chance that someone has suggested you drink a cup of chamomile tea. While that can be beneficial, you may find Roman chamomile essential oil to be even more effective.

Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

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Not only has research shown that Roman chamomile can calm anxiety, improve vital signs and promote better quality sleep, but it also has the potential to reduce nightmares.

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Clary Sage

You might be familiar with sage since the herb is a common staple in holiday recipes. Although related, clary sage is slightly different. This essential oil is a natural sedative that can provide a calming effect to help you fall and stay asleep.

Clary Sage Essential Oil

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Clary sage has been shown to reduce the levels of hormones associated with stress, such as cortisol, which could be the key to helping your body prepare for a good night’s rest.

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Sweet Marjoram

While sweet marjoram is most commonly used for fighting off colds, infection and even indigestion, this versatile essential oil has properties that can also be useful at bedtime. In fact, some research has shown that it could be helpful to those with work schedules that make sleep challenging.

Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil

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In a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, sweet marjoram was used as aromatherapy during massages with nurses who work on a monthly, rotating night shift. The results showed an improvement in subjective sleep quality among the participants.

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Cedarwood

For years, cedarwood has been used to treat skin and hair conditions, but growing evidence suggests it may also be good for sleep. The essential oil contains cedrol, which has been found to have a sedative effect, potentially making it useful for occasional bouts of insomnia.

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Amazon

Furthermore, a small study showed that when cedarwood was placed on towels near the pillows of older adults with dementia, the participants slept longer and were less likely to experience early morning awakening.

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Essential Oils for Sleep

Buyer’s Guide – Essential Oils and Sleep

How Do Essential Oils Help Sleep?

Choosing scents that promote relaxation can help get our bodies into a restful state ready for sleep. Essential oils also just smell nice and can be a pleasant way to enhance the sleeping experience. Making essential oils part of your bedtime routine can also help train your mind to associate the specific scent with falling asleep.

Many people prefer to use essential oils because they’re natural and don’t create the common side effects associated with many sleep medications, such as daytime drowsiness or more serious health risks. For example, a 2010 study found smelling jasmine to be just as effective at calming the nerves as a sleeping pill or sedative, but without any adverse side effects.

Many essential oils are adaptogens, which means they adapt to the person taking them and have different effects on different people. For instance, vetiver oil relieves insomnia for some people, while creating a feeling of refreshment and alertness for others during times of exhaustion. Of course, some oils are known precisely for their activating effects, like energizing tangerine or lemongrass, and should be avoided as a sleep aid.

The best essential oils for sleep fall into two main categories: oils that stave off insomnia by calming the mind and reducing anxiety, and oils that alleviate snoring and sleep apnea by clearing the airways.

Overall, more research is still needed regarding essential oils and sleep. However, the studies done thus far do suggest that using essential oils before bedtime can help alleviate mild sleep problems.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep

There are many ways to use essential oils for sleep. Some of the most common include:

  • Diluting essential oils with an air diffuser
  • Massaging a few drops onto a specific part of the body, such as the forehead, neck, chest, wrist, hands, or toes
  • Rubbing a few drops into your hands and taking a few deep breaths
  • Mixing the oil with epsom salt or baking soda to add to a hot bath while you’re filling the tub
  • Creating a spray to spritz into the air or on your pillow
  • Adding a few drops to a pot of boiling water, and then sitting with your face over the pot and a towel over your head to create a tent effect (this is known as facial steaming and can provide relief for sleep apnea or nasal congestion)

Topical application of essential oils can be especially beneficial, since the oils will actually permeate your skin due to their transdermal properties. As a result, not only will you smell them through your olfactory nerve, but they’ll also enter your bloodstream more quickly. However, if you have sensitive skin or allergies, you should avoid applying topically altogether, or otherwise diffuse the oil with a carrier oil such as organic coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil.

Children also should avoid topical application, use more diluted amounts than adults, and shouldn’t begin using essential oils until they are at least 6 months old.

Where to Buy Essential Oils for Sleep

You can buy essential oils at pharmacies, health food stores, online, and large retailers.

It’s key to purchase oils that are advertised as “pure” or “100%” essential oils and list the oil’s botanical Latin name. Ones that say “perfume oil” or “fragrance oil” often use synthetic ingredients, so while they smell nice, they don’t provide the same benefits and may even contain other additives more likely to irritate your skin. If possible, look for organic oils with a non-GMO or “Therapeutic grade” label, meaning they don’t have toxins and only use pure chemicals.

