Essential Oils for Sleep: Uses & Benefits
By Team 1AND1
For many of us, getting to sleep is far from easy. Stresses at work, relationship trouble, and even the amount of time we spend with our eyes glued to electronic screens can impact how easy it is to get some z’s when we turn out the lights.
If you find that you still need a helpful kick toward slumber, essential oils could be just the ticket. Today, let’s take a look at some beneficial essential oils for sleep and explore how they can help you get the rest you need to succeed come morning.
1. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is classic for restful sleep. It has a variety of benefits depending on how and when you use it. It has a pleasing aroma, relaxes the mind and body, and induces physiological effects including but not limited to:
- Lowering your heart rate
- Soothing your respiratory system
- Maintaining a healthy temperature and blood pressure
All of these benefits may help you sleep since they closely mirror how your body relaxes physiologically as it descends into sleep. Lavender oil can also be beneficial for individuals who struggle to sleep due to negative thought patterns. Lavender may be powerful enough to relax the mind and alleviates mental fatigue to the extent that it is an excellent sleep aid.
If you’ve never used essential oils for sleep aromatherapy before, we recommend lavender oil as your first pick.
Peppermint oil is a classic essential oil for a variety of therapeutic purposes. Many people use it to help clear the sinuses or enjoy an energy boost. That said, peppermint oil may also help with better sleep.
That’s because peppermint oil may help your head for a good night of rest. It presents a pleasant aroma that relaxes and may help you overcome seasonal allergies or dust sensitivities that could prevent you from sleeping easily.
Of course, try not to overdo your peppermint essential oil aromatherapy; a few drops of peppermint oil are usually enough to get the positive effects without overwhelming your senses.
Chamomile oil is just as calming and pleasing when used for aromatherapy as when chamomile plants are used to brew tea. Like chamomile tea, chamomile essential oil can help you calm down and relax enough that a good night’s sleep may be easier than normal.
However, these beneficial effects are not directed toward sleep. Instead, chamomile oil is known for its generalized benefits, such as relaxing the mind and body, soothing your body’s rhythms, and more. Chamomile oil has a calming and relaxing fragrance due to its floral nature.
There are many chamomile oil varieties to choose from. Many people benefit most from Roman chamomile, which features a fragrance with notes of apple. This form of chamomile is among the best essential oils for anxiety and helping you get to sleep.
Sandalwood oil is a costly but very high-quality essential oil. It’s often used for men’s fragrances and products such as cologne or deodorant. Thus, it could be a good choice if you prefer masculine fragrances for your essential oil aromatherapy.
Sandalwood is very potent and promotes deep rest for many people. They can balance your mood and even out your emotions. Notably, this essential oil doesn’t directly affect your physiology in the way that other essential oils do, such as by slowing your heart rate.
Instead, sandalwood is best for unwinding and preparing for sleep mentally more than physically. It could be one of the best essential oil choices for folks who have trouble getting shuteye because of what’s within their minds rather than how their bodies feel. Sandalwood may be a great addition to your bedtime routine if you need a better night of sleep.
Then there’s cedarwood oil, which carries a woody fragrance similar to sandalwood essential oil. On the plus side, cedarwood oil is more affordable (though it is a little less effective according to many essential oil fans). Still, cedarwood oil can be great for easing stress and relaxing the mind, especially at the end of a long day.
Cedarwood oil is generally safe enough to apply topically if desired (provided you mix it with a carrier oil). However, you can also blend cedarwood oil with chamomile oil and diffuse the resulting air in your bedroom for an excellent aromatherapy mixture. Cedarwood oil’s and chamomile oil’s fragrances go well together to take you to dreamland.
Bergamot essential oil is a well-rounded essential oil with lots of physical benefits. It’s well-known as a major anti-inflammatory and antibacterial oil. Furthermore, bergamot oil is known to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. These physiological effects could calm your body down and make sleep more achievable. This is similar to lavender oil’s effect when inhaled through aromatherapy.
Even better, many bergamot oil fans find that this oil can reduce stressful thoughts or racing ideas. Bergamot oil is potent, however, so one should only use it by putting a few drops into a pot of hot water or other aromatherapy fixture.
Vetiver oil has a unique fragrance: a deep and earthy smell that reminds many people of gardens and outdoor activities. Vetiver oil is a bit of an acquired scent — some may find it to be a great choice for helping them get to sleep, while others may prefer the other fragrances listed in this guide.
Our advice? Try vetiver oil to see if it’s for you, and simply switch to the other essential oils if it doesn’t produce desirable results.
Clary Sage Oil
Clary sage oil is a popular choice for individuals who struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental roadblocks to sleep. This is notably different from standard sage; clary sage essential oil can help relax the mind and soothe troubled thoughts.
However, it still carries a fragrance close enough to the regular sage that it feels familiar without being overpowering. Clary sage oil could be a good occasional essential oil for resting when sleep is long-coming without being a staple oil choice for every night.
Valerian oil is one of the most deeply calming effects of all essential oils. There’s a reason it’s included in lots of nighttime or sleep aid teas, after all!
Valerian oil can relax the mind and body and help you achieve a deep slumber like never before. It might be a good essential oil to start using right before bed if you don’t have trouble falling asleep but find it difficult to stay asleep.
With Valerian oil, you might enjoy longer sleep cycles and deeper slumber: perfect for revitalizing the mind and body alike.
You can’t forget Jasmine oil. Jasmine essential oil is a staple essential oil for aromatherapy, and it comes from the same plants that Jasmine teas are made from. Jasmine essential oil can help if you find yourself tossing and turning before or during sleep. In this way, it’s a great essential oil for improving sleep quality, even if there are other essential oils better for helping you get to sleep in the first place.
Thus, you might consider using Jasmine oil if you wake up frequently throughout the night. It’s similar to Valerian oil in this sense. You can try both oils and see which one works best for your needs before choosing it for long-term aromatherapy support.
Ylang Ylang Oil
Last but not least is ylang ylang oil. While not quite as potent for inducing sleep as some of the other options on this list, this Asian essential oil still provides many essential benefits. It comes from certain tropical trees located in Asia and can lower blood pressure, lower your heart rate, and relax the mind all at the same time.
When inhaled, ylang ylang oil has a fruity, pleasing fragrance. This alone could help you calm down enough to go to sleep easily, especially if there are competing fragrances or smells in your home or flowing in from an open window.
No matter what essential oils you choose, be sure to only use them for aromatherapy when they are diffused in a carrier oil or lots of water. Most aromatherapy diffusers and kits have everything you need to get started easily. Each essential oil bottle should also tell you how many drops are ideal for sleep assistance or other therapeutic benefits.
Want to learn more about bodily wellness and maximizing your health? 1AND1 Life can help. Check out our aromatherapy diffuser and essential oil set if you’re ready to start experiencing the wellness benefits.
Lavender and the Nervous System — PMC | NCBI
Efficacy of bergamot: From anti‐inflammatory and anti‐oxidative mechanisms to clinical applications as preventive agent for cardiovascular morbidity, skin diseases, and mood alterations — PMC | NCBI
Valerian Root in Treating Sleep Problems and Associated Disorders — A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis — PMC | NCBI