Reviewed by Lisa Blohm, PhD, MSN, RN
Aromatherapy That Ends Sleepless Nights
If you are reading this article, chances are good that you’re not sleeping well and you’re hoping aromatherapy can help. Here, we’ve lined up the best essential oils for sleep to help you naturally overcome sleep issues and finally get a good night’s rest. And — you’re not alone when it comes to sleepless nights…
According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults isn’t getting enough sleep, leading to an increased risk of serious health conditions. From maintaining immune function to helping you make good decisions at work, it’s absolutely vital to our health as humans to get good quality sleep!
And quantity matters too! Research shows that 7 hours of sleep is the minimum required for you to feel, and behave, at your best — more if you’re sleep deprived or suffering from a chronic health condition. The less sleep you get, the more you jeopardize your health — not only tomorrow but for the years to come.
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The Best Essential Oils for Sleep and Relaxation
One of our favorite ways to promote better sleep? Aromatherapy! What better way to stimulate the senses for better sleep than with therapeutic essential oils?
So, what are the best essential oils for sleep and relaxation? We’re going to unpack our secrets on aromatherapy for sleep so you can understand which essential oils will help you get the quality sleep your body craves — naturally!
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is arguably the most well-known and beloved essential oil there is, and it’s not hard to see why. It has a beautiful aroma and offers many beneficial properties. One of its best qualities? Promoting sleep!
Lavender is a great way to combat sleeplessness and replace any tension with a feeling of calm. The next time you fear insomnia creeping in, trying diffusing Lavender Essential Oil in your bedroom. You can apply it topically to soothe stress or anxiety and help you unwind before bed.
Do you get tension headaches? Lavender is great for relieving headaches — apply it diluted to your stiff neck or area of discomfort.
Lavender Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Helps relieve stress*
- Promotes calm*
- Encourages peaceful sleep*
Chamomile Essential Oil
Ever crave a calming cup of chamomile tea before bed but don’t want to be up all night using the bathroom? Chamomile Essential Oil to the rescue! This sweet, herbaceous oil has long been admired in traditional medicine for its ability to quiet busy, worried minds and promote deep, restful sleep.
One of the coolest things about chamomile (and lavender, too!) is that it’s safe for the whole family to use — kids of all ages included. Diffusing Roman Chamomile can quiet toddler tantrums and adult worries alike, shifting the environment of your household from chaotic to calm. It’s also great for digestion and has been known to calm stomach upset associated with anxiety.
Chamomile Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Helps relieve tension*
- Calms frayed nerves*
- Promotes deep sleep*
Bergamot Essential Oil
Cold-pressed from the bergamot orange fruits of Italy, this delightful essential oil carries a warm, spicy and floral aroma. It is hands-down one of the most versatile essential oils, being used in skincare, perfumes, first-aid kits, and even Earl Grey tea! It’s featured in our best essential oils for sleep list because of the relaxing benefits it provides.
Bergamot Essential Oil’s bright scent can fill a room with cheerful positivity. Diffuse it as you wind down before bed to help you close the night with happy, peaceful vibes.
Bergamot Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Eases worry and stress*
- Encourages a positivity and peace of mind*
- Promotes relaxation*
Frankincense Carterii Essential Oil
What list of soothing essential oils could be complete without frankincense?! Frankincense is one of the most soothing ways to get better sleep, thanks to its smooth, relaxing aromatherapy.
Extracted from the resin of the Boswelia tree, Frankincense Caterii has been used in calming perfumes and incense products for thousands of years. It benefits respiratory health, skin health, mental health, and more. Frankincense’s calming properties not only help you fall asleep, but can help you recover from sleep ‘debt’ as well so you can finally, truly, catch up on your zzz’s.
Frankincense Carterii and Frankincense Serrata share similar benefits, but we like to recommend Carterii for aiding sleep and relaxation. Its green, balsamic, lemon-wood aroma blends well with many other sleep-inducing essential oils!
Frankincense Carterii Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Provides natural sedative effects*
- Provides a smooth and grounding aroma*
- Encourages relaxed, deep breathing*
Clary Sage Essential Oil
Nicknamed ‘Clear Eye,’ the herb Clary Sage has been used traditionally for women — everything from menstrual cramps to menopause. But it’s also well-known for its ability to calm and quiet the body. This mighty herb is a must-have for creating a tranquil, relaxing, and sleepy environment. Diffuse it before bed to help you shed the concerns of the day and enter into the deep, calm sleep your body craves.
While Clary Sage is most popular for supporting women’s health, both men and women will appreciate its calming, herbaceous scent.
Clary Sage Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Provides natural sedative effects*
- Creates a relaxing, soothing atmosphere*
- Helps you fall and stay asleep*
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood Essential Oil boasts naturally sedative properties. It was discovered by ancient cultures who used it to address both minor and more serious illnesses. Some of its common uses today include respiratory support and cleansing the home.
