Essential Oils That Help With Sleep

by | Dec 14, 2020

essential oils that help with sleep

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that the average adult needs between 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. But, if you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. Approximately 70 million Americans report some kind of sleep disorder with anywhere from 33 to 50% reporting symptoms of insomnia. 

With so many people struggling to sleep well, essential oils that help with sleep have become a sought after remedy for many. Essential oils derived from plants are extracted to preserve the original properties of the oils. Many claim they have a beneficial impact on our wellbeing, including sleep. 

Essential oils that help with sleep can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Rubbing drops on specific body parts, often in diluted form to prevent skin irritation.  
  • Lighting candles infused with essential oils.
  • Inhaling oils that are applied to the hands after rubbing them together.
  • Diluting the oils in a spray bottle with water and applying it to pillows or bedding.
  • Adding a few drops to a warm bathtub.
  • Adding drops to a tea kettle filled with water and inhaling the steam through a “tented” towel.

Regardless of how it’s used, several essential oils that help with sleep have been recommended through both research and anecdotal evidence. 


Lavender is the most consistently recommended versatile essential oil that helps with sleep. Known for its calming properties and multifunctional uses, it’s recognized as a natural sleep aid that promotes relaxation. 


In a limited use study, 64% of participants reported that Bergamot, an oil recommended to reduce stress and improve mood, helped them improve their sleep quality. It’s recognized for lowering heart rate and blood pressure to promote better sleep. 


Proponents suggest that cedarwood reduces stress and is frequently used to control emotions. Though few studies have been done on this oil, there’s been some evidence to suggest it is among the essential oils that helps with sleep.


Valerian is known for its sedative effect, without the morning hangover. Studies have shown that using this essential oil to help with sleep improves the quality of sleep as well as duration of sleep. 

Roman Chamomile

A well known herbal tea, chamomile is often included in people’s night time routines to promote better sleep. Evidence for chamomile being an essential oil that helps with sleep includes its reported ability to reduce nightmares

Sweet Marjoram

While being known more for immune system benefits and ability to improve indigestion, a study done with nurses reported its benefits to help these workers navigate their erratic schedules and maintain good sleep.  

Clary Sage

This essential oil is also a natural sedative, having a reported benefit of lowering cortisol levels. As a result, its application before bedtime can help users fall asleep faster and stay asleep once in slumber. 

If you have trouble catching your z’s, there are many oils or combinations of essential oils that help with sleep. Make sure you thoroughly read the safe use application recommendations and are aware of potential side effects to avoid any negative effects to your body. If you have any questions before beginning an essential oil regime, it’s always good to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider. 

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