It seems like lately I just can’t get a good night’s rest! Although, to be honest, this seems to be the story of my life. I’ve never been able to fall asleep quickly or stay asleep consistently. Sometimes sleep is elusive, even when you’re tired! That’s when I turn to sleep remedies like long baths and melatonin, and I put my diffuser to work with the best essential oils for sleep.
Whether they have relaxing and calming properties, or straight up sedative properties, essential oils can help bring on a good night’s rest. Not only can they help you with sleep issues, but they’ll likely be beneficial in reducing stress (no surprise many of among the best oils for anxiety) and your bedroom will smell amazing to boot!
The Best Essential Oils for Sleep
Below, I’ve listed six of the best essential oils for sleep. Feel free to use them individually or in any combination—we put together 5 simple diffuser blends at the end of the post to get you started!
It seems like lavender makes it to the top of just about every list because it’s so incredibly versatile. I mean, really, is there anything lavender isn’t good for? Among its many benefits, lavender also happens to be great for sleep. Its clean, floral aroma is great at relaxing stress, anxiety, and tension, enabling you to let the worries of the day go and fall asleep quickly.
Lavender’s sleep benefits are also enhanced when combined with other essential oils, so using it in a DIY sleep blend is a great idea! Try using it in a linen spray or use it in a diffuser at night with other sleep-promoting essential oils.
Surprisingly, cedarwood is actually a great option to consider when choosing essential oils to help promote sleep. Not only can it help with stress and tension, but it actually has sedative properties that are (obviously!) beneficial when trying to get a good night’s rest.
Because of this, it’s probably best to use cedarwood right before bed. And since it has a strong, cedar-like smell, I like to combine it with other sleep-supporting essential oils in a diffuser blend.
Lately, vetiver has become one of my go-to oils. Not only does it help balance out blends, but it can help balance the mind as well. It’s a grounding oil with a deep, earthy aroma that can help promote relaxation if you’re struggling with anxiety and, like cedarwood, it also has sedative properties.
Vetiver has a distinct aroma that I like to utilize when combined with other essential oils. It can be especially nice when used in a massage blend or in a DIY diffuser blend right before you go to sleep.
4. Sweet Orange
Sweet orange also makes this list due to its ability to help promote relaxation when dealing with stress, anxiety, or tension. A 2017 study found sweet orange helpful in reducing sleep disturbance in the elderly. Plus, with its sweet, citrus aroma, it also has the ability to cheer you up if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps.
It’s one of the few citrus oils that is not phototoxic, so it can be safely used on the skin if you want to use it for a massage oil or relaxing body lotion. However, it’s also a perfect addition to pillow or linen sprays, or diffused throughout the bedroom before sleep.
Chamomile herb has a long history of being beneficial for stress and anxiety and helping to promote sleep. The good news is the essential oil shares the same characteristics!
Chamomile is great to use when tensions are high and you want to promote calmness and relaxation. Personally, it’s one of my favorite aromas, and it blends well with a number of other essential oils.
Chamomile does tend to be a bit pricier than the other oils on this list, so I recommend using it in smaller amounts in blends combined with other essential oils–either for the diffuser, in a calming bath oil or for a pillow spray.
Sweet marjoram is another essential oil that happens to be great for sleep. Like all essential oils, it contains a number of therapeutic properties that enable it to be useful for many different situations. However, it happens to be especially beneficial for promoting a good night’s rest.
Not only can it help calm the emotions and help you relax if you have nervous tension, it’s also has sedative properties and is considered beneficial for insomnia as well. Additionally, it can help soothe and relax tired muscles. This can be especially helpful if you struggle with muscle cramps or restless leg syndrome. In fact, a 2017 study found an essential oil massage with sweet marjoram before bed improved the sleep quality of nurses working night shifts.
Sweet marjoram has a camphor-like aroma, so I like to use it in a diffuser blend with other relaxing and sleep-promoting oils.
All of the oils I’ve listed above would work great in diffuser blends or in DIY linen or pillow sprays. However, you could also use them diluted in a roller bottle or combined with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba to be used as a massage oil or even rubbed on the bottom of your feet. Feel free to try out the different methods to see which ones work best for you!
5 Essential Oil Diffuser Blends for Sleep
You can’t really go wrong when combining any of the six oils listed above. They all blend easily so use the ones you like best. My favorite diffuser uses about 10 drops of essential oil, but read the instructions on yours and revise accordingly.
- 5 drops sweet orange
- 5 drops lavender
- 7 drops cedarwood
- 1 drop vetiver
- 2 drops sweet marjoram
- 1 drop chamomile
- 6 drops cedarwood
- 3 drops sweet marjoram
- 7 drops lavender
- 3 drops chamomile
- 4 drops cedarwood
- 3 drops lavender
- 3 drops sweet orange
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Holly Smith, a board certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine with a background in nutrition. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.142