Experts recommend that you need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night to feel fully rested.
However, that’s easy for everyone to achieve, with many people finding it difficult to sufficiently unwind and relax before they attempt to drift off. So, it may come as a surprise that using lemon essential oil for sleep could make a difference, helping to create the right atmosphere for your mind and body.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of lemon sleep benefits for anyone who needs to get more rest at night, along with some suggestions on how best to use this citrusy favourite and some alternatives that could also do the trick.
Does lemon essential oil help you sleep?
Some of the lemon oil benefits you through aromatherapy include:
1. Improving the air quality in your bedroom
The antibacterial and antioxidant properties found in lemon essential oil can help to improve the air quality in your bedroom. Research has found that when diffused in hospital wards, airborne fungi and bacteria levels were reduced by up to 60%. The aroma can also create a more pleasant and relaxing space that allows you to get a better night’s sleep.
2. Helping to lower your stress levels
High stress levels can be a big factor in disrupting your sleep pattern. Studies have found that using lemon oil in aromatherapy can help to improve your mood and give you more control over feelings of stress and anxiety. So, whether you place a lemon-infused tissue under your pillow or diffuse the oil in the bedroom, it could help you get the 40 winks you need before you tackle the next day.
3. Potentially reducing blood pressure
One study suggested that lemon could prove useful in reducing blood pressure. The antioxidant properties can help to soften the blood vessels, so they become more flexible, in turn regulating blood circulation and reducing blood pressure. If diffused or placed under the pillow, the essence of lemon may also be able to clear chest congestion and improve general blood flow.
4. Enhancing pressure points to lower the risk of headaches
Lemon essential oil can be used as a natural analgesic, which, when inhaled, can reduce the risk of developing headaches and give you more control over rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. It is believed that lemon aromatherapy can improve the way our brains respond to painful stimuli, making it easier for the body to understand the type of pain being experienced so it does not over-respond.
How to use lemon essential oil to improve sleep
There are quite a few different ways you can use lemon oil to improve your sleep, such as:
- Add the oil to a warm bath: Add 5-6 drops of lemon oil to your preferred carrier oil and mix into a warm bath. Do this about 90 minutes before bedtime to relax your mind and body, so you can drift off more easily.
- Disperse the scent with a diffuser: A popular method used by many people is to diffuse lemon oil in their bedroom for a short while before they go to bed. You can use an oil burner, electric or traditional diffuser to produce the level of scent you prefer.
- Apply the oil topically: Whether it’s massaging the diluted oil into your skin, or applying it to your temples, wrists and behind the ears, topical application of lemon oil is a great way to intake the aroma to relax and unwind.
- Burn a lemon-infused candle: You can easily make your own lemon-infused candle to burn at home, allowing you to enjoy the scent in the evening. Alternatively, you can also buy lemon-infused candles that offer the exact same benefits.
What are the best essential oils for calming your mind before sleep?
Some of the best essential oils for sleep include:
1. Lavender oil for reducing stress and anxiety
One of the first oils many people think of when it comes to creating a sense of calm is Lavender Essential Oil. It has been widely studied and researched for its ability to improve sleep quantity and quality, so if you regularly struggle to drift off or relax before bedtime, diffusing or inhaling the aroma could make the difference.
2. Sandalwood can induce feelings of relaxation
Santalol is a major component of sandalwood oil, which is commonly used to improve sleep patterns. One animal-based study found that when inhaled, it significantly decreased total waking time and increased total non-rapid eye movement during sleep. These sedative effects could make a big difference to the amount of shut eye you enjoy each night.
3. Bergamot oil contains mood changing properties
One study that examined the effect of bergamot essential oil on the postpartum period found that it was able to improve depressive moods. Depression can have a big impact on sleep patterns, with a restless mind making it difficult to relax and unwind. By alleviating a depressive mood, Bergamot Essential Oil could make it easier to gain the rest needed to feel sufficiently recuperated the following day.
4. Peppermint oil can improve sleep quality
Many people use Peppermint Essential Oil to alleviate pain and to reduce stress, and according to recent research, it could also help you get a better night’s sleep. A study conducted in 2020 that involved 105 people with cardiac issues, compared the effectiveness of peppermint oil with lavender oil and aromatic distilled water control. Both the peppermint and lavender oils produced better results than the aromatic water, suggesting it could be used to improve sleep quality.
5. Marjoram oil may reduce sleep disturbance
Nurses rotating on night shifts took part in a study that looked at how effective Marjoram Essential Oil was when blended with sweet almond oil. The results found that those exposed to the oil experienced a decrease in sleep disturbance compared to those that did not use it. It concluded that the use of marjoram was effective at improving sleep quality.
Good sleep is vitally important for your health, so if you struggle to get those much needed 40 winks at night, lemon essential oil could provide the answer. There is growing scientific research that backs up this claim, with results showing it can improve air quality, potentially reduce blood pressure and lower the risks of headaches. You can diffuse, massage, bathe or apply the oil topically, and if the fresh, citrusy scent isn’t quite for you, there are lots of other essential oils that could prove to be just as effective.