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In this post: The right essential oils or diffuser blends can induce sleep and deepen relaxation. Here are 10 recipes and tips for getting to sleep fast.
I have found the older I get the harder it is to get to sleep and stay asleep. So many of my friends have talked about their struggles with insomnia, and I have had spells of not sleeping recently as well. When you feel overworked or your brain won’t stop and keeps you up these relaxing essential oils and essential oil diffuser blends for sleep can help.
What Are Essential Oils?
“Essential oils are extracted from plants in a way so they retain their original properties. Essential oils can be stored in any part of the plant like flowers, leaves, twigs, roots, buds, stems, or seeds.” [Source: Amerisleep.]
How Do Essential Oils Work?
When essential oils are put on or in your body they have an effect on your senses relating to smell and your “emotional” brain. They can help your brain chemistry produce the right chemicals (like dopamine and serotonin) to help you sleep or give you energy.
How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be:
- Inhaled, usually by diffusing in some way. Room sprays, linen sprays, mist diffusers, reed diffusers, or even a cotton ball or hot bowl of water all work to dilute essential oils for inhalation. Or put a few drops in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, cup them together and inhale the warm aroma.
- Applied directly to the skin, most often with a carrier oil like a vegetable, nut, or seed oil to avoid skin irritation. Rub a few drops on your chest, feet, wrists, forehead, or neck.
- Added to bath water. Just a few drops can turn a regular soak into an aromatherapy bath session. Paired with Epsom salts, essential oils in the bath can be very relaxing.
- Burned (in a candle).
How Can Essential Oils Improve Sleep?
- Soothe stress and anxiety
- Improve depression
Different Ways of Using Essential Oils for Sleep
The Best Sleep-Inducing Essential Oils
Each of these oils has been known to help with insomnia in one way or another with some being more tested than others.
Try them to see which ones work for you.
- Bergamot Oil: A citrus fruit that has a calming effect rather than a stimulating effect like other citrus oils.
- Cedarwood Oil: Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Chamomile Oil: Works by reducing anxiety, depression, and headaches which thus makes it easier to sleep.
- Clary Sage Oil: Known for its antidepressant effect, which in turn helps relaxation and sleep.
- Frankincense Oil: Balances emotions, promotes sleep, and calms the mind.
- Jasmine Oil: Great for insomnia!
- Lavender Oil: Lavender is known for its relaxing and sleep-inducing effects.
- Peppermint Oil: Sometimes used as a stimulant, peppermint oil also helps with breathing and helps reduce snoring and some sleep apnea issues.
- Rose and Geranium Oils: May balance hormones and soothe headaches.
- Sandalwood Oil: A woody, natural scent that relieves stress and anxiety.
- Sweet Marjoram Oil: Known for its calming effect on the brain.
- Valerian Oil: Works like antidepressants and promotes deep sleep.
- Vanilla Oil: Reduces restlessness, soothes nerves, and has even been said to lower blood pressure.
- Vetiver Oil: Sometimes indicated for breath support.
- Ylang Ylang Oil: Has a soothing effect that alleviates stress and promotes sleep.
- Whatever oils help YOU relax!
Which Essential Oils Should You Avoid for Sleep?
Avoid stimulating essential oils before bedtime. Oils like:
- sweet orange
- peppermint (maybe)
Of course, scent and aromas are personal things. So if any of the oils I recommend avoiding relax you and have a calming effect, then, by all means, go ahead and use them!
My Go-To 1o Essential Oil Diffuser Blends for Sleep
These blends will help relax your mind and body and you will hopefully drift right off to sleep and stay asleep through the night so you can wake up feeling rested!
1. Night Night Wonderland
A nice blend that really helps relax your mind and body. A very earthy and woody scent that will fill your room.
If you are filled with tension and stress this is a great blend to help soothe you.
3. Cool Winter Night
This is a really fresh cooling scent that will have you dozing off in no time.
4. Cozy Time
A really refreshing and peaceful scent to help set your mind and body up for bedtime.
5. Fresh And Relaxed
You have the spice from the Frankincense paired with the sweet orange for a perfect blend. Great for calming the mind so you can hopefully go to sleep faster and stay asleep.
6. Out Like a Light
This is a unique blend that will help calm and promote a peaceful night’s sleep. You have a mix of woody scents, floral, and citrus for a perfect blend.
7. Deep Sleep
Diffuse this 15-20 minutes before you go to sleep and watch yourself drift off to sleep in no time.
