Getting a good night's sleep is crucial for our physical, mental, and emotional health
With pressure from work, social commitments, and the stressors of modern life, many of us struggle to get the rest we need to feel totally rejuvenated.
If you’re looking for holistic remedies to support your R&R, essential oils can be a powerful tool for promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality.
In this article, we'll explore the chemistry behind essential oils, their benefits for sleep, and tips for incorporating them into your bedtime routine.
What’s the relationship between essential oils and quality sleep?
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that contain a complex mixture of chemicals. These chemicals can interact with our bodies in various ways that impact our mood, emotions, physical sensations, and even how we sleep.
Some of the main compounds that promote relaxation and improve sleep include:
Linalool is a monoterpene alcohol found in Ho Wood, Bergamot, and other essential oils that’s been shown to have sedative effects and promote relaxation.
Linalyl acetate is a monoterpene ester found in essential oils such as Lavender and Clary Sage and has been found to have sedative properties.
Best essential oils for sleep
When choosing essential oils for better sleep, consider the specific chemical compounds found in each oil. It's also important to note that everyone's response to essential oils is different, so it may take some experimentation to find the oils and methods that work best for you.
Here are some incredible, sweet-smelling essential oils that help with sleep.
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils for sleep and relaxation because of its sedative effects. This calming flower helps to regulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls bodily processes around heart rate, breathing, and hormone secretion that can lead to anxiety.
Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica)
Cedarwood has a woodsy, earthy scent and contains sesquiterpenes, which have been shown to have calming effects and promote relaxation.
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum mobile)
Roman Chamomile is known to help promote sleep due to its calming effects. The sweet-warm fruity/herbal aroma of Roman Chamomile essential oil contributes to its sleep-enhancing properties for a good night's sleep.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bergamot essential oil has a citrusy scent and contains linalool. Its sedative properties make it useful for promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety.
Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata)
Ylang-ylang has a sweet, floral scent that can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. It’s particularly effective when used in a diffuser or a warm bath.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)
Vetiver has a deep, earthy scent that can help to promote relaxation, grounding, and reduce anxiety.
Essential oil blends for better sleep
When it comes to essential oils, sometimes it’s hard to pick just one. Luckily, you can blend essential oils to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality in your diffuser.
Not only can diffusing essential oils fill the room with a with a calm, inviting aroma, it also can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Simply add a few drops of your chosen essential oils to a diffuser and turn it on before bed.
You might be wondering if it’s safe to keep an oil diffuser on while you sleep. While some sources say you can, we recommend not diffusing essential oils overnight.
You can explore and try your own recipes for sleep by mixing 3-5 of the essential oils we listed above. Mix and match until you find your favorite scent, but if you want specific DIY recipes, here are some combinations you might want to try:
A blend for breathing better
This blend combines the calming, relaxing effects of Lavender with the stress-reducing properties of Bergamot. You’ll enhance the fresh scent with Peppermint and Lemon that help with supporting your respiratory system while unwinding.
- 3 drops of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 3 drops of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
- 2 drops of Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
- 2 drops of Lemon (Citrus limon)
A blend for tackling insomnia
If have a hard time falling asleep, try this blend and experience the relaxing properties and fruitsy scent of Ylang ylang and the calming effects of Chamomile together.
- 5 drops of Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)
- 3 drops of Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum mobile)
- 2 drops of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Incorporating essential oils into your bedtime routine
Once you've chosen your favorite essential oil(s) for sleep, there are many ways to incorporate them into your bedtime routine besides the classic diffuser method:
Add them to a warm bath
Adding essential oils to a warm bath can soothe your tired muscles, put your mind at ease, and help you to feel calm and serene as you wind down your day. Simply add a few drops of your chosen oil(s) to a dispersant such as honey, and then step into a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes before bed.
Use a pillow mist
You can also create a pillow mist by mixing your chosen essential oil(s) with water and a little bit of glycerine in a spray bottle and spritzing it onto your pillow before bed.
Light candles infused with essential oils
Winding down after a long day with a hot bath and fragrant candles creates an indulgent, tranquil ambiance to help you prepare for deep rest. Our Evening Aromatherapy Candle is crafted with natural soy wax and 100% pure essential oils—including Cardamom, Bergamot, and Cedarwood—to help you find rest, renewal, and restoration.
Use an aromatherapy eye pillow
You can also use an aromatherapy eye pillow with delightful scents and relax your way to sleep. This eye pillow offers a soothing and relaxing experience that promotes deep rest. It emits a calming fragrance thanks to the soft dried flowers of Chamomile and Lavender found inside (it does not contain essential oils).
Create a relaxing bedtime routine
One of the most powerful things you can do to improve your sleep is to create a bedtime routine that relaxes your body and gives you the space to slow down. By incorporating essential oils into your night-time ritual, you might be able to fall asleep faster, wake up more energized, and get the rest you need to feel your best.
Even the smallest lifestyle shifts can make a huge impact on your health. Sign up for our newsletter for more tips and tricks to support your holistic wellness one day at a time.