Share this post
The promotion of healthy sleep patterns is one of the oldest applications of essential oils.
Many oils are known to have anxiety and stress-relieving effects, which often goes hand in hand with treating insomnia, and some oils have specific sleep-inducing properties that make them great bedtime scents.
From relaxing florals to grounding earthy scents and even some gentle citrus oils, there’s something on our list for everyone. Here are some of our favourite essential oils for drifting off to sleep.
Black spruce essential oil contains a-Pinene, a component that has been shown to enhance non rapid eye movement sleep, or NREMS.
A study in 2016 found that a-Pinene enhanced the quantity of NREMS without affecting the intensity of NREMS or the quality of REM sleep.
This allows black spruce oil to improve the quality of sleep overall, and also to help the body repair and regenerate tissues.
The sedative effects of ylang ylang can help it to promote stress-free sleep.
Ylang ylang oil is able to influence processes in the hippocampus region of the brain and serotonin system which, as was discovered in a 2018 study, point to an anti-anxiety effect. This allows it to fully relax us, making it far easier for us to fall asleep.
Juniper berry is known to have a powerful effect on insomnia. It reduces stress and invokes a feeling of needing to sleep that has led it to be used to treat insomnia in traditional medicine for centuries.
A study in 2006 confirmed these effects when it found that insomniacs were able to take less sleep-promoting medication when smelling juniper berry oil.
Considered a calming oil for centuries, lavender oil is often used in sleep-promoting products.
A study in 2012 found that the inhalation of lavender oil can reduce symptoms of PTSD-caused insomnia and improve quality of sleep, suggesting that it could be a powerful agent against sleep loss.
Nutmeg oil is known to bring a feeling of comfort and safety. These feelings can lead to a better quality of sleep and an improvement in symptoms of insomnia.
In fact, a study in 2016 found that taking capsules containing nutmeg was an effective way of decreasing symptoms of insomnia in patients.
A few drops of your chosen oil in a diffuser makes the perfect bedtime set-up.
A natural sedative with calming properties, cedarwood oil can be very effective at improving both the length and quality of sleep.
The oil has a grounding effect, which discourages our mind from wandering, and it is said to promote feelings of safety and tranquillity.
Known for its soothing properties, lemon verbena oil can reduce tension in the body and mind. Tea made from lemon verbena is traditionally associated with sleep promotion for these reasons.
The oil is also rich in melatonin which is primarily released by the pineal gland at night-time.
A study in 2008 found that soothing mandarin can be used to prevent anxiety-related sleep loss. Diffusing mandarin oil can help to promote healthy sleeping patterns and stop stress from interrupting sleep.
May chang oil is said to reduce negative energy and enhance spirituality, allowing the mind to relax and let go of petty stress and unnecessary negativity.
This can improve the quality of our sleep, and a study in 2012 also found that may chang oil can help us to sleep for longer.
The word ‘dill’ comes from the Norse word ‘dilla’, meaning ‘to lull’. The oil is aptly named; dill seed’s sleep-promoting abilities can help it to act as a lullaby, encouraging us to sleep deeply.
The component carvone in the oil is thought to be responsible for these effects as it can help to regulate stress and anxiety, calming the mind and preparing it for rest.
Whilst many essential oils can have sleep-promoting properties, it’s important to experiment and discover what works best for you. We all respond slightly differently to different scents, and some oils may be more comforting us than others.
You may even find that your most effective insomnia cure involves a blend of sleep-promoting oils. If you’re not sure where to start, you might want to try our Sweet Dreams Essential Oil Blend.
Shop our Sweet Dreams Essential Oil Blend here.