13 Essential Oils For Better Sleep Everyday (I Like No#2 Most)

About 50 to 70 million Americans are not getting enough sleep [1].

Like breathing and eating, sleep is a “basic human need” that supports various bodily processes, including brain and motor function, among many others [1].

It is the body’s way of recharging itself.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • The importance of sufficient sleep on a daily basis
  • The negative consequences of sleep deprivation
  • Best essential oils for inducing sleep and relaxation
  • Essential oils for sleep apnea

RELATED: 11 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Depression

The Importance of Sufficient Sleep

According to the National Institutes of health, school-age children should sleep for at least 10 hours each day, teenagers need nine to ten hours, and adults require seven to eight hours [2].

Negative Impacts of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can lead to serious consequences such as decreased productivity and performance, impaired memory and cognition, problems in relationships, occupational errors and injury, and vehicular accidents [3].

Chronic lack of sleep is also linked to a number of serious ailments, which include obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack, depression, mood disorders, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and childhood growth retardation [3].

Needless to say, it’s very important to get enough rest.

Sleep medications may cause dependence and some side effects. It would be safer to use essential oils for better sleep and relaxation of mind.

To help you get a good night’s sleep, here are some essential oils that you can use.

13 Essential Oils for Inducing Sleep and Relaxation

1. Lavender Oil

lavender-oil-for-sleepOil extracted from the lavender plant has long been used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety and improve overall wellbeing [5].

People who have not been getting any sleep can benefit from lavender oil, as proven in scientific literature [6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reports that the sleep quality of patients with mild insomnia significantly improved after using lavender oil for four weeks [7].

It’s also good to know that lavender works for all ages—for babies, for young men and women, and for the elderly [8, 9, 10].

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of lavender oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Pour lavender oil in a diffuser.
  2. Diffuse oil 15 minutes before sleeping.

ALSO READ: 11 Uses and Health Benefits of Lavender Oil

2. Valerian Oil

Having trouble sleeping?

Valerian can help, as it has been established as an efficient sleeping aid according to many studies [11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17].

In one study conducted in Switzerland, it was shown that among the 128 participants, those who used valerian experienced significant improvement in sleep quality [18].

The positive effect of valerian was more profound among smokers and people who suffer from irregular sleep [18].

In another study, five children with sleep problems were given valerian and a placebo [17].

Those who used valerian slept more soundly and had less difficulty falling asleep than those in the other group [17].

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of valerian oil
  • 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine two oils.
  2. Pour a small amount of oil mixture on your hands.
  3. Rub hands and cup around your nose to smell the aroma.
  4. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes before bedtime.

3. Chamomile Oil

A cup of chamomile tea is frequently used to relieve anxiety and stress.

Its essential oil meanwhile can help give you a good night’s sleep.

In fact, a study posted in the Sleep Medicine Journal points out that chamomile is the most popular herbal product for sleeping [19].

It is noted for its hypnotic and sedative properties that can help shorten sleep latency [20, 21]. Sleep latency is the time it takes for a person to fall asleep.

All these were confirmed in a 2011 study involving 34 patients with insomnia who used chamomile for 28 days and reported great improvement in sleep quality [22].

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Blend chamomile and almond oils in a jar.
  2. Apply oil mixture on shoulders, head and stomach.
  3. Massage gently for 10 to 15 minutes, an hour before sleeping.

ALSO READ: 12 Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea

4. Clary Sage Oil

clary-sage-oil-for-sleepPoor sleepers can finally get their much needed rest when they make use of clary sage.

After all, salvia species, to which clary sage belongs, is known as an effective remedy for sleeping disorders [23].

Clary sage has helped many insomniacs fall asleep more quickly, and have better quality sleep without causing any harmful side effects.

As an added bonus, this essential oil can help you feel better with its anti-depressant mechanisms [24].

Furthermore, it has been found to have mood stabilizing effects that can help you get a good quality sleep at night [25].

This oil is especially beneficial for those whose sleeping problems are caused by depression and other mood disorders.

What You’ll Need:

  • 20 drops of clary sage oil
  • Warm bath water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add clary sage oil to bath water.
  2. Soak in the bath for 30 minutes each night.

