If you suffer from insomnia and you’re like me, you’ll want to try natural remedies first. One of the best natural treatments is using aromatherapy. Here, we look at the best essential oils for sleep and how to use them. If you haven’t used these before you’ll want to try a few different mixes and a few different ways to use them before you settle on your favorites.
Quick Links to Info on this Page
- 🌿 Aromatherapy for Sleep
- 🌿 10 Commonly Used Essential Oils For Sleep
- 🌿 Another Essential Oil for Sleep – my Personal Favorite
- 🌿 How to Use the Best Essential Oils for Sleep
- 🌿 Which Aromatherapy Method Should I Use?
- 🌿 Best Methods for Using Essential Oils for Sleep at Home
- 🌿 Best Method for Using Essential Oils for Sleep While Traveling
- 🌿 Other Popular Methods for Using the Best Essential Oils for Sleep
- 🌿 7 Best Essential Oil Sleep Mixes
- 🌿 Easiest Way to Use the Best Essential Oils for Sleep
Traditional Chinese medicine makes use of aromatherapy to help people sleep better.
What is aromatherapy? It is the practice of using the scent of essential oils derived from plants to heal various ailments, one of which is insomnia.
Aromatherapy is used to induce calmness and relaxation. It has also been proven to help ease anxiety and alleviate mild depression.
People who practice aromatherapy can use healing scents to create different mental and emotional states, including sleepiness.
Keep reading to find out how to get the most out of the best essential oils for sleep.
🌿 Aromatherapy for Sleep
Aromatherapy to induce calm, relaxation, and sleep has become so popular that some hospitals use premade nasal inhalers, which contain essential plant oils like lavender to help patients sleep better.
And if hospitals are using essential oils, why not try using them at home!
While there are aromatherapy scent devices on the internet, you can also make your own aromatherapy sachet to put on your nightstand or by your pillow to alleviate insomnia.
Remember that each person can respond differently to the various scents of plants used in aromatherapy.
Some types of aromatherapy use just one herb, while others combine herbs for maximal effect. You can experiment with different blends to see what suits you best.
🌿 10 Commonly Used Essential Oils For Sleep
Lavender – Lavender can be used as an essential oil made from the lavender flower or as a sachet made from fresh or dried Lavender flowers. Research in Europe has shown that inhaling the scent of lavender promotes relaxation and sleepiness. One study was done on 56 patients in an ICU ward. Those who inhaled Lavender slept better than those who did not.
- Vetiver – This root plant can be ground or distilled to make an essential oil for sleep induction. It has an earthy smell and can be mixed with Chamomile and/or Lavender.
- Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to promote good sleep. It has a nice fruity and floral scent that will induce a good night’s sleep.
- Roman Chamomile – This is a type of chamomile that when inhaled induces a calm and relaxed state of mind that is perfect for going to sleep. It can be used in its ground or “loose” form in a sachet or used as an essential oil. It smells like flowers.
- Bergamot – Bergamot is a cold-pressed oil that is derived from the peel or rind of the bergamot citrus fruit. This is to be distinguished from other citrus fruits, such as oranges or grapefruits, which tend to stimulate the senses. Bergamot is soothing and calming; it helps balance emotions so you can sleep better. You can use it in dried form or simply breathe in the essential oil. It blends well with other sleep-inducing herbal formulations used in aromatherapy.
Keep reading below for a continuation of the list of oils…
- Marjoram – This is a spice used not only in cooking but has great uses in the world of aromatherapy. It is a known muscle relaxer when inhaled and helps induce a more comfortable sleep.
- Sandalwood – This is used primarily as an essential oil created from the Sandalwood tree. Put a few drops on a handkerchief or soft towel and sleep with it next to or on your pillow.
- Frankincense – Smoke from the burning oil of Frankincense contains incensole acetate that helps to alleviate anxiety and depression, both of which are key factors in many chronic insomnia conditions.
- Valerian – Valerian essential oil is one of the oldest and most studied in terms of helping to improve insomnia and quality of sleep. It contains compounds that activate GABA receptors in the brain and balances the body’s cycles that facilitate undisturbed sleep. Valerian essential oil also helps anxiety, depression and can improve mood. Anxiety and depression are two of the main causes of anxiety and the scent of this oil reduces negative energy and chemicals in the body to bring peace, calm and the ability to rest. Valerian does not smell good on its own, be sure to mix it with another essential oil with a nice scent (like lavender).
- Clary Sage – Clary Sage functions like Valerian by affecting GABA receptors in the brain. One study showed that clary sage essential oils offer significant anti-stress effects. This oil is also used for patients who suffer from depression.
🌿 Another Essential Oil for Sleep – my Personal Favorite
Personally, I love using Orange essential oil. Sometimes it is called Sweet Orange. Now, Orange is not an oil that is traditionally used for sleep. Let me explain.