How to Safely Use Essential Oils with Children

Only using pure essential oils free of additives or synthetic ingredients is especially important when using essential oils to help your baby sleep. Check both the oil and the carrier oil’s lists of ingredients to ensure they don’t contain anything your baby is allergic to, such as peanut oil. Although it can be safe for adults, you should never apply undiluted essential oils directly to your baby’s skin or allow them to ingest the oil.

You should not use essential oils before your child reaches 6 months, and you should always consult your pediatrician first. Before regular use, apply a small dime-sized or smaller amount to your baby’s arm or leg and wait 24 hours to see if there is a reaction. If there is, don’t use the oil.

Source: Young Living Essential Oils

Essential oils for babies should always be diluted using a carrier oil. The carrier oils help ensure the essential oil doesn’t irritate your baby and is more evenly distributed. Just as adults react differently to different essential oils, so do babies, but on the whole they are more sensitive. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy recommends a dilution ratio of .5 to 2.5 percent, and avoiding some oils overall.

Additional Resources

For Safe Use of Essential Oils

  • The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy provides an extensive safety guide to various aromatherapy products, including suggested use adaptations for children or expectant mothers, as well as a list of the botanical names.
  • If you plan on ingesting essential oils, you want to make sure they are safe and it’s the intended use. Read about how the FDA regulates aromatherapy products and how you can determine the safety.
  • The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians offers a local doctor directory and guide to natural sleep remedies for children if you’d like to explore more holistic solutions for your life.
  • Connect with other users of essential oils and share your experience on forums like the Essential Oils subreddit, The Ananda Apothecary, The Aromatherapy Place, and My Essential Oils Forum.

For a Better Night’s Sleep

  • Essential oils please the nose. Learn how to create a perfect sleep environment for the rest of your senses in this guide from Tuck.
  • If you or your child has sleep-disordered breathing, learn more about the differences between sleep apnea and snoring, and treatment options for both.
  • Treating insomnia is often about treating underlying symptoms. Learn what could be causing your insomnia, and your other options for treatment besides essential oils.
  • As your child ages, so will their sleep needs. Read our Parent’s Guide to Healthy Sleep.
  • It’s easier to get a better night’s sleep when you have the right mattress. Check out our guide to choosing the best mattress, read unbiased mattress reviews, and find the best mattress for you based on your preferred sleeping position: Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers, Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers, Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers, Best Mattresses for Combination Sleepers.

Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. In the last century, we have developed synthetic pharmaceuticals and as a consequence, the plant-based medicines were put on the back burner. There is now a resurgence with people and healthcare professionals seeking natural ways to heal the body, mind, and spirit.

There are hundreds of essential oils with each having its own scents and healing properties. Some can help alleviate symptoms of certain sleep disorders like simple sleep disturbances -insomnia and even more problematic issues like sleep apnea.

We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to maintain a healthy body and to stay productive in our daily lives. And today, you can improve your sleep quality by adding a few drops of essential oils in your sleep routine. Let’s take a look at the best essential oils for sleep.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are extracted from plants, flowers, fruit, leaves, bark, and roots. Distillation and expression remain the best ways to extract the aromatic essence of these plants and isolate it in oil form.

The oils can then be used in aromatherapy and other beneficial applications for health, beauty, and household purposes. Essential oils are not meant to be ingested unless they are food-grade specified.

How to Use Essential Oils?

Our sense of smell is a powerful tool that we sometimes take for granted. Scents can impact our moods, can relax us, and can also help reduce uncomfortable symptoms of certain health issues.

Essential oils can be used in diffusers, inhaled directly, incorporated into products, or sometimes applied directly on the skin.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Each essential oil has its own unique characteristics that make them beneficial to help reduce symptoms of certain common health issues.

  • Energy Booster: Peppermint, grapefruit, lemon, rosemary, lemongrass, and eucalyptus are recommended essential oils when you need that extra boost.
  • Help Digestion: When facing stomach issues, you can reach for certain essential oils to help restore proper digestion. Oils like ginger and peppermint are good to bring things back to normal.
  • Reduce Anxiety/Relaxation: Chamomile, Bergamot, ylang-ylang, geranium, lavender, and rosewood are all proven to relax and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Balance Hormones: Hormonal imbalances and thyroid problems are common and can benefit from essential oils. Certain oils like clary sage, geranium, and thyme can help balance estrogen and progesterone levels in your body.
  • Improve Immunity: Peppermint, eucalyptus, frankincense, ginger, lemon, and oregano are all great immune boosters to help your body fight infections.

