10 Essential Oils for Sleep and Relaxation

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important parts of any person’s day as well as for her health and wellbeing. But in today’s world, many people have difficulty falling and staying asleep. They just can’t shut their brain off due to certain underlying medical conditions or sleep disorders. Other people find it difficult to sleep due to distractions like living on the main road or the noise of the nocturnal pets. Whatever the case, you can make things easier by using essential oils for sleep.

Even a few drops of any essential oil can make difference, so using the right essential oil will soothe your nerves and help you sleep with ease. Read on to learn what essential oils are good for sleep and relaxation.

Essential Oils for Sleep and Relaxation

1. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is one of the most versatile and commonly used essential oils to have on hand. Most people are aware that lavender is somehow related to sleep, but what most people don’t know is that this has been studied extensively. Lavender is one of the oils that has been tested for its ability to aid sleep, and one study done in the United Kingdom showed promising results in using the aroma of lavender essential oil for better sleep.

Another study observed that inhalation of lavender and several other essential oils improved sleep qualify of 56 ICU (Intensive Care Unit) patients.

Applying some of this oil diluted in a carrier oil to the body before going to bed at night may be effective.

2. Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood essential oil helps because of its component called santalol. According to one study, santalol depress your central nervous system and makes it easier for you to sleep. It may also help decrease total waking time and improve non-rapid eye movement sleep. It means that it helps you fall asleep and ensures you stay asleep longer.

3. Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile is another popular choice of essential oil for sleep. There are a few species of chamomile, but Roman chamomile essential oil is the most effective one to use for insomnia. Roman chamomile is an ancient herb which has therapeutic properties that include sedative and relaxing properties. It is recommended for insomnia, stress and nervous tension, so is a good choice to help you relax and prepare for sleep. Combine Roman chamomile essential oil with lavender essential oil for a more powerful treatment.

4. Valerian Essential Oil

Research shows that the inhalation of valerian oil can make it easier for you to sleep at night. It will also help lengthen your sleep duration. It works mainly because of its component called valerenic acid that has sedative effects on your brain. Some people have experienced good results by adding a drop of valerian oil in a glass of water and drinking it half an hour before bedtime. It is worth trying.

5. Marjoram Essential Oil

You need to choose the right type of marjoram oil as there are several plants/oils that go by the name of “marjoram”. Sweet marjoram essential oil is the only one recommended for helping with insomnia because it has a calming and sedating effect on the nervous system which helps lower blood pressure, ease nervous tension and hyperactivity, and soothe loneliness, grief and rejection, all of which can exacerbate insomnia.

Other Essential Oils That May Help

You can also use the following essential oils for sleep and relaxation.

6. Tangerine Essential Oil

Leaves calming effects, promotes good cell growth, and reduces inflammation.

7. Jasmine Essential Oil

Has calming effects and works as anti-depressant.

8. Ylang Essential Oil

Reduces blood pressure and soothes nervous system.

9. Melissa Essential Oil

Reduces fevers, soothes digestion, and heals nervous system disorders.

10. Patchouli Essential Oil

Promotes good cell growth, fights depression, and reduces inflammation.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep and Relaxation

You can use all of these essential oils in a number of ways to help you deal with insomnia.

Spritz essential oil on bed linens. If you don’t want to put an essential oil on your skin, spritz it on your bed linens. The scent will help you relax and may help induce sleep.

  • Make your spritzer by adding 30-40 drops of your favorite essential oil for sleep to 1.5 ounces of distilled water. Mix these in a clean spray bottle.
  • You only need to lightly mist your bed linens. Dousing them could make for an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
  • The number of drops of essential oil you use will depend on how strong you want the scent to be.

Give yourself a massage with essential oils. Giving yourself a gentle massage with essential oils before bed will help relax you and relieve tension.

  • Apply some essential oil to places such as your legs, feet, wrists and temples. By applying these essential oils your body, you may help yourself fall asleep more quickly.
  • Make sure to keep the massage light or else you’ll stimulate your circulation and have a hard time falling and staying asleep.
  • Make sure to mix it with a carrier oil so you don’t burn your skin.

Take a bath. Add the appropriate essential oils to a warm bath before bedtime. Make sure your bath is not too hot and add only 6-8 drops of your essential oils to the bath water.

  • You can also add a suitable essential oil to a blend in a bubble bath or bath oil.

Use candles or scent diffusers. Scent diffusers disperse the essential oil through the air in a room, filling it with the aroma. Candles made from essential oils and scent diffusers that heat essential oil can have the same calming effect as a bath or a massage.

  • For the best use, light candles or scent diffusers an hour to 30 minutes before you go to bed. This will ensure that the scent circulates in your bedroom and creates a relaxing environment to help you sleep.
  • When buying candles, it’s important to look for ones without synthetic fragrance. Beeswax, soy and other vegetable based waxes are the best option for getting the benefits of an essential oil by candle.
  • Make sure to extinguish candles and scent diffusers before you go to bed so that you don’t start a fire.


  • Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, or roots of a specific plant. They are highly concentrated and you won’t need to use much to reap their benefits.
  • Aromatherapy can’t cureinsomnia or its root cause, but using calming and relaxing essential oils before bedtime can potentially help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep until your intended wake-up time.
  • If you have insomnia for a longer period of time, see your doctor to rule out a more serious condition.

Essential Oils for Sleep

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