One of the best ways to use it? On your pillow! The comforting smell brings out the best cozy feelings — as though you’re drifting to sleep in a snug cabin in the mountains. And, bonus! Cedarwood will protect your space from pests like bed bugs, spiders, and moths. Creepy-crawlies hate the smell of cedarwood!
Cedarwood Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Promotes restful sleep*
- Relaxes the body*
- Helps clear the mind*
Marjoram Essential Oil
Sweet Marjoram may not be the most popular essential oil out there, but it’s sure to become a new favorite in your house! It’s full of comforting, relaxing benefits and helps settle abdominal discomforts that might otherwise keep you up at night.
Fun fact! Sweet Marjoram was considered so beneficial in traditional medicine that it was said to have come from the touch of the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Encourages deep, restful sleep*
- Offers support during grief or stress*
- Warming and relaxing*
Jasmine Essential Oil
Struggling with anxiety-related insomnia? Jasmine Essential Oil may be just what you’ve been looking for to finally get that restful night of sleep you deserve.* It helps soothe the body into rest and relaxation and provides a mild, sedative effect.
Are you prone to depression or low libido? Jasmine Essential Oil can help with that too!* It provides a natural boost in serotonin production and promotes feelings of calm contentment. Sweet dreams!
Jasmine Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Provides mildly sedative effects*
- Helps induce deep rest*
- Relieves tension and stress*
Vetiver Essential Oil
Vetiver is a powerful essential oil jam-packed with therapeutic properties. It is one of the most commonly used essential oils for deep sleep thanks to its ability to promote mind-and-body relaxation. Research suggests it could help those who snore by increasing the quality of exhalation and decreasing inhalation.
For the mind, vetiver is great at calming late-night ‘busy brain or ‘mind chatter.’ If you’re bothered by bouts of anxiety-induced insomnia, this lovely oil could help you out!* Vetiver carries a strong earthy, woody, and smoky scent.
Vetiver Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Offers soothing, relaxing properties*
- Supports emotional balance*
- Supports healthy breathing at night*
Sleep Aid Synergy Blend Essential Oil
Looking for an easy, tried-and-true formula? Sleep Aid Synergy is it.* It’s an all-in-one bottle brimming with a variety of aromatherapy for sleep and relaxation. What’s in it? Lavender, Mandarin, Ylang ylang, neroli, and valerian!
If you’re familiar with any natural medicine or herbology, then valerian probably sounds familiar. That’s because it’s been in use as a sleep aid for thousands of years! And that’s exactly why it’s in this sleepy-time blend. Thanks to its long history of use, many people wonder how to use valerian essential oil for sleep. We recommend diffusing it in your bedroom or applying it to the bottoms of your feet after a long day to promote feelings of calm.
Sleep Aid Synergy Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Supports a peaceful night’s sleep and has you waking up feeling refreshed*
- Helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer*
- Relieves stress, tension, and nervousness*
Relax Synergy Blend Essential Oil
Plant Therapy’s Relax Synergy is the blend for you if you want to tackle anxiety and get better sleep while you’re at it. It contains lavender, sweet marjoram, mandarin, patchouli, geranium, and roman chamomile. Each individual oil is added in customized quantities to create the perfect medley for tranquil, peaceful sleep.
It’s also a great choice for those who have particularly stressful days — all the days. It will help you keep calm in the midst of chaos and relax when your stress hormones are screaming at you to do anything but.
- Produces a calm, comforting atmosphere*
- Offers emotional support*
- Supports a tranquil mood*
Nighty Night Synergy Blend Essential Oil
Calming down at bedtime can be hard for anyone, and kids aren’t an exception. And while you could read them a bedtime story ten times in a row, we both know that’s far from ideal! KidSafe Nighty Night Synergy provides aromatherapy scents for sleep — specifically for the kids!
It’s a relaxing, stress-busting blend of lavender, sweet marjoram, mandarin, cedarwood, patchouli, clary sage, roman chamomile, and blue tansy. Allow this blend to help your little ones accept quiet hours with more ease. It soothes away restless energy and encourages sweet ‘nighty night’ dreams.
Nighty Night Synergy Essential Oil for Sleep:
- Gently carries your child to dreamland*
- Soothes irritated nerves and high-energy types*
- Promotes calm relaxation*
More Essential Oils for Better Sleep
And the best essential oils for sleep line-up can’t stop there! Here are even more soothing essential oils to consider adding to your collection:
- Sleep Tight Blend is a sweet-smelling and sleep-promoting blend that includes lavender, mandarin, ylang-ylang, neroli, and hops extract.
- KidSafe Sweet Dreams features sweet orange, juniper, coriander, blue tansy, and rose absolute to whisk away anxious thoughts and replace them with sweet dreams.
- KidSafe Sweet Slumber is made with cedarwood, ho wood, sweet orange, roman chamomile, and vetiver to softly lull children to peaceful dreamland.
- Copaiba offers soothing, warming support and promotes a peaceful atmosphere.
- Rose Absolute calms worries, promotes joy, and lulls the body into a state of rest.
- Sandalwood reduces anxiety-related insomnia and improves your sleep cycle.