How Can Essential Oils Help with Sleep?

Now how can essential oils help you get a better night’s sleep? Some oils have been proven to help people attain and maintain deep sleep. Having a relaxing fragrance in the bedroom while you sleep can help calm the mind and the body leading you into a restful and restorative sleep.

While some oils help calm the mind and the body to get a better night’s sleep, others help to clear the airways to reduce certain problems like sleep apnea and snoring.

Studies are underway to assess the exact impact essential oils have on sleep. The initial reports hint that we are only beginning to understand the power of certain essential oils on our health and well-being.

Best Essential Oils for Deep Sleep

Lavender oil has been shown to be very effective in treating insomnia, and its most valuable value is that it is suitable for all types of insomnia, including those caused by physical discomfort, anxiety and excessive brain use. The safety of lavender essential oil has long been widely demonstrated. You can add 1 drop of lavender essential oil to the baby’s bath water, so the baby can sleep better. For children, you can apply one or two drops of lavender essential oil directly to their pyjamas, encouraging them to sleep soundly. Adults use lavender essential oil to help sleep with more methods, no matter it is a few drops directly on the pillow or used to bubble bath, all lead to great results.

Recommended Brands of Lavender Essential Oils:

  • Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil
  • Artizen Lavender Essential Oil
  • NOW Lavender Essential Oil

Chamomile is well known for its calming qualities and is often used as a tea to drink before bedtime. Chamomile essential oil has excellent medical effects, including relieving anger, restlessness, tiredness, irritability, hysterics and, more importantly, insomnia and even nightmares.

Recommended Brands of Roman Chamomile Essential Oils:

  • Essence-Lux Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
  • Healing Solutions Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
  • Plant Therapy Chamomile Roman Essential Oil

Marjoram

Marjoram essential oil has the properties of anesthesia and tranquilization, which has special effects on soothing emotions and can fight against depression, sadness, tension, and anxiety. Insomnia patients can get a sweet night’s sleep after enjoying the warm water bath or massage of marjoram. Marjoram blends well with sweet orange or lavender essential oils for an attractive scent that doubles as a sleep stimulator. Marjoram, with its warm nutty aroma, is the most masculine of all sleeping oils and is, therefore, best suited to men with insomnia.

Recommended Brands of Marjoram Essential Oils:

  • Pure Gold Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
  • doTERRA Marjoram Essential Oil
  • Artizen Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil

Ylang-Ylang

Ylang-ylang oil has a sweet fragrance and is therapeutic for the nervous system. It is also a natural mood depressant and is helpful in fighting the mood of depression and shock, thus reducing nightmares.

Recommended Brands of Ylang-ylang Essential Oils:

  • Healing Solutions Ylang-ylang Essential Oil
  • Pure Gold Sweet Ylang-ylang Essential Oil
  • Majestic Pure Ylang Ylang Oil

Valerian essential oil is extracted from a root and is widely used as a sleeping aid tea.

It can regulate the natural hormone circulation of the human body, reduce the activity of nerve excitement conduction in the brain, calm tension, help shorten the time to fall asleep, improve sleep, make sleep deep.

Recommended Brands of Valerian Essential Oils:

  • Healing Solutions Valerian Essential Oil
  • Artizen Valerian Essential Oil
  • Pure Gold Valerian Essential Oil

Sweet Orange & Neroli

Sweet orange essential oil tastes sweet and refreshing. It is the safest and most economical way to treat insomnia. Neroli oil, which is very similar to the nature of sweet orange essential oil, not only can cure tension and depression but also is famous for treating insomnia, especially insomnia caused by anxiety. For insomnia, sweet orange and neroli are good to alternate, and both are good to mix with lavender.

Recommended Brands of Sweet Orange & Neroli Essential Oils:

  • Artizen Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • NATRÄL Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • Gya Labs Neroli Essential Oil

Jasmine

Jasmine essential oil has been proven to help with relaxation and also reduce sleep disturbances. When diffused in the bedroom during the night, it can be just as effective as sleeping medication.

