The 10 Best Essential Oils For Sleep
Have you woken up exhausted yet another morning? Does it seem to take forever to fall asleep? Does it feel like the alarm goes off moments after you have finally fallen asleep? Finally, are you tired of being tired?
It’s long been known that essential oils possess multiple benefits for your health. But did you know that studies show they can improve your sleep, too?
Humanity is taking cues from our early ancestors and getting back to the basics. The use of alternative, complementary, and holistic therapies are becoming commonplace for traditional issues faced in our daily lives.
One of the most important, and often ignored, facets for a healthy lifestyle is getting the recommended amount of sleep. After all, it is supposed to be one third of our lives – if we are lucky. A 2014 study, by The National Center of Biotechnology Information, examined the hypnotic effects of the inhalation of multiple essential oils and found that a majority of the study findings suggested a positive effect of essential oils on sleep.
That’s great news. Especially considering the CDC considers not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Not only is this a threat to the health of our nation, but it is entirely preventable.
Along with proper diet and exercise, essential oils can give you the additional nudge in the right direction; all while avoiding the dangerous and addictive pharmaceuticals upon which so many of us have come to rely.
The term “essential oil” is becoming more commonplace, but also becoming more and more misunderstood. Since they can treat many conditions, how can you find out which are the best essential oils for sleep?
More good news! We have compiled a list of the ten best essential oils for sleep and why you should be utilizing them right away.
This all-time favorite plant from the mint family, produces one of the most popular of the essential oils. Lavender is known for its sleep inducing properties, backed up by scientific research. Effective ways to use lavender essential oil include; bath salts, massage oils, candles, sachets, sleep masks, pillow spray and even a lavender infused bed pillow.
Additional studies suggest ambient lavender oil might be used as a temporary relief from continued medication for insomnia and reduces the side-effects of these drugs. That’s especially useful for those of us who are trying to wean ourselves off the over-the-counter medication on which we’ve come to rely. This is definitely the go to essential oil for sleep.
Roman Chamomile essential oil is a beautiful essential oil to work with for better sleep. The essential oil has sedative and calming properties and is used to calm excessive thinking, dispel anger, and relieve stress; all contributors to a restless night. It also relieves muscle spasms, relaxing the muscles so you can get a good night’s sleep. Roman Chamomile brings inner calm and peace and is great for sensitive people who feel misunderstood or badly hurt as it can be used to clear emotional congestion. Traditionally, chamomile preparations such as tea and essential oil aromatherapy have been used to treat insomnia and to induce sedation (calming effects). This is one essential oil you do not want to go without.
Clary Sage is a lightly sweet essential oil that can also be used to enhance sleep. Clary sage encourages the natural production of GABA in the brain, which promotes relaxation. When tested against lavender, chamomile, and rosemary, clary sage had the most powerful anti-stress activity. It’s a mild mood elevator that can help lower high blood pressure (another insomnia trigger). Clary Sage is an especially good choice for people with sleep problems related to anxiety attacks or even vertigo. If this sounds like you, give it a go. More than likely, you are sure to be pleased.
Put some eucalyptus oil in a diffuser before bedtime and the aroma will promote feelings of relaxation, preparing you for a better night’s sleep. Or, the next time you feel tension, place a few drops of eucalyptus oil into your hands, cup your hands over your nose, and inhale deeply. The inhalation of eucalyptus oil helps to open up blockages in the airways. If you suffer from sleep apnea, then eucalyptus oil can complement your ongoing treatment or can be a standalone natural aid depending on the severity of your problem. It helps to ease your breathing by clearing your airways. This means you’ll have no sleep disturbance due to interrupted breathing or snoring.
Another valuable oil to add to your natural medicine cabinet is sandalwood. It has several benefits to help promote a quality night’s sleep. Also, it helps reduce anxiety, promotes a meditative state, and helps to relieve chronic insomnia. It can also help to relax cramped muscles that may be keeping you up at night. This oil has additional uses, too. Aside from its grounding properties, the alcohol in Sandalwood is also known to beautify skin when used topically, as well as promoting calm, relaxed feelings for a restful night’s sleep when used aromatically. In a recent clinical trial, sandalwood essential oil was noted to have a depressive effect on the central nervous system, which helped promote relaxation and sleep. Due to its ability to calm your mind, sandalwood is one of the most popular essential oils for sleep aid remedies and one of the best essential oils for insomnia.
Native to Indonesia, and utilizing its sedative effects, ylang-ylang flowers produce an oil that is effective in reducing hypertension. Not only can it help you fall asleep faster, but a little aromatherapy with this oil can also alleviate stress and anxiety. Additionally, ylang-ylang also has a gorgeous scent, a light floral aroma that works wonderfully as a perfume or natural air freshener. Where’s the science? Check out the results from this study which show that ylang ylang oil improves the sleeping quality of college students. But don’t worry, it’ll help all of us!
A cross between a lemon and an orange, bergamot is a hybrid fruit with a sweet citrus scent. Studies have shown that when bergamot essential oil is used in aromatherapy, it can relieve anxiety, reduce stress and calm the body and mind. Since it helps calm and reduce anxious feelings, bergamot essential oil is widely employed in aromatherapy and has recently received renewed popularity in improving mood and mild symptoms of stress-induced disorders and facilitating sleep initiation.
Although it possesses invigorating smell, lemon oil has also been proven to be an effective sedative, with anti-anxiety benefits. Most all citrus essential oils are bright and happy, making them great to relieve stress, but they are also still calming and can help improve sleep patterns. As a mood stabilizer and nausea reducer, essential lemon oil can help attain a more balanced night’s sleep. An added bonus: clean your house with it! This essential oil can do it all.
This essential oil’s warm, spicy aroma promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, and satisfaction. Frankincense is a great essential oil to use to help balance your mood and, in turn, help you sleep. Just a drop or two of oil diluted in melted coconut oil on your temples can help to melt away stress. Be sure to rub a little oil between the palms of your hand and take a deep breath to promote calmness. Also, try adding a few drops along with a few drops of lavender to your bath for a relaxing soak. You can even add a few drops to your washcloth while in the shower. Add this oil to your wind-down routine and reap the benefits of total relaxation!
Another oil with multiple uses, peppermint oil has the ability to relax muscles in the body, as well as the muscles that line our airways and become irritated. After a long day, add a drop of peppermint to your bathtub water and soak in the aroma. The refreshing peppermint vapor will make you feel cool, relaxed and energized again. If you find you are having a hard time sleeping, you’ll find peppermint oil may help with insomnia. Peppermint oil has been used topically for tension headaches and that relief can be helpful when falling asleep. After you rub it on your sore muscles, be sure to inhale a little before bedtime for better sleep. It is one of the best essential oils for relaxing muscles for a good night’s sleep. A must try!
It takes a routine in order to reap the full benefits of essential oil for improved sleep. If you can manage some exercise, a decent diet, some wind down time (especially using essential oils in your bath and diffusing the air while you meditate), you can expect a better night’s sleep and a brighter morning.
Unlike prescription sleep medication, which can be addictive, and has many adverse effects, essential oils for sleep are without side effects or addictive potential, and do not negatively affect coordination or motor function. If you experience trouble sleeping, you owe it to yourself to give these essential oils a go. You do not need to purchase any type of diffuser if you don’t want to. You can add it to your bath or shower, or rub it on your temples, hands, or sore muscles. You can even simply put a few drops of any of these amazing sleep-inducing essential oils near your pillow and drift off to sleep.
Any, and all, of the above essential oils can be used alone or in conjunction with one another. It is up to you to find the combination that is right for you. Try one, try them all, and wake up to the person you are meant to be!