Essential oils have offered natural remedies for centuries, from ancient times to modern-day. They have been used to help with dozens of common problems like headaches, pain relief, and anxiety. But can we use essential oils to help us sleep better and work for people with insomnia? And if so, which ones work the best for aiding with sleep?
We’ll take a look at what the research shows. We’ll also talk about which methods of application are best for using essential oils to help you sleep better. We promise it’s easier and more convenient than you might think. Start catching more Z’s and hit your pillow sooner in a natural way—starting tonight! Let’s take a look at the best essential oils for sleep.
Research Says: Yes!
Research studies show that the inhalation of essential oils, especially lavender, has a significant and positive effect on test subjects that suffered from mild to moderate sleep trouble. The aromatherapy effects of the oils create a hypnotic and natural sedative state that helps the subjects in the study sleep better with less disturbances.
This means that using essential oils in a diffuser near your bed or breathing them in before bed is an easy and truly effective way to increase the quality of your sleep. Essential oils that can help you sleep mean no need to ingest harmful chemicals or other pharmaceutical sleep aids. That sounds like a win to us!
Which Essential Oils Are Best for Helping You Sleep?
Lavender oil is the most studied and popular choice of essential oils when it comes to improving sleep quality. The calming herbal scent of lavender is found in many sleep aid products, meditation rooms, and massage parlors—and there’s a reason why!
There are several studies involving lavender and the positive effects it has on reducing stress by possibly helping with cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone), improving sleep, and calming anxiety by helping to slow the heart rate down.
In addition, lavandin is a similarly excellent choice when searching for an essential oil to help you sleep better. Lavandin is a hybrid form that is created from different types of lavender plants. It is often considered more potent in its flavor and aroma due to its hybrid and concentrated nature. Both lavender and lavandin can reduce stress and create a calm state both physically and mentally, so you are able to fall asleep easier.
Here are some other essential oils that might help you sleep better by offering a natural and mild sedative effect:
- Clary Sage Oil
- Bergamot Oil
- Sandalwood Oil
- Cedarwood Oil
- Valerian Oil
- Roman Chamomile Oil
- Sweet Marjoram Oil
- Sleep Pure Essential Oil
Here’s Why It Works
Studies show that lavender has sedative and stress-reducing properties. The use of lavender through aromatherapy distributes its effects and brings its soothing, calming properties to the human body.
Lavender essential oil has been scientifically shown to reduce anxiety and promote a relaxed state, which helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through mild disturbances. If you’re searching for an alternative to artificial medicines and chemicals, lavender essential oil is a powerful and effective option to help you improve the quality of your sleep and get you feeling rested for early morning awakenings.
What Other Oils Blend Well With Lavender?
We know that lavender is the top choice when it comes to improving sleep through the use of essential oils, but what other oils blend well with it? Combining lavender with other essential oils that offer similar soothing, calming, and anxiety-fighting benefits can help you create the ultimate relaxed aromatherapy experience.
Here are some essential oils that we think mix well with lavender to make calming, nighttime blends—add them to your bedtime ritual to create a sleep sanctuary in your own bedroom! You can even try adding a couple of drops to a spray bottle with water to spray on your pillow and sheets.
The spicy scent of peppermint essential oil makes for a great complement to the herbal smell of lavender. Peppermint has pain-fighting and calming properties that are similar to lavender, making it the perfect addition to a nighttime blend in your diffuser or bath bomb. This intoxicating scent mixes well into almost any essential oil blend or product.
The sweet floral scent of geranium essential oil blends well with the scent of lavender in a bedtime blend. Geranium is known for its benefits in fighting anxiety and depression. Struggling to fall asleep at night can sometimes be related to a mind full of anxious thoughts, so oils known for helping with this particular struggle are excellent choices to use in your nighttime blend.
This one goes without saying: everything smells better with eucalyptus! Eucalyptus has many benefits, from being full of antioxidants to helping soothe and moisturize the skin. Plus, it smells amazing which makes it a fantastic choice for adding to any nighttime diffuser blend, oil roller, or bath soak.