Recommended Brands of Jasmine Essential Oils:

  • Woolzies Jasmine Essential Oil
  • Pure Gold Jasmine Essential Oil
  • Aura Cacia Jasmine Essential Oil

Clary Sage essential oil can be used to relax you before bedtime and has also been proven to help with unpleasant menopausal symptoms such as depression.

Recommended Brands of Clary Sage Essential Oils:

  • Healing Solutions Clary Sage Essential Oil
  • Edens Garden Clary Sage Essential Oil
  • Red Silk Organic Clary Sage Essential Oil

Defusing the aromatic citrus Bergamot essential oil while you sleep will help clear your mind of stressful thoughts that will promote restful sleep. It is especially suitable for the treatment of depressed insomnia patients.

Recommended Brands of Bergamot Essential Oils:

  • Healing Solutions Bergamot Essential Oil
  • Artizen Bergamot Essential Oil
  • Plant Therapy Bergamot Essential Oil

Sandalwood

Sandalwood essential oil makes people feel thoughtful and clear, and it can soothe nerves and anxiety. It is especially helpful for people who are easily upset by little things and suffer from insomnia.

Recommended Brands of Sandalwood Essential Oils:

  • Healing Solutions Sandalwood Essential Oil
  • Essence-Lux Sandalwood Essential Oil
  • Gya Labs Sandalwood Essential Oil

Benzoin

Benzodiazepine is the best essential oil to stimulate and soothe sadness, and it is also effective for insomnia patients with external depression.

Recommended Brands of Benzoin Essential Oils:

  • Pure Gold Styrax Benzoin Essential Oil
  • Deve Herbes Pure Benzoin Essential Oil
  • Absolute Aromas Benzoin Essential Oil

Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea

Peppermint

Peppermint is widely used as an anti-inflammatory and has properties that can help clear airways to help reduce obstructions during sleep, thus alleviating symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea.

Recommended Brands of Peppermint Essential Oils:

  • Artizen Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Majestic Pure Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Handcraft Peppermint Essential Oil

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is another plant that can help with sleep apnea by clearing the nasal passages and airways.

Recommended Brands of Eucalyptus Essential Oils:

  • Healing Solutions Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • Artizen Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • Handcraft Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Juniper Berry

Juniper berry essential oils can help clear mucus and reduce allergy symptoms. It’s also a great scent to add to your diffuser at night to help reduce snoring and other unpleasant sleep problems.

Recommended Brands of Juniper Berry Essential Oils:

  • Healing Solutions Juniper Berry Essential Oil
  • Artizen Juniper Berry Essential Oil
  • Pure Gold Juniper Berry Essential Oil

Tips and Tricks for Using Essential Oils

You can use essential oils in a variety of ways. Try a few to determine which fits best into your lifestyle and provides the best benefits.

  • Use a diffuser.
  • Put a few drops into your hands and inhale deeply.
  • Spray your room, pillow, bedding with a diluted spray that contains drops of essential oil.
  • Take a bath and add essential oils to the water.
  • Apply and massage directly on your skin.

Bedroom aromatherapy is the simplest, fastest method to help sleep. Start aromatherapy about 1 hour before bed and the fragrance can accompany you to sleep until dawn.

Bedroom aromatherapy formula:

  1. 3 drops marjoram essential oil + 2 drops neroli essential oil + 1 drop lavender essential oil;
  2. 2 drops bergamot essential oil + 2 drops juniper essential oil + 2 drops marjoram essential oil;
  3. 2 drops chamomile essential oil + 2 drops neroli essential oil + 2 drops lavender essential oil.

For people with severe sleep disorders, aromatherapy massage is the best choice before going to bed. You can choose 3 favorite soothing and sleeping essential oils, 6 drops in total, and add 25ml of basic oil to make your own sleeping massage oil, or try the following sleeping compound massage oil:

  1. 2 drops chamomile essential oil + 2 drops sweet orange essential oil + 6 drops lavender essential oil + 25ml base oil;
  2. 4 drops benzoin essential oil + 3 drops marjoram essential oil + 3 drops neroli essential oil + 25ml base oil.

Sleeping pills come with a variety of unwanted side-effects like grogginess in the morning. The best thing about using essential oils to get a good night’s sleep is that there are no side-effects.