5. Orange Oil

orange-essential-oil-for-sleepIt’s true that negative emotions such as anxiety can keep you up at night.

That’s why, it’s imperative to resolve anxiety and other ill feelings in order to get yourself a good sleep.

Orange oil can help in this matter, as it has been proven in scientific research to have positive effects on the mood of people and animal subjects [26, 27, 28].

Human subjects who used orange oil reported significant improvement in the way they feel, while animal subjects were observed to score higher in mental tests after being exposed to this oil [29].

That’s because orange oil has anxiolytic effects that can help provide comfort and reduce stress [29].

What You’ll Need:

  • 20 drops of orange oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Fill the bedroom with scent of orange oil using a diffuser.
  2. Do this a few minutes before going to sleep.

6. Marjoram Oil

marjoram-oil-for-sleepA type of complementary therapy that makes use of essential oil extracts, aromatherapy achieves various medicinal applications [30].

Aromatherapy either in the form of a massage or inhalation can help irregular sleepers doze off [30, 31].

One of the best oils to use for aromatherapy massage is marjoram.

Marjoram works by relaxing the sympathetic nervous system, which is what stimulates the body’s fight or flight response [30].

To put it simply, this oil efficiently tones down the body’s stress levels.

Apart from that, massaging with marjoram also improves blood circulation and oxygen supply, alleviating pain, muscle tension [30].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of marjoram oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix marjoram and almond oils.
  2. Rub oil mixture on forehead, temples and back of neck.
  3. Do this remedy three to four times a day.


7. Frankincense Oil

frankincense-oilFrankincense has been used for many years as a part of cultural and religious ceremonies [32].

At present, it is widely recognized for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, immune-stimulating and wound healing properties [32].

What some people do not know is that frankincense can also be used to enhance sleep quality.

In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, it was revealed that frankincense in the form of an aroma stick successfully facilitated sleep within a 13-week period [33].

Like most of the essential oils mentioned here, frankincense is also safe to use, and won’t cause any harm even when used for a long time.

What You’ll Need:

  • Warm towel
  • 3 drops of frankincense oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Pour frankincense oil on warm towel.
  2. Gently press this on the back of your neck.
  3. Move this on your forehead and lie down.
  4. Do this technique every night before sleeping.

8. Bergamot Oil

bergamot-oil-for-sleepThe oil of bergamot is a common solution for stress, anxiety, mood disorders and cancer pain [34].

Did you know that you can also use this when you’re having difficulty getting an eyeshut?

In an experiment performed by Singaporean scientists, 30 volunteers with insomnia were asked to use sleep pillows with sachets containing bergamot and other essential oils [35].

Findings indicate that sleep pillows with bergamot, lemongrass, and ylang-ylang oils helped the insomniac participants to have a “more restful sleep” [35].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of bergamot

Recommended Directions:

  1. Pour oil in a cotton ball.
  2. Attach cotton ball on your pillow before going to sleep.

ALSO READ: 10 Essential Oils for Anxiety that Work

9. Sandalwood Oil

Commonly used for a wide variety of symptoms, sandalwood oil can also induce a restful slumber.

Its primary component called santalol has sedative effects on the central nervous system [36].

Results from a 2012 study confirm that sandalwood aromatherapy has a positive effect on the quality of sleep, helping adolescents who participated in the study resolve their sleeping problems [37].

In another study conducted by Japanese researchers reports that the 18 females who volunteered for the experiment had better and longer sleep after using sandalwood [38].

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 drops of sandalwood oil
  • 2 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine all the ingredients.
  • Use this to massage your head, shoulders and neck.
  • Repeat twice daily, once in the afternoon and once in the evening.

10. Vetiver Oil

vetiver-oil-for-sleepGet to dreamland much more quickly with the help of vetiver.

Vetiver is one of the essential oils considered effective for treating mild sleep disturbances [39].

Inhalation of this oil has beneficial effects on the sleep-wake cycle of adult male Wistar rats, according to a 2016 study [40].

This can be attributed to the way vetiver oil tones down the electrical brain activity and mental alertness [40].

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 drops of vetiver oil
  • 1 bowl of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put oil in hot water.
  2. Inhale the steam.
  3. Use this procedure 30 minutes before sleeping.

