Quality sleep can be hard to come by; thankfully, there are a few essential oils that help you sleep.
Sleep is everything. In fact, it’s one of the foundational building blocks for overall health and wellness. According to Harvard, a number of studies have shown that insufficient sleep increases someone’s risk for a number of serious medical conditions.
So, if you’re looking to improve your sleep, you’re in the right place! There are quite a lot of essential oils that can help you sleep better at night, but I’m highlighting my personal favorites.
Establish a calming aromatherapy practice
In general, aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant extracts in ways that help to promote overall wellbeing. Often, these extracts are in the form of essential oils and can help improve health and wellness in many ways.
If you’ve ever received a spa treatment, there’s a good chance essential oils enhanced your experience. Aromatherapy is becoming more mainstream these days, as many studies are highlighting the benefits of essential oils over traditional pharmaceuticals, especially when it comes to helping to ease anxious feelings.
How to use essential oils for sleep
Essential oils can be applied and used in a variety of ways, which can feel overwhelming if you’re just getting started. Before we dive into how to use essential oils for your sleep, it’s important to highlight one of the reasons why essential oils are so useful for encouraging rest.
Your sense of smell is powerful. So powerful that it’s considered our strongest sense of the five. When you repeatedly inhale the same scent – like lavender – as part of your bedtime routine, your brain begins to associate the smell of lavender with sleep. That’s because when your mind works to interpret odors, it begins to access and associate memories and events that are triggered by an olfactory sensation, aka a smell.
This new association between lavender and a bedtime routine allows your brain to remember, “Oh! I know this smell. Sleep must be coming soon.”
When it comes to applying your nighttime essential oils, I like to create a simple pillow spray (recipe below!), smell directly from the bottle, or apply to my skin in a diluted form. You could also consider adding essential oils to a nighttime detox bath to help your brain unwind before you’re in the bedroom.
Read next: Your Guide to a Relaxing Detox Bath
Check out the below studies that prove the effectiveness of essential oils for improving sleep quality:
- Essential oils improve sleep quality for persons with dementia
- Sleep improved with no side effects using lavender
My five favorite nighttime essential oils to help sleep
Probably the most well-known essential oil for sleep, lavender is both calming and relaxing for the body and mind. I prefer to smell this directly from the bottle or apply a drop to the bottoms of my feet.
2. Roman chamomile
This powerful flower boats chemical components that are known for their soothing abilities, making it a great choice for relaxation and encouraging sleep. The smell is quite potent, so I prefer to use this in a relaxing pillow spray mixed with lavender.
An exclusive blend to doTERRA, Serenity takes the top powerhouse essential oils known for sleep and puts them all in one bottle. This blend is an excellent choice to diffuse or apply topically.
While cedarwood isn’t a floral oil, it is still powerfully relaxing and calming to the mind due to its grounding properties. I like to add three drops of this to a nighttime bath or mix in my pillow spray.
This lesser-known oil is potent and powerful. It’s a great essential oil choice for promoting full-body relaxation that can encourage a better night’s sleep. I prefer to apply a drop to the bottoms of my feet or mix in my pillow spray.
An essential oil pillow spray recipe
Create this simple essential oil pillow and linen spray to help promote relaxation at night. I keep it on my nightstand and lightly mist my bed before climbing in for the night.
What you’ll need:
- a small misting bottle (these are the ones I use)
- lavender oil
- cedarwood oil
- vetiver oil
- filtered water
- rubbing alcohol
How to make your pillow spray:
- Add ten drops of each essential oil to the misting bottle
- Add 1 tbsp. of rubbing alcohol
- Top with filtered water
- Create a “Sleepy Time” label, if desired (this is the easiest label maker!)
It’s that simple to make your own relaxing and calming essential oil pillow spray. The bottle will last you at least a few months and can quickly be refilled. Also, feel free to tweak the recipe as needed to fit your personal preferences once you find which oils work best for your sleep needs.
Why I use doTERRA essential oils for sleep
It’s crucial to know that its the quality and potency of the oils that help you relax, which can then lead to higher quality sleep. Not all essential oils are created equally, so it’s vital to purchase from a trusted brand that third-party tests for quality and purity. Learn more about the essential oils I use.
doTERRA takes the quality of their essential oils very seriously and even provides the third-party certified lab results that prove the purity of each essential oil bottle. If you have doTERRA oils of your own, simply head to Source to You and enter your quality ID number found on the bottom of your oil bottle.
Are there any concerns or warnings with essential oils?
As with anything new supplement, consider talking to your doctor before adding something into your routine. In general, essential oils are generally recognized as safe as long as they are purchased through a trusted brand (avoid buying essential oils on Amazon!) and used in a safe manner.
If you are using essential oils topically, it’s best to test the oil on a small patch of skin and consider using a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, especially if the oil is hot.
Other remedies to help you sleep better
Getting a good night’s rest is all about relaxing the body and mind before bedtime. I find that it’s beneficial to have a set wind-down routine that includes no screen time in bed, essential oils, and some deep breaths.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can improve your sleep naturally, check out my top tips for better sleep. Happy snoozing!