Remember to purchase oils that are 100% pure and that are listed therapeutic grade to get the best oils possible. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy is a great resource to get more information regarding essential oils and how you can benefit from them.

Make sure that you use essential oils as they’re intended. Don’t put edible oils on your skin, or swallow topical oils. Some assume that because these oils are derived from plants that they can’t hurt you but that is untrue.

Most cases of poisoning are from ingesting more than the recommended daily dose orally—the safest way to use essential oils is by inhalation. The two most common oils that cause poisoning are tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil.

Be extremely careful with photosensitive oils on your skin—users have received 2nd and 3rd-degree burns by applying these oils and then tanning or going outside into the sunlight. According to the American College of HealthCare Sciences (ACHS), photosensitive oils can also increase your risk of cancer. Photosensitive (or phototoxic) expressed citrus essential oils (not steam distilled citrus oils) contain furocoumarins, which cause the burns when exposed to sunlight or UV light. Most essential oil bottles will say whether they’re steam distilled or expressed. Some of the oils that have furocoumarins include:

  • angelica root
  • bergamot peel
  • bitter orange peel
  • cumin seed
  • grapefruit peel
  • lemon peel
  • lime peel
  • mandarin leaf
  • rue leaf

If you’re not sure whether your oil is steam distilled or expressed, don’t expose your skin to sunlight or UV light after applying.

The ACHS also recommends using a low concentration of essential oils on the skin. If you’re used too much, using at least 2% milk will reduce the irritation and help your skin recover. Some people are sensitive to some oils while others aren’t. Some of the oils that cause irritation include steam distilled cinnamon bark and leaf, steam-distilled clove bud, leaf, and stem, as well as steam distilled lemongrass leaf.

It’s safest to tell your doctor before you start using them, especially if you’re using any pharmaceuticals as some essential oils can cause drug interactions. We also recommend testing a very small amount to make sure that you don’t have a negative reaction. To do this, wash a part of your body with an unscented soap, dry it, and add a little bit of diluted essential oil to that area. Wait for a day to see if you have a negative reaction.

Undiluted essential oils can be an irritant for some people so be careful. Avoid contact with your eyes and mucous membranes as essential oils can cause irritation. Concentration levels should be 5% or less. 5 drops of essential oils can be added to a 1/2 cup of water, or you can add drops of pure essential oils to a carrier oil such as olive or almond oil.

  • Oils more than 3 years old should be thrown out as they will spoil. Always look at an oil, smell it, and check how old it is before using it in any way.
  • Undiluted oils can be very powerful and usually need to be diluted.
  • Use essential oils as intended—don’t swallow oils for your skin and don’t put edibles on your skin. Cumin oil is safe in food but can cause blisters on the skin. Citrus oils are good for food but can cause skin damage if exposed to the sun. Eucalyptus oil can cause serious problems if swallowed.

Always keep the oils out of reach of children and pets. If you have children, you may want to invest in childproof essential oil lids.

As far as administering essential oils to children, some recommend to not use essential oils with kids, others recommend a very high dilution, with the essential oil being .25% for infants and .5% for toddlers.

3 Essential Oils for Sleep

You can admit it. There’s nothing better than a delicious night’s sleep, right? I mean, how great do you feel when you wake up actually feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to take on the day?

Now admit this – you’ve forgotten what that truly feels like, because it feels like you haven’t gotten a delicious night’s sleep since you wore footed jammies.

I want to help you get your much needed zzz’s.

It’s time to consider some essential oils for better sleep, and you came to the right place.

One of the 8 Pillars of Nutritious Life (and something I talk up all the time) is the importance of sleeping deep. Resting at the end of the day and waking up in the morning would seems like it should be easy, but we know that that just isn’t the case for so many of us.

Don’t be frustrated if sleep doesn’t come easy for you. That usually just makes the situation worse. Instead, try smelling your way to better rest.

Yep, certain scents are linked to better shut eye and require very little work on your part. No counting sheep, no reading the most boring thing you can find, no listening to ocean noises that make you seasick.

Try sniffing these 3 essential oils for sleep, and you just may have to check tomorrow morning to see if in fact you’re wearing footed jammies – your sleep may be that good.