Orange has a number of benefits and one of them is that it helps alleviate anxiety.
Personally, I find that I often can’t sleep because I’m anxious. Sometimes it is because my mind is racing with thoughts about work, other times I’m worrying about my kids. When I’m like this I’m often still awake at 3am.
By using Orange essential oil it helps calm my anxiety. And this helps me to get to sleep.
I should mention that I also really love the smell of the Orange oil. It’s one of my favorites so it calms me and it’s very pleasant. It makes me think of happy relaxed times and this is a good distraction. This helps me take my mind off the anxious thoughts so I can get some sleep.
🌿 How to Use the Best Essential Oils for Sleep
✅ Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers are my favorite type of diffuser. To see more details on this very popular model, including the price, CLICK HERE
Here are some of the most popular ways to use essential oils before bedtime:
Essential oil diffusers are devices you can place on your nightstand so that the aroma of the essential oil can be diffused into the air, creating a wonderful-smelling therapy for the induction of sleep.
- Essential oil personal inhalers to take with you or sit beside you when you’re getting to sleep.
- You can take any herb listed above and use them in fresh or dried forms to create a sachet you keep with you next to or on your bed. The aromas fill the air around your sleep space so that you don’t have as much trouble getting to sleep.
- You can also dilute essential oil with vegetable oil and rub it onto the skin. It is especially good when placed on the back of the neck or on the soles of the feet for a comfortable environment for sleeping.
- Essential oil diffuser bracelets can be worn day or night by women, men or kids.
- Essential oil candles are also available, just be sure to look for high quality products that note essential oil as an ingredient.
- Aromatherapy essential oils can also be dropped into a hot bath to relax the muscles and mind as part of a nightly sleep ritual.
🌿 Which Aromatherapy Method Should I Use?
There are several different methods I really love. I’ll explain the differences.
🌿 Best Methods for Using Essential Oils for Sleep at Home
Essential oil diffuser
✅ Check the price on this bamboo diffuser, Click Here
If I’m at home in my own bedroom I love using an aromatherapy ultrasonic diffuser. They are the easiest method to use and I like them for my kids’ bedrooms too.
I have several diffusers. My favorite is a small essential oils diffuser that I use beside my bed (see above). I turn it on just before I go to bed. It shuts off automatically so I don’t need to worry about it.
It holds enough liters of water (6 liters) to get through the whole night and longer.
I can use essential oils in it for aromatherapy as well as using it as a humidifier.
It includes a special tray where you can easily add your essential oils. This is very convenient.
This essential oil diffuser/humidifier includes an automatic shut-off if it runs out of water.
Essential oil beaded bracelets
✅ These essential oils bracelets (above) are very easy to wear, CLICK HERE to see the price
Sometimes I can’t be bothered turning the diffuser on (it’s very simple but sometimes I still can’t be bothered!) and I use an essential oils bracelet. To see a selection of the top-rated essential oil bracelets, take a look here.
There are several different designs of these bracelets. For sleeping I like to use a bracelet with several lava beads strung on clear elastic.
You place a few drops of the essential oil on the lava beads. You can buy these bracelets in many different colors and styles. Usually if you pay more for an aromatherapy bracelet you’ll get larger beads on it.
Essential oil bracelets with strap & buckle
There are other essential oils bracelets too.
They include a strap which buckles up on the back and there is a pendant type of piece on the front that holds a small sponge disk to hold the essential oil.
The image on the right shows one of the designs for this style of bracelet. If you click on the image you can see the other designs and colors available.
This type of bracelet is really attractive and you may want to wear one during the day with an essential oil in it but I don’t like them for wearing at night.
I find the beads on elastic thread are more comfortable to wear at night.
Another pretty aromatherapy bead bracelet…
✅ For more details and the price on this Aromatherapy Bracelet, CLICK HERE
One of my favorites
Even though I wear my essential oils bracelet at night for sleep, I still like a pretty bracelet.
One of my favorites is a bracelet with Amazonite semi-precious beads and lava beads.
It is long so it wraps around your wrist in a triple loop. It is long enough to be worn as a necklace during the day too.
If you want to change scents on your lava bead bracelet it is usually best to wait about 3 days for the essential oil to wear off and then use another scent.
I don’t like to wash the scent off lava beads because it usually isn’t effective. Although some people do like to do this so feel free to try it yourself.
🌿 Best Method for Using Essential Oils for Sleep While Traveling
If you want to use essential oils to help sleep on a plane, train or bus while you’re travelling you may want to try an essential oil personal inhaler.
✅ For the price on this essential oil personal inhaler Click Here
I think the best personal inhaler is this one (above) that looks stylish, includes a glass vial and has a lightweight aluminum outer. It comes in a pack of 6 which includes 6 different colors. This is ideal for using different essential oil mixes in different inhalers.
