15 Best Essential Oils for Promoting Sleep
Some essential oils are naturally comprised of molecules that are calming and can help promote relaxation and sleep. Essential oils are not a cure for serious or ongoing sleep disturbances and they should not be treated or used as a substitute for proper medical care, but they do offer the potential of helping you relax, fall asleep and stay asleep. I have personally experienced benefit in using essential oils, particularly the essential oils mentioned on this page, to help me relax and fall asleep.
Below is a list of the 15 essential oils that tend to be naturally relaxing. Be sure to scroll down the page to learn how to best use essential oils to help promote sleep and to view helpful tips.
Top 15 Essential Oils That Can Help Promote Sleep
Everyone can respond to essential oils and blends differently. This list is offered as a starting point in discovering the essential oils that work best for you.
When selecting and using essential oils, be sure to follow all safety precautions and remember that aromatherapy should not be used as a substitute for proper medical treatment.
- Black Spruce
- Clary Sage
- Ho Wood
- Roman Chamomile
- Ylang Ylang
Best Ways to Use Essential Oils Before Bed
- Take an aromatic bath prior to bedtime, but be sure to follow safety precaution of using essential oils in the bathtub. Remember that essential oils should never be added directly to bathwater.
- Add a single drop of essential oil to a cotton ball and set on your nightstand (be careful not to allow the oil to contact surfaces and keep away from pets and children).
- Before bed, use an aromatherapy inhaler that is made using your chosen essential oils for sleep.
- Diffusing all night is not recommended, but running a diffuser for a few minutes before you get into bed can be helpful.
Essential Oil Safety
Be sure that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the safety information applicable for each essential oil that you intend to use.
Tips and Suggestions
- Be sure that the essential oil that you are working with is distilled/pressed from the correct plant. For example, Clary Sage Essential Oil tends to be very relaxing, but Dalmatian (Common) Sage can be quite stimulating. True Lavender is relaxing, but Lavandin and Spike Lavender typically contain more camphor and can potentially make it harder to fall asleep.
- Everyone is different, and you may find that a particular essential oil isn't as helpful to you as another.
- Less is more. Using too much of an essential oil can have the reverse effect and be more stimulating.
- There certainly may be essential oils that you find very helpful for sleep that are not on this list. Everyone is different, and it's possible that an essential oil that helps many people sleep may instead be too stimulating for you. If you do not like the aroma of an essential oil or if it triggers negative memories for you, the essential oil could have the reverse impact on you.
Essential Oil Recipes and Blend that Help Promote Sleep
View AromaWeb's Aromatherapy Recipe for Insomnia and Trouble Sleeping.
For more information, tips and ideas, read AromaWeb's Aromatherapy for Insomnia and Difficulty Sleeping article.
- Neryls Purchon and Lora Cantele, Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness (Toronto ON: Robert Rose, 2014), 255.
- Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 270.