8. Silent Night
Chamomile is a wonderful way to relax at the end of the day and get sleepy. When paired with these other two oils it helps you really get into that sleep mode and turn your mind off.
You have the woody smell paired with the citrus for the perfect blend. I use this blend quite often.
10. Good Night Land
Patchouli and vetiver are wonderful for grounding your emotions and getting you centered and the orange is great for calming and relaxing.
The Best Essential Oil Diffusers
One of the most popular ways to use essential oils is in essential oil diffusers. These amazing little devices break down the oil into tiny modules and disperse them through the air. When you inhale the oils, these molecules enter the bloodstream almost instantly. Since the integrity of the oil stays intact, you get the full therapeutic benefits from the oils.
There are many types of essential oil diffusers. Read Essential Oil Diffusers 101 to choose the right one for you!
Are there any risks to using essential oils?
While most studies seem to indicate very few negative effects from aromatherapy, you will want to be careful to avoid using any oils that irritate your skin.
Each essential oil brand is completely different and comes with different safety outlines. You should choose a reputable brand and the correct grade of essential oil for its use.
What is the most calming essential oil?
For sleep, experts vote lavender.
How does aromatherapy induce sleep?
Certain scents have a calming effect and thus help our bodies to relax so our bodies can prepare to sleep.
Do essential oils have any side effects?
Some essential oils could cause skin irritation, so before using be sure to do a patch test by testing on a very small area of your skin.
Can coconut oil be used as a carrier oil?
In its pure form, yes. But refined coconut oil shouldn’t be used because it’s not all natural.
Can I leave my essential oil diffuser on all night?
Yes, as long as you’re using good quality oils and a great diffuser. For extra safety, get one with an auto-off feature so it shuts off automatically when it runs out of water.
Where to rub essential oils for sleep?
You can rub or massage a few drops of essential oils into your chest, wrists, forehead, top of your head, soles of your feet, or neck.
Other ways to improve your sleep
- Exercise regularly so that you are not restless from lack of movement. Plus regular exercise like walking is good for your body!
- Avoid caffeine late in the day. Personally, I can’t drink caffeine past noon if I want to have a good night’s sleep.
- Tune out the noise with a white noise machine or a simple fan.
- Avoid stressful activities and situations before bedtime whenever possible.
- Block out the light with room darkening blinds or curtains.
- Avoid eating too close to bedtime. You want your body to relax and focus on sleep, not on digesting that late-night pizza.
- Take a natural sleep aid like melatonin, but only on a doctor’s advice. Not all supplements are created equal and just because one works for someone else doesn’t mean it will be good for you.
- Avoid alcohol. While it seems like it has a relaxing effect, alcohol is a stimulant and will contribute to poor sleep quality.
- Memorize or read bible verses for sleep
Essential Oils to Avoid for Pets and Babies
Essential oils are amazing, they have so many benefits from relieving pain, purifying the air, and more. We LOVE them here at Chez Acheson. But did you know some essential oils are not safe to diffuse around pets or even babies?
As a parent, and/or pet owner you want to make sure you are doing all you can to make them happy and safe. Below you will find a handful of essential oils that are not safe for your pet or your baby. I have broken each category down, so you can see oils to stay away from if you own a dog, cat, or a baby. This is a quick guide to help you be as safe as possible around your family.
It doesn’t mean you can’t use these oils anymore, you just have to be aware of how. Diffusing is one way that your pet or child can inhale these oils and that can be toxic. You can apply topically if you are fighting an illness or pain, but diffusing isn’t the best. Make sure if you use these oils on your body topically you are aware of when you go to pick up your baby or pet. Don’t allow it to be where they can come in contact with the essential oil.
For a list of essential oils to avoid for dogs, cats, and babies read this article: Essential Oils to Avoid for Pets and Babies.
More Essential Oil Ideas
- Essential Oil Diffusers 101 – All You Need to Know to Get Started
- Essential Oils to Avoid for Pets and Babies
- Calming Essential Oils for Anxiety – 7 Blends to Use if You’re Stressed!
- DIY Reed Diffuser – Plus Homemade Diffuser Oil Recipes
- The Ultimate Essential Oil Gifts Guide – 100+ Best EO Gift Ideas
- 7 Spring Essential Oil Diffuser Blends
- 13 Summer Essential Oil Blends + Free Printable Diffuser Blends
- 12 of the Best Fall Essential Oil Blends For Your Diffuser
- 24 Best Winter Essential Oil Diffuser Blends
Are essential oils part of your bedtime routine? Do you have any favorite essential oil diffuser blends for sleep?