3 Essential Oils for Sleep:

Lavender: Probably the most famous scent linked to sweet dreams is lavender. Research has shown it helps to slow your heart rate, increase drowsiness, lower your blood pressure and promote calming. Leave a little bottle of lavender oil on your night table and rub a couple of drops into your palms. You can also leave a bowl of lavender flowers on your nightstand, next to your charging iphone that you have definitely shut off by bedtime, right?!

Chamomile: A cup of chamomile tea releases a relaxation aroma that is good for the mind and soul. Chamomile is linked to feelings of calm, and managing symptoms of stress and relaxation. If you’re worried about trips to the bathroom all night, skip sipping. Wrap your mitts around a mug and inhale. The smell alone will do the trick to help your slumber. You can also put a couple drops of essential oil in your humidifier for long lasting effects.

Vanilla: Vanilla isn’t only for your baked goods. It’s linked with the feel good hormones that help you sleep. Yes, you can have a cup of warm milk with vanilla, like you used to as a kid, but have you tried massaging your hands with vanilla oil? Or put a couple drops of vanilla in an atomizer and sprayed it on your pillow before hitting the sack? If it’s anxiety that’s keeping your peepers open, give a whiff of vanilla a go.

Sweet dreams friends. Your sleep is worthy of your time and effort, and a good night’s rest will make a healthy day of eating, hydrating, destressing, and exercising that much easier.

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Best Essential Oils for a Good Night’s Sleep

The power of scent cannot be overstated, in part because of how closely it is linked to memory and emotion. (There is a reason that real-estate agents use fresh-baked cookies at an open house to create that warm, inviting aroma!) We’re learning more and more about the role different smells play in influencing a person’s mood, energy level, and ability to focus, as well their effect on sleep.

Specifically, certain essential oils, or highly concentrated versions of natural oils found in plants, have been shown to help improve sleep quality. These fragrant oils can be experienced in a diffuser, or by placing a few drops on your pillow at night. Learn more about three essential oils that have been linked to better shut-eye.

Lavender
Lavender is associated with lower blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature, all necessary ingredients for a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that inhaling lavender can improve sleep quality, and it may help treat mild insomnia., For postpartum mothers who are still nursing, inhaling a lavender essential oil may be a useful alternative to a pharmacological sleep aid. As an added bonus, lavender has been shown to reduce anxiety, making it a great essential oil to put on your pillow on nights when your racing mind is keeping you awake.

Valerian
Valerian root is often taken as a sleep supplement, and valerian essential oil is a common ingredient in bedtime herbal teas. In addition to helping you fall asleep faster, valerian essential oil may improve the quality of your sleep, so you wake up feeling energized and ready to go.

Bergamot
You might think that because bergamot is a citrus fruit (native to Italy and used in Italian holistic medicine), its essential oil would have an invigorating effect. Instead, it is known for its calming effect. Bergamot essential oil signals to your system that it is time for bed by slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure. Plus, it reduces anxiety and stress.

While essential oils are generally considered safe to use, if you are struggling with sleep issues, it’s always good to check with your doctor for more information on using essential oils along with other lifestyle changes that can help you get a good night’s sleep.

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Inside this post: Looking for more calming essential oils? Perfect list of essential oils for sleep. How your whole family can sleep well and wake up rested using essential oils.

I lay sleeping in bed when his whispering words woke me.

“I’m scared mommy,” he said.

In the darkness, I opened one eye to see a very sweet young boy holding his blankie three inches from my face.

“There’s spiders in my bed,” he continued.

I traveled down this “spiders in my bed” road before, and it was a 3 hour middle-of-the-night road.

Checking for spiders. Spraying for spiders. Coaching through the fears about spiders. Checking again for spiders. More spray. More snuggles. And 3 hours later, we were still awake.

Mind you, there were never any real spiders. Just the imaginary ones. So when my son stood at my bedside again telling me there were spiders, I knew it was time to bring out the oils.

  • Related: 2 Year-Old Sleep Schedule That Helps Everyone Get More Sleep

Best essential oils to support healthy sleep habits.

I love essential oils because they help make everyday life easier in all sorts of different ways. And one of those ways is supporting healthy sleep for the whole family.

They can calm the emotions of a little boy feeling anxious about imaginary spiders. They help my husband get a good night’s rest after long work trips. They help my mind relax when I’m thinking about the 1,047 things I need to do the next day.

In short, essential oils are my life hack for just about everything.

