Best Essential Oils to Help You Sleep
If you’re having problems sleeping then you should consider essential oils. They can give you the relief from insomnia you need to sleep better at night.
Essential oils are extract from plant parts including leaves and flowers and they carry the ‘essence’ or the unique scent of the plant.
Here, we discuss some of the best essential oils that can help you to sleep better.
The power of sleep scents
Scents are powerful; they can trigger a memory, place, person or emotion.
You’ve likely found yourself encountering a particular smell that evokes some strong feeling or memory from the depths of your mind. Perhaps you smell a scent that reminds you of a perfume your mother used to wear, the smell of cookies baking in the oven reminds you of your grandmother in the kitchen making snacks for you and your friends when you were kids, or the smell of motor oil reminds you of the time spent working with your dad in the garage.
The sense of smell is more important than some realize. It is wired directly to your brain centers of emotion and memory. You associate certain smells with memories and certain smells can evoke emotional responses – including leaving you feeling calm and relaxed so you can sleep.
That is why aromatherapy, with the use of essential oils, is so powerful. Essential oils can be used to evoke many reactions, such as relaxation to help you fall asleep and experience restful sleep.
What Essential Oils Help you Sleep Better?
Here are several essential oils that can help you to sleep better:
Lavender is one of the most common essential oils for sleep.
The powerfully pleasant and relaxing scent from the oils of the lavender plant can help reduce anxiety and promote calmness and wellness.
Lavender essential oil aromatherapy can help those who have sleeping problems and has been proven to work. A study from 2015 assessed 158 postpartum women and showed that treating them with lavender aromatherapy for eight weeks helped them sleep better.
Another study involved 60 people with heart disease. They were given either a mixture of 2% lavender essential oil or no treatment for 15 days. Those using lavender aromatherapy showed improved sleep quality and also displayed less anxiety.
A 2005 study assessed 31 young, healthy sleepers and found that lavender promoted deep sleep.
With its woodsy aroma with sweet, earthy undertones, evoking memories of late nights by the campfire or relaxing cedar saunas, cedarwood essential oil contains the compound cedrol, which has been shown to have a sedative and calming effect.
A small study of older adults with dementia involved using essential oils by placing them on towels around pillows. The study lasted for 20 days. Patients with essential oils slept better and were less likely to wake up early.
The fragrant scent of this luxurious, cozy, and comforting citrus oil is great for helping you unwind and relax at the end of a long day.
A study from 2016 looked at the effects of bergamot. Researchers looked at how essential oils could be used with personal aromatherapy devices to provide better sleep. Sixty-five patients in all were given the devices to use. 92% found positive improvement in their sleep quality and said they would continue to use the devices.
Having a delicious sweet smell that many find appealing, vanilla has been used across history to promote relaxation and stress relief. Vanilla has been shown to sedate the body, and reduce hyperactivity and restlessness. It calms down the nervous system and lowers blood pressure.
There are also signs that it can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by boosting mood and helping users to feel more relaxed. If you love the smell of cookies baking in the oven then you should try out vanilla.
Rose and Geranium
These are technically two scents, but they have very similar sweet floral scents and have both been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia. They work well individually but also make for a great tag team for enhanced results.
These scents produce similar results to valerian to help you go to sleep but without the strong, earthy smell.
Used for centuries in Asia, jasmine oil offers a sweet, pleasing floral scent that promotes healthy sleep patterns.
Research has shown that jasmine improves overall sleep quality while reducing restless sleeping. It also increases alertness during the day for an overall approach to better sleep health. Jasmine also reduces anxiety – and does a better job of it than lavender.
How to Use Essential Oils to Sleep Better
Now that you know which essential oils to use and how they work, let’s actually look at how to use them.
Add them to a bath
One of the easiest ways to use essential oils is to add them to a bath. Given that warm water helps relax and lull you to sleep, it makes sense that you should combine aromatherapy with bath time. Add some drops of essential oil to your bathwater and take a bath around 90 minutes before hitting the hay for best results.
Use a diffuser
Diffusers are good for essential oils because they disperse the oil into your room. In general, all you need to do is add water and oil per as the manufacturer’s instructions and you’re good to go.
Make an essential oil mist
Another thing to try is to create your own mist. Mix up some essential oil and water in a spray bottle or an atomizer and spread it around your room and bed linens.
Given that undiluted oils can cause skin irritation, it’s best to spray under the pillow rather than on the side you rest your face on. Spraying oil to your pillow prior to bedtime will allow the scent to help you fall asleep and to linger while you sleep.
The ideal mixture is 4 to 5 drops of essential oil per every half cup of water. Use less oil if the scent becomes overwhelming.
Try Essential Oils to Sleep Better at Night
If you are having problems sleeping, then essential oils could be the answer. Take time to discover which scents work for you.
It also helps to have good sleep hygiene and have a night time schedule, such as having a nice warm relaxing bath or shower before bed, doing yoga or tai chi, listening to relaxing music or sounds, having a cup of warm milk or chamomile tea, and turning electronic devices off well ahead of bedtime.
Check with a healthcare professional for more information on using essential oils along with other lifestyle changes that can help you get a good night’s sleep.
The use of essential oil aromatherapy is one way to help you sleep better, and improve your overall health and well-being.