These certainly don’t look like those old-fashioned plastic Vicks nasal inhalers your Grandmother used to use. Ack! These new attractive essential oil personal inhalers don’t contain any plastic which is an advantage.
By smelling the oil you personally mix yourself in one of these inhalers, you get the advantage of keeping your favorite with you. You can inhale the oil a few times before you decide to close your eyes and rest.
And if you’re staying in a hotel room while you’re traveling, you can place this essential oil inhaler beside you either on the bed or on a night stand when you’re going to sleep. You could also take an essential oil bracelet with you to use at night.
🌿 Other Popular Methods for Using the Best Essential Oils for Sleep
The best methods are such a personal choice. This is why I want to mention the advantages and disadvantages of some of them here.
Using the Best Essential Oils for Sleep on Your Skin
Many people love using essential oils rubbed into their feet. The oil needs to be mixed with a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil before applying it directly to your skin.
Sometimes I use this method but quite often it just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t know why, but I just prefer to use a diffuser or bracelet. Maybe it’s because I enjoy the scent of the essential oil closer to my nose!
But if you’re new to essential oils you really should try this method of rubbing them into your feet or the back of your neck because it works really well for so many people.
Using the Best Essential Oils for Sleep in Candles
Although you can get essential oil candles I have to admit I’ve never tried them.
The reason is because I have young kids and pets and candles just aren’t very safe in our home.
But if you prefer to burn a candle rather than use a diffuser, you should try it.
Candles can be very peaceful so I can understand how the combination of the candle and the essential oil would work for a lot of people to help relax.
If you buy an essential oil lavender candle this will be ready to go. You simply need to light the wick. There’s no need to add essential oil to a diffuser or a bracelet etc. This is a very easy way to start benefiting from essential oils to improve sleep.
Using the Best Essential Oils for Sleep in a Bath
Another method worthy of mention is putting essential oils in bath water. This is a wonderful way to experience essential oils before bed time. Sometimes I do this myself but usually I don’t have time for a long relaxing bath. I prefer to have a quick shower and use the essential oils in my bedroom.
If you don’t have too many other commitments (like children!) and you find you have time for a relaxing bath in the evening then I highly recommend using a sleep-inducing blend of essential oils in the bath water. Just make sure you disperse the oils in the water before you get in.
🌿 7 Best Essential Oil Sleep Mixes
If you want to mix a combination of essential oils to help you sleep, you can do it yourself or buy a pre-mixed oil. When you’re first starting out and you’re looking for the best essential oils for sleep it is a lot easier to buy a bottle of oil ready to use.
You can, of course, use a single essential oil for sleep like lavender. Sometimes the best essential oils for sleep are individual ones. And this is also an easy way to start. But once you mix essential oils you’ll find they produce a beautiful subtle and deeper scent. I personally prefer mixed oils because they smell better to me than a single oil.
Combinations of the best essential oils for sleep:
Lavender, Mandarin, Roman Camomile, Valerian
- Lavender, Orange
- Cedar Wood, Orange
- Cedar Wood, Lavender
- Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Valerian
- Lavender, Vetiver, Marjoram
- Roman Camomile, Bergamot, Frankincense
These mixes are ones that appeal to me. But I find that essential oils are a very personal thing. What appeals to one person doesn’t to another. You’ll need to try your own mixes.
Some people like to see a recipe for mixing oils with the specific number of drops of each. The reason I haven’t included the amount of drops is because I find everyone is different. I have placed the dominant oil for each combination at the beginning at the list.
You should start with equal amounts of each oil except for Valerian where you’ll want to use half the drops compared to your dominant scent. For example, if you’re mixing 6 drops of Lavender, only use 2 or 3 drops of Valerian oil.
🌿 Easiest Way to Use the Best Essential Oils for Sleep
The easiest and simplest way to begin is to buy Lavender essential oil and one other essential oil that appeals to you and use them together. Put the same number of drops of each oil in your aromatherapy diffuser and place it in your bedroom when you’re about to go to bed.
See how this works and then you can start experimenting with other oils and other methods to use them. Remember, the best essential oils for sleep are the ones that work for you.
And if you don’t want to mix any oils yourself just buy a sleep mix of essential oils and try that in your diffuser.
You don’t need to overthink it. Just get the best essential oils for sleep and try them at home yourself. You really won’t know how well they work until you try them. And I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the result!
⇒ Want to find out about another natural remedy for insomnia? Find out about music for sleep here.
⇒ Which foods should you avoid for better sleep? See more here.
⇒ Do you know what happens to your brain when you’re sleep deprived? Read about it here.
⇒ Here are the 8 best foods to help you get to sleep and stay asleep for longer, Click Here.