Here are my top 7 essential oils for supporting healthy sleep…

1. Lavender

Oh yes, this essential oil likely doesn’t surprise you. Lavender is well-known for it’s relaxing and calming effects on the body. The reason I love this oil most is it’s safe to use on all ages–babies through adults.

In addition to supporting healthy sleep, this oil is also a great way to freshen up laundry and fragrance your home without harsh chemicals or synthetics.

Related: 17 Most Powerful Essential Oils for Stress and Emotional Wellness

2. Frankincense

This is my absolute favorite essential oil for our family. It’s perfect for balancing emotions, supporting healthy sleep, calming your mind and supporting your body’s natural response to healing.

When my son is scared of spiders, this is the first oil I reach for. When my mind won’t shut off at bedtime, this is the first oil I reach for. And to be honest, if I don’t know what oil to use, I will usually try Frankincense essential oil first.

3. Cedarwood

This oil is insanely cost effective, and it works beautifully. It costs around four cents per drop–a steal in my opinion! Cedarwood essential oil supports healthy function of the pineal gland, which releases melatonin…the body’s natural sleepy hormones.

This oil has a unique woodsy scent. If you aren’t keen on the smell, mix it with lavender and apply to the bottoms of feet. Then cover with socks and melt into bed.

4. Ylang ylang

Ylang ylang means “flower of flowers.” Historically, the ylang ylang flower has been used to cover the beds of newlywed couples on their wedding night. That’s because this powerful oil helps to balance male and female energies, supports focus and restores peace.

This oil is a delight to diffuse 30 minutes before bedtime and throughout the night.

5. Marjoram

Marjoram essential oil is steam distilled from leaves and it’s known as the “herb of happiness” to the Romans and “joy of the mountains” to the Greeks. This oil is extremely soothing and relaxes the nerves.

I love to apply 1-2 drops of this oil straight to the back of my neck below the hairline. I usually blend with a bit of coconut oil to smooth and apply it evenly.

6. Vetiver

Because vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of the plant, it smells very rich and earthy. This is another great oil to try for sleep because it is psychologically grounding, calming and stabilizing. It can take you awhile to get used to the smell, so if you are a vetiver newbie, you can try mixing it with a floral or citrus oil, such as lavender or bergamot.

7. Roman chamomile

For centuries, mothers have used this oil to calm children. This oil is perfect for restlessness and anxious feelings. I love using this oil because it’s another one that is great for all ages.

It has a light, floral scent and is wonderful for creating a peaceful atmosphere in your bedroom.

How to use essential oils for sleep support.

When using essential oils to help the whole family sleep through the night, there are two main methods I like to use:

Topical.

For the kids, I will take 1-3 drops of essential oil and blend it with 1 tsp of olive oil or coconut oil. This is the dilution I use for kids ages 1 and above. For myself and my husband, I will take 1-3 drops of essential oil and blend it with 1-3 drops of olive oil or coconut oil.

Then I apply the essential oils to the back of my neck, bottoms of feet or inside of the wrists. Allow a few minutes for the essential oils to absorb a bit. I will usually take any leftover oil, rub it between my hands, cup over my nose and inhale. This is immediately relaxing.

Aromatic.

You can put essential oils into the palms of your hands, rub them together, cup over your nose and take several deep breaths. That is one way to use essential oils aromatically. Another way–and also my preferred method–is to use a diffuser.

I got my first diffuser with my Young Living starter kit (psst…don’t forget to check out my special before it ends!) and I’ve never looked back. My son now sleeps with a diffuser in his room each night and loves it.

How to get started with essential oils.

There are new essential oil companies popping up everyday, but I’ve used Young Living from the beginning and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s because Young Living is the only essential oil company to control the entire process–from planting the seeds all the way to distilling and bottling the essential oil.

More than any other essential oil company, I trust Young Living. When you’re putting oils on those you love the most, trust means everything.

So if you’re looking for essential oils that will support healthy sleep, help your mind relax at the end of the day, and erase all those imaginary spiders in your little one’s bed, check out my Special Here, ends soon.

Want more on essential oils?

  • 25 Life-Changing Essential Oil Hacks for Busy Moms
  • Best Essential Oils for Tired and Stressed Moms
  • Dear Mom Who Feels Like a Terrible Mother
  • 3 Simple (But Genius) Organizational Tools for Moms

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.

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