Eucalyptus is also a decongestant with calming benefits, so it will really help you relax before bed and complement lavender’s therapeutic properties nicely. Look for bath bombs infused with lavender and eucalyptus for a spa-like bath experience to get you relaxed and set up for a good night’s sleep. Take a big breath in!
The citrus fruit scent of orange essential oil plays well with the herbal tone of lavender for an aromatherapy experience that pleases the senses. Citrus oils, like orange, have a mood boosting and anxiety-fighting effect that make it a surprisingly good option for blending with lavender and other oils in your nighttime routine.
Bath bombs with orange and lavender create a unique concoction that will help you end your stressful day on a bright note and get ready for a night of deep, restorative sleep.
How To Use Essential Oils for Sleep
Now that you know which essential oils make great choices for helping you sleep, let’s talk about some of the best (and easiest!) ways you can incorporate them into your bedtime routine. You can unlock the relaxation powers of lavender and its complementary oils through aromatherapy.
You can do this by diffusing the oils into the air, soaking them in your pre-bedtime bath, or applying them topically to pulse points on the body with an essential oil roller. You can start sleeping better tonight with these super easy methods of using essential oils in your bedtime prep!
If you choose to put the essential oils directly on your skin, make sure you use a carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or olive oil to make the essential oil less concentrated. Also, test the oils on a patch on your skin to avoid skin irritation.
Use a Diffuser
Diffusers combine water with essential oils to create and distribute a fine mist into the air. Place a diffuser on your nightstand and fill it with water plus a few drops of lavender essential oil. Remember, essential oils are so pure and potent that you don’t need much—less is more!
If using a premade blend of oils in your diffuser, there is no need to combine it with another blend. It is best to combine pure essential oils with each other like lavender and peppermint, and diffuse pre-made blends by themselves.
Be sure to set the diffuser to run all night long to create the perfect atmosphere for a good night’s sleep. Another great benefit of using a diffuser: the moisture in the air will help prevent snoring from a dry throat and you’ll wake up with extra soft skin!
Try a Night Time Bath Routine
The calming effects of lavender combined with a warm, relaxing bath? That’s the ultimate bedtime routine. Sign us up! To improve sleep, add a few drops of lavender and your other favorite essential oils to a bubbly bathtub for a long pre-bedtime soak.
Soothe the body and mind with a hot bubble bath full of the stress-relieving benefits of essential oils. Want to add a little fun and a big dose of aromatherapy luxury? Try using a bath bomb that’s infused with essential oils to fill your tub with an explosion of color, calming scents, and moisturizers to soothe your skin.
Fast and Easy: Essential Oil Roller
If you don’t have time to soak in the bath or maybe you don’t have access to a diffuser, you can always dab or roll on the essential oils topically on your pulse points. Try applying them to your wrists or behind your ears to breathe in the aromas easily.
In order to avoid skin sensitivity (remember, essential oils are potent from their purity) you should always mix with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba when applying topically to the skin. If using a pre-made essential oil roller blend, the carrier oil is included in the blend so that the mix can be applied directly to the skin.
Rollers are a great way to access the benefits of essential oils when traveling or short on time. Include a lavender blend oil roller in your pre-bedtime ritual and let the sleep-enhancing powers of lavender soak in all night.
Summary of How Essential Oils Can Improve Sleep
To summarize, research backs up the positive impact that essential oils can have on sleep, especially lavender. When blended with other calming essential oils, you can make intoxicating nighttime blends that will relax your senses to sleep.
Breathe in the anxiety-reducing oils by soaking in a long, warm bath full of bubbly goodness or diffuse them all night long for the perfect zen atmosphere. Use essential oil rollers when on the go or looking for a quick bedtime boost of relaxation.
Make sure you always check the list of ingredients to ensure you’re getting the purest oil possible! Whichever method you choose to use, you can (and will) rest easy knowing that you’re choosing a natural remedy over artificial chemicals.
A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep | NCBI
Lavender and the Nervous System | NCBI
Efficacy and Safety of Lavender | NatureLavender | NCSU