- Sensual Blend creates a relaxing, sensual atmosphere for when sleep can wait a little.
- Peppermint may help improve sleep quality by encouraging muscles to relax.
- Thyme encourages better sleep especially for those combating sleep apnea or snoring.
What Essential Oils for Sleep are Safe for Kids?
In addition to Nighty Night Synergy Blend, the following essential oil for sleep are safe to use with kids*:
How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep
- Diffuse: Add a few drops of your favorite aromatherapy for sleep blend 30 minutes to an hour before you go to bed.
- Aromatherapy: Add 1-2 drops to a cotton ball to keep near your pillow or headboard so you get the oil’s therapeutic benefits throughout the night.
- Spray: Spray a therapeutic sleepy mist directly onto your pillow! (See recipe below.) Short on time? Simply add a few drops of the essential oil directly to your pillow. It won’t stain your pillow unless it’s diluted with a carrier oil.
- Topically: Rub 3% diluted essential oil onto the bottoms of your feet, or onto your wrists, chest, or neck as you wind down for a good night’s sleep. Add to your favorite lotion or moisturizer for a boost of skin-and-sleep-inducing benefits!
- Massage: Ask a loved one to give you a massage with a 1-4% dilution ratio, depending on the oil. Don’t have someone to pamper you? It’s all good! Take a few minutes to give yourself a massage. Self-love at its finest.
- Bath: Add 3-4 drops of any soothing essential oil to a teaspoon of bubble bath, body wash, or hair product and call it a night as soon as you step out of the bath or shower.
- Foot Soak: Give yourself the gift of a 15-30 minute foot soak for happy, restorative rest.
Please check each essential oil’s general guidelines for specific instructions. Keep essential oils out of reach of children. For safest results, give yourself a skin patch test before using!
Essential Oils for Sleep Recipes
Eager to try your hand at creating your own synergy blends? That’s great! Combining your favorite oils into a personalized sleepy-time blend is a perfect way to use aromatherapy the way that it is meant to be used — personalized to you!
But, just to get you going, here are some of the recipes we’ve used and loved. Feel free to modify these as you prefer, based on your favorites or simply what you have in your home.
- Lavender (5 drops), Cedarwood (4 drops), Vetiver (1 drop)
- Lavender (2 drops), Sandalwood (2 drops), Roman Chamomile (2 drops), Vetiver (2 drops)
- Ylang Ylang (3 drops), Roman Chamomile (2 drops), Lavender (1 drop)
- Frankincense (3 drops), Vetiver (2 drops), Cedarwood (2 drops), Lavender (1 drop)
- Bergamot (4 drops), Lavender (3 drops), Mandarin Orange (3 drops)
Pillow Spray Recipe
- ½ cup witch hazel or vodka
- 12-24 drops of essential oil (1-2%)
Mix the above ingredients into a 4 ounce spray bottle and mist a few sprays over your pillow before bedtime. Our favorite is a blend of lavender and cedarwood, but have fun experimenting with any of these essential oils for sleep!
Foot Soak Recipe
- Dissolve ¼ – ½ cup Epsom salts to a small basin or tub of warm water
- Blend 5-20 drops of relaxing essential oils along with a bit of carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba (optional)
- Add the oil blend to the water and sit back and relax!
Have sore feet at the end of the day? Try a mix of lavender and peppermint to relieve muscle or joint aches before hopping into bed. Plant Therapy Rapid Relief is great too!
Other Natural Ways to Get Better Sleep
It’s easy to think sleeping woes are just part of life, but they really don’t have to be! There are many essential oils that can reduce night-time bouts of insomnia. Not coincidentally, many of these same soothing essential oils also help decrease stress, anxiety, and worry — the things that commonly keep us up at night!
Even still, essential oils are just part of the solution to setting your mind and body up for success. Here are a few more ways to get better sleep:
- Watch your caffeine intake, especially after 2 p.m.
- Do some gentle stretching or yoga before bed to wiggle out the worries of the day and help prime your body for rest
- Stop the scroll: unplug from screens for at least an hour before bedtime to allow your body’s natural melatonin to kick in
- Establish a healthy bedtime routine that’s practical and works for you
- Take sleep-ifying supplements that suit your body’s unique needs
Choose Your Essential Oils for Better Sleep
If you have trouble deciding which essential oils will help you sleep, ask yourself: what’s holding you back from getting the amazing sleep you need? Is it sadness or grief? Try bergamot, vetiver, or rose. Snoring? Frankincense or thyme may help.
Understanding the root cause of your sleep disturbance will help you greatly in the long run. Of course, we’re here to help if you have any questions too. And did we mention you get free shipping? Score!
We hope you get some great sleep and peaceful dreams coming to you soon!
Cautions: Do not use essential oils undiluted on skin. Some essential oils are not safe for children ages 10 and younger. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant, consult your doctor before use. We do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils.
Please Be Advised: The International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that Essential Oils be taken internally unless under the supervision of a Medical Doctor who is also qualified in clinical Aromatherapy. All cautions listed for individual oils do not include those cautions from ingestion.