11. Ylang-Ylang Oil

When you’re feeling anxious or stressed out, getting sleep can be a struggle.

It’s like your mind is always racing, and keeping you awake. It’s filled with negative thoughts that can prevent you from relaxing.

You can resolve this problem by using an essential oil that will calm your mind and soothe your senses.

A good example of this is ylang-ylang.

In 2009, scientists discovered that although ylang-ylang does not boost cognitive performance, it does increase calmness [41].

Another study shows that this oil has the ability to induce relaxation effects on the body after it was topically applied [42].

Out of the 40 volunteers who participated in this experiment, those who used ylang-ylang oil reported that they felt more relaxed, and less anxious [42].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of ylang-ylang oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put the two oils in a bowl.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Use a cotton ball to apply oil mixture on forehead, temples and back of neck.
  4. Massage these areas.
  5. Inhale deeply as you do.
  6. Repeat remedy twice a day for one week.

12. Rose Oil

rose-oil-for-sleepWhen you smell the scent of rose oil, you won’t have a hard time imagining that it has potent calming effects.

The smell is subtle yet enticing and pleasant.

Researchers from Thailand confirm that rose oil has relaxation effects on humans [43].

A clinical trial was carried out in 2008 to assess the effects of rose oil on 40 volunteers who used rose oil on their skin [44].

The participants were asked to wear face masks to rule out the olfactory stimulation, and focus more on the oil’s effects when topically applied [44].

The group which used rose oil on their skin had lower blood pressure levels, breathing rate, pulse rate, and blood oxygen saturation [44].

When you’re finally relaxed, it’s much easier to get your much-needed sleep.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of rose oil
  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine the two oils in a bowl.
  2. Transfer mixture to a glass jar with a lid.
  3. Shake to blend well.
  4. Use a cotton ball to apply a few drops of the mixture on the skin.
  5. Dab the cotton ball on the forehead and temples.
  6. Massage gently for a few minutes.
  7. You can repeat this remedy several times a day or do it 30 minutes before going to sleep.

13. Cedarwood Oil

The woody scented cedarwood essential oil actually comes from the woods of heart wood of the cedarwood tree. The aromatic oil is popular for its heavenly smell and calming qualities.

The major chemical constituents of the therapeutic oil are widdrol, cedrol, alpha-cedrene, and beta-cedrene. These active compounds have potent antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant, and analgesic values.

Cedarwood oil is the best bet for relieving your stress, anxiety, and kick starting your lazy mood. The sedative properties of the oil helps boost serotonin production and hence elevates your mood and gives you a good night’s sleep.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3-4 drops of cedarwood oil
  • 1 tablespoon of jasmine oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix both the oil.
  2. Apply the oil solution on your forehead, around the nose and on the neck.
  3. Gently massage for some time.
  4. Repeat the process every night and the gentle aroma of the oil will pull you to a quiet sleep in no time.

Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that many people experiences during sleep. The disorder causes frequent interruptions or apneas (lasting for few seconds) when you sleep. This happens due to some miscommunication between your brain and the respiratory organs. One of the common symptoms of sleep apnea that spoils a restful sleep is snoring.

Eucalyptus and peppermint are the best essential oils for relieving the symptoms of sleep apnea. The oils are potent source of antispasmodic, decongestant, and expectorant properties. Thus both the oils can alleviate cold, flu, allergies, sinusitis, etc. that may block your respiratory tracts and obstruct breathing.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 2 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix both the essential oils and add them to olive oil.
  2. Gently massage the oil on your chest, throat, back, and on the forehead.
  3. You may apply a couple of drops of peppermint oil on the inside of the nose and breathe in fully.
  4. You’ll experience relief from nasal and chest congestion immediately from the simple practice.
  5. Repeat the treatment every night for a rest full sleep.

Bottom Line

There’s no alternative to sufficient sleep in order to maintain a well physical and mental health. Post modern era with all its socio-econo-techno development made us nocturnal beings. Don’t let yourself suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation. Make sure you get sufficient rest using these essential oils.

Let us know your experience of using these essential oils for sleep and mental wellness. Write your feedback in the comment section.

READ MORE: 7 Essential Oils for Chakra Balancing That You Must Try