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This era is all about wellness and natural remedies. Essential oils for sleep have long been a holistic treatment for enhancing well-being and improving rest. As the interest in aromatherapy grows, more people are making it a staple of their nighttime routine. Besides sleep, they offer various health benefits, making them a hit in the wellness community.
Not all essential oils carry the benefit of inducing sleepiness, though — some may even keep you awake. Knowing which oils provide the desired advantages is vital so you can choose them according to your needs.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the concentrated essence of plants, extracted from the leaves, bark and flowers. Various ancient civilizations have used them for thousands of years due to their healing properties. They have been used to cure diseases, improve skin, flavor food and even simply as a fragrance to increase physical attraction.
Recently, there’s been a growing interest in natural remedies and holistic health. Aromatherapy has gained notable traction as people seek natural alternatives for modern medicine. They’re easy to use, quick to integrate into a busy lifestyle, and are available in most pharmacies and health stores.
While they’re effective at improving sleep quality, you can also use them in meditation, skin care, massaging and even cleaning products. It’s all about finding the best essential oil for your lifestyle and personal goals.
The Best Essential Oils for Sleep
Ready to have the best night’s rest ever? Here are eight essential oils that can improve your sleep.
Lavender is famous for its tranquil properties, and boasts an impressive track record in promoting relaxation and alleviating anxiety. Various studies have shown inhaling lavender can drastically reduce stress levels, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, and inducing a state of calm ideal for sleep. It’s been a go-to essential oil for sleep for years.
Chamomile — a herb known for its calming effects — extends its benefits to essential oils. With its anti-anxiety and sedative properties, some people believe chamomile can contribute to the easing of insomnia symptoms, making it a popular choice amongst those who struggle to fall asleep.
With its woody and earthy aroma, sandalwood offers a sense of groundedness. Its potential to encourage a calm mental state and lower sympathetic nervous system activity makes it an excellent addition for those seeking a deep slumber.
Frankincense was first used as incense during ancient Egyptian times, and holds potential benefits for relaxation and stress reduction. Studies have indicated its ability to slow down breathing rates and promote a meditative state, making it a beneficial sleep aid.
Bergamot is an intriguing option if you’re seeking a balance between relaxation and positivity. Its mood-enhancing properties have been successful in lowering depressive mood and dramatically reducing stress levels. If low mood keeps you up at night, incorporating bergamot into your bedtime routine may help create an environment that stops you from tossing and turning.
Ylang-ylang has a deep floral scent that carries potential tranquility-inducing effects. Its influence on heart rate and blood pressure may contribute to relaxation, aiding the transition from wakefulness to sleep.
This lesser-known essential oil showcases promising properties in promoting sleep. Its potential to impact parasympathetic nervous system activity and reduce the chances of sleep disturbances — as displayed in a 2012 study — suggests it could be a valuable part of your nighttime ritual. If you struggle with interrupted sleep, marjoram may be the right choice.
Derived from the jasmine flower, some people believe this oil has sedative properties that enable your brain to relieve anxiety. With its sweet and floral aroma, jasmine may be able to provide a calming and soothing environment that helps you relax.
How to Include Essential Oils in Your Bedtime Routine
Incorporating essential oils for sleep into your routine can transform your evenings into a tranquil haven. There are many different ways to make these scents a part of your daily habits:
- Add them to the shower or bath: If you enjoy a relaxing bath or shower before bed, add a few drops of your favorite oil to the water. The steam will carry the scent, providing the perfect opportunity to unwind.
- Put them on your pillow: A little goes a long way, so place no more than a drop or two on your pillowcase before you sleep.
- Apply it directly to your skin: Some people experience the best results when they apply oils straight to their bodies. Don’t apply undiluted oils directly on your skin as this might cause skin irritation, but mix a few drops into your moisturizer or vegetable oil.
- Use a diffuser: Investing in a diffuser or humidifier can help carry the smell throughout your bedroom. Place a couple of drops into the diffuser as you settle down for the night.
- Inhale it: Add it to a tissue or face cloth, or smell it straight from the bottle. This can be particularly effective right before bed.
- Steam them: Facial steaming can be a successful sleep aid and may even prevent snoring. Boil water in a pot on the stove and remove it once the water comes to a boil. Place a few drops of oil into the water and sit over the pot with a towel on your head for around 10 minutes.
Finding the most effective method for you may take some trial and error. Experiment with different application techniques, adjust dilution ratios and explore the various scents to find the best fit.
Get a Good Night’s Rest with Essential Oils for Sleep
Not everyone needs something to help them sleep and that’s OK. However, the advantages of adding a natural sleep aid to your evenings can make a world of difference in your energy levels and overall mood, so it’s worth a try. Along with less screen time, a soothing bath and a cup of tea, essential oils could be the cherry on top of the perfect bedtime routine.
Incorporating essential oils into your nighttime routine requires mindfulness and a little experimentation. Consider using aromatherapy methods each evening to determine which ones provide the best benefits. By doing some research, you can create a personalized bedtime ritual that aligns with your sleep goals.
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