Do you have insomnia? Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep isn't new and roughly 27% of adults claim to have trouble with sleep in general. Although there are medications for this, many people like to try a natural route first. Essential oils are very popular and we're going to outline the best choices to help reduce your stress and help your sleep patterns.
Eight of the Best Single Essential Oils for Sleep and to Help De-Stress
One study showed essential oils can both improve your sleep quality and provide relief from disrupted sleep. In the study, they compared essential oil use to an acupressure massage. Using Essential Oils dramatically improved sleep, especially in women.
Arguably one of the most popular essential oils for sleep and relaxation is Lavender. Lavender is a floral scent that tends to linger and it can also be one of the stronger scents. It is a natural remedy for reducing stress and anxiety and it can help slow your mind down. There are several studies that show that Lavender promotes sleep while reducing pain and anxiety or stress.
Vanilla has a very sweet scent and there is a long history associated with Vanilla's sedative effects. Other studies showed that Vanilla was effective at reducing high blood pressure and restlessness as well as helping to quieten down your central nervous system. All of this can lead to a more relaxed mind-set for sleep and it can help you stay asleep once you manage to drift off.
Another light floral scent, Jasmine, has calming properties that have proved to be on a par with certain medications. It has several beneficial effects including reducing restlessness during sleep and improving overall sleep quality. Jasmine can also increase how alert you are during the daytime and this can help to reduce your urge to nap.
Citrus Essential Oils can either stimulate you or promote sleep. Bergamot is a type of orange that has an earthy scent and studies show that using this helps to reduce anxiety levels by calming the nervous system. Additionally, Lemon Oil can help with both depression and anxiety. If you find they stimulate you, use them during the day to reinvigorate yourself.
Spruce Oil has a very earthy smell that can ground you and help with any racing thoughts or feelings you may have. In turn, it can help calm you down before bed. If your mind doesn't race, you'll get a deeper and more relaxed sleep. It's best to use it for 30 minutes or so before bed. Put it on, lay down, and allow your body to relax before you drift off.
Another strong and earthy scent that works to ground you, Frankincense mixes well with a variety of oils. You get strong anti-depressive effects each time you use it and it tricks your brain into thinking your skin is warm. This can lull you off to sleep and can work to keep you asleep once you do manage to drift off. You'll get a restful sleep that leaves you refreshed.
7. Clary Sage
Clary Sage has a sweet scent combined with sedative properties that help you fall asleep more quickly and then stay asleep. It is a slightly lighter scent, so it may fade away after a few hours depending on how you use it. However, this quality makes it a nice oil to use around kids or people who are very sensitive to smells as its subtlety means it is hard to overwhelm anyone with it.
Chamomile has a long history of being a soothing tea that helps you relax. It also has an essential oil that allows you to enjoy the scent of it each time you open the bottle. It can help soothe your nervous system and calm any racing thoughts you may have. You can use it an hour or two before bed to let yourself slowly relax before the sedative effects take hold and you sleep.
Five of the Best Oil Blends for Sleep and to Help De-Stress
Now that you know single oils you can use to promote sleep and relaxation, we're going to give you a few easy blends you can make. These blends allow you to get multiple benefits each time you use them because each oil has different properties.
You can make a spray by mixing two or three drops of the blend into eight ounces of water (with a solubilizer) and spritzing your bedding. You can also mix with a few ounces of carrier oil of your choice and make a topical solution to put on your feet, wrists and temples. Diffusers are another possibility that you can run an hour before bed in your bedroom.
Sleep Blend One
- Lavender - Three to Five Drops
- Orange - Three to Five Drops
Sleep Blend Two
- Frankincense - Three to Five Drops
- Lavender - Four to Six Drops
Sleep Blend Three
- Frankincense - Three Drops
- Lavender - Two Drops
Sleep Blend Four
- Vanilla - Four Drops
- Lavender - Two Drops
- Jasmine - One Drop
Sleep Blend Five
- Spruce - Four Drops
- Citrus - Two Drops
No matter which essential oil or blend works best for you, you never want to apply them directly to your skin. You can make a safe blend by using the oils we listed and mixing them with jojoba, almond or a carrier oil of your choice. This can help to prevent irritation and you'll smell it all night. So, have fun with the essential oils. Try out a few and see which ones help you get a good night's sleep so you can get up and take on the day!
Catherine Lawson is the chief editor at WellnessAromas.com, a community of passionate aromatherapy advocates, dedicated to providing resources and guidance to improve your wellness with essential oils.