7 Best Essential Oils for Sleep
A good night’s sleep – it’s something we all crave, but unfortunately life tends to get in the way of fulfilling, deep rest every night. It could be an urgent work deadline, a crying child or simply too much thinking when you should be drifting off to sleep.
Whatever the reason, thankfully there are sleeping aids that can help you get those much-needed forty winks. Essential oils, for example, are a natural, non-invasive and truly relaxing remedy to get a sound sleep. But which are the best options?
7 Essential Oils For Sound Sleep
We explore some of the top essential oils for sleep.
Lavender essential oil is a very popular natural relaxation aid. There have been numerous tests and studies that show that it's an effective way to combat insomnia because it has sedative properties associated with it. Research proves that it helps people relax, and it can also lower anxiety levels. This means that they're falling asleep at a quicker pace and staying asleep for longer periods.
The light, fresh and floral scent can help to lower the amount of stress you feel. There is in-depth research that shows that lavender's scent can soothe the central nervous system. It can lower your blood pressure levels, and it also helps to slow your heart rate down.
Bergamot is a citrus-scented essential oil that can induce changes with your body systems that usually come when you try to fall asleep. It can reduce both your heart rate and your blood pressure in a natural and safe way. This oil also slows racing thoughts when you lay down to sleep.
For people who have higher levels of stress or anxiety, Bergamot is effective for taking these feelings away. In turn, this helps to keep you healthier overall because it's much better for your cardiovascular health when you don't have high anxiety or stress levels.
The earthy and woody scent of Cedarwood can attract people, but it may surprise you to find it on the list. It is a very useful tool or aromatherapy because this essential oil has sedative effects that can help relax you and get you ready to fall asleep. It has a soothing and calming effect on your mind, and this can slow your racing thoughts before bed.
It's also a powerful agent for topical application for itching and inflammation. When you combine this with the anxiety-relieving properties, it's easy to see why people with insomnia use it. It works to make you comfortable overall, and this can help you fall into a deeper sleep.
- Sweet Marjoram
Sweet Marjoram essential oil has relaxing and calming agents that can work to relieve anxiety, racing thoughts, stress and tension. Multiple cultures and religions have used it for years for medicinal purposes because it has such a positive influence on the mind and body of the person using it.
This essential oil can also invoke feelings of happiness and peace. This makes it a great oil to alter the mental state of people with mood disorders or depression. It can also help to remove any fatigued feelings you may have, and these are common with people who have trouble falling asleep.
This strong and earthy essential oil is great for sleep by itself or mixed with lavender or Roman chamomile. This is a go-to oil for many people who need to relax and shut off their brains for sleep because of the relaxation properties this oil has. You can use it for an hour or so before bed to get the full effects.
This oil can also ensure that your nerves stay in good health and functioning at optimal levels. This means that it's an effective topical treatment for restlessness, spasms and tingling. Since it helps with nerve issues and nerve damage, it can make you more comfortable overall. You'll be able to slip into a deep and pain-free sleep.
- Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang essential oil comes with several different benefits for your physical and mental health. It has a very floral and light scent, and it works great for topical application as a massage oil. It sinks into your skin and relaxes your muscles and nervous system. Your mind will soon follow, and this allows you to drift off to sleep.
Ylang Ylang can also fight fatigue, stress and anxiety. In turn, you'll go about the day feeling more energised. These are also three things that contribute to insomnia, so curing them can help your sleep patterns. It's also effective for PMS symptoms, chronic fatigue, blood pressure and mild aches.
Valerian is an important component in many sleep blends due to its effectiveness for reducing trouble sleeping or insomnia. Although Valerian has several different uses, people commonly call it a "heal all" essential oil. It works to put you into a deeper sleep for longer periods.
It works to coordinate your body's natural levels of hormone production, and this can also stabilise your internal clock. You'll find that it improves your mood, reduces your stress levels and reduces any depressive symptoms. When these things return to base levels, you can drift to sleep much faster than you usually would. Also, you shouldn't wake up several times through the night.
How Essential Oils Can Help You Sleep Better
It’s true that one of the reasons essential oils are so popular is because they are a natural sleeping aid that helps promote relaxation and an overall restful state. They also aren’t burdened by the common side effects of sleeping medications, such as drowsiness during the daytime and other, more serious medical risks.
While there is still much knowledge to be gained by further research into the impact of essential oils on restfulness, studies so far have shown that some oils can help reduce – or even alleviate – minor sleep problems. One study even found that the fragrance of jasmine provided similar nerve-calming effects to sleeping pills and sedatives, but without the risk of side effects.
Scientific Benefits of Essential Oils for Sleep
It’s important to remember that essential oils aren’t a new phenomenon. People have been using them for centuries, whether they want to boost their mental or physical wellness, decrease their stress and anxiety levels or, in the case of many modern essential oil users, find a way to get a sound night’s sleep.
A 2017 study found that aromatherapy that used essential oils to promote better sleep was more successful than even acupressure. Another scientific study found that the right essential oils improved sleep quality for hospital nurses after they had worked a night shift.
The science is there, so now it’s just about finding the essential oil that works best for you.
What About Sleep Apnoea?
The essential oils for sleep mentioned above generally fall into the category of helping restfulness by quieting your mind and reducing anxiety. However, there are other oils that can be used to reduce snoring and sleep apnoea symptoms. How? By clearing the airways.
Before heading off to sleep, add a few drops of peppermint oil to a pot of very hot water. Then hold your face above it with a towel draped over your head to create a ‘tent’ where you are breathing in the relaxing, minty and stimulating fragrance. This can provide relief for sleep apnoea sufferers, helping you get a better night’s sleep.
How Should You Use Essential Oils For Sleep?
The best part about essential oils is the sheer variety of options when it comes to using them. Consider the following techniques:
- Diffuse it: Aromatherapy diffusers make essential oils a breeze, especially ultrasonic diffusers that are safe, long-lasting and run on regular tap water. Plus, once you set your diffuser you can fall asleep to your relaxing scent of choice.
- In the bath: Been dying for a warm soak after a long day at the office? Or maybe you just need half an hour to yourself after wrangling the kids all day. Whatever the reason, add a few drops of a sleep-promoting essential oil to your bath and you’ll be on your way to a sound sleep in no time.
- DIY spritz: Got an empty spray bottle or atomiser around the house? Just add water and one of your favourite essential oils and then give your bedroom a spritz. You might even want to apply a light mist directly to your sheets for a more intense fragrance. Generally you should apply four to five drops of essential oil to every half-cup of water – fewer drops if the scent is strong, such as a citrus oil.
These seven essential oils for sleep can help you get a restful nights sleep every time you use them. If you would like to try the Lavender and Bergamot, it is part of the 16-piece set of high-quality essential oils at Alcyon. We invite you to take a look and reach out with any questions!