Of all the things I get asked about essential oils for, I’d have to say that essential oils for sleep is my #1 query!
So many people want to know how they can get more sleep, or how they can help their children get more sleep.
Some people have trouble falling asleep.
Others have trouble STAYING asleep.
Some people have trouble turning their mind off so that they can doze off.
Using essential oils is a great, natural way to fall asleep.
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Why can’t we sleep?
There are many reasons that someone might have trouble with sleep. It could be:
- poor sleep hygiene
- sleep apnea
- restless legs
Why sleep is so important
Lack of restful sleep can cause so many issues.
Poor sleep can contribute to:
- adrenal fatigue/high cortisol
- hormone imbalance
- poor digestion
- weight gain
- decreased focus and concentration
- memory problems
- increased frustration
Do you ever notice how, after a good night’s sleep, you feel like a million bucks?
You feel like you’re on top of the world, like you can accomplish anything?
Contrast that with how you feel when you haven’t had enough sleep…
Slow, sluggish, tired, moody, groggy…
I know I love when I feel rested, and hate when I feel tired.
Having some safe, natural tools at our fingertips is extremely helpful for getting a good night’s sleep.
The Best Essential Oils for Sleep
Essential Oils are generally divided into Singles and Blends.
Singles are just as they sound – a single essential oil. ie) lavender, tea tree, oregano, etc.
Blends are a combination of different single oils, combined together into one bottle.
Typically, Blends are designed for a specific purpose. I find it helpful to have both on hand, as there are times I want to use a specific oil, or create my own blend. But having pre-made blends ready to go, is also very handy!
Essential Oil Singles for Sleep
Cedarwood – If you love the smell of cedar, you will love cedarwood essential oil. The fragrance is so incredibly grounding and calming; it reminds me of the smell of camping. It also has the ability to help your body produce melatonin, which is the sleep hormone.
Juniper Berry – Also known as the Oil of the Night, Juniper Berry helps to ward off bad dreams and night terrors. I find this one very helpful with children.
Lavender – The calming, soothing effects of Lavender are well-known, and has been used for centuries to help with sleep and relaxation. Lavender calms, relaxes, sedates, and supports your parasympathetic nervous system.
Peppermint – Although this is a stimulating oil, if you suffer from restless legs, many people find this effective. First, soak in a bath with lavender and Epsom salts, then follow up with applying peppermint topically to your legs. You will want to dilute with a carrier oil.
Vetiver – Grounds, and promotes tranquility. It helps to shut your mind off, and to get rid of those racing thoughts. The best way to use vetiver is to apply it neat (without dilution) to the bottoms of your big toes.
Wild Orange – This one may sound surprising, as citrus oils are typically known for being uplifting and energizing. But Wild Orange, particularly, can also have a sedative effect. It also helps to balance mood and emotions.
Essential Oil Blends for Sleep
AromaTouch – This is the Massage Blend. Fairly self-explanatory, using this blend to give yourself or your partner a soothing bedtime massage can be very relaxing.
AromaTouch is also extremely helpful for children who may be experiencing growing pains. Growing pains can make it very difficult to sleep, or cause children to wake during the night. Massage into their legs with a carrier oil (I prefer fractionated coconut oil) at night before they go to sleep. This can also be a wonderful bonding time for you and your child.
Balance – This is a blend of essential oils is also known as the Grounding Blend. It helps to reduce stress and anxious feelings. This blend is a staple at our house, not just for bedtime, but is used frequently throughout the day to help keep us calm and grounded.
Deep Blue – Many times, the reason we can’t fall asleep is due to body tension. An aching back, neck, legs, or feet, can make it very difficult to get comfortable, and to fall and stay asleep.
Deep Blue is also called the Soothing Blend – when applied topically to the areas of concern, it can reduce pain and thus help you fall asleep, and keep you from tossing and turning all night trying to get comfortable.
Easy Air (Breathe) – This blend helps to open up your airways. The more oxygen you receive, the better and more restful your sleep will be.
The smell of this will also take you back to your childhood, as it reminds me of Vicks Vapo Rub! Scents are a powerful memory trigger, and childhood reminders can help us to feel safe and protected.
Easy Air also helps with reducing snoring.
Serenity – Also known as the Restful Blend, helps to reduce tension and promotes serenity and relaxation.
How to use essential oils for sleep
There are several ways you can use essential oils to help you drift off to sleep.
An essential oil diffuser is a way of creating a mist, which puts the essential oils directly into the air so you can inhale them.
Inhalation is an extremely effective way of getting the essential oils into your body. When you inhale essential oils, they go directly to the Lymbic System (or mood centre) of your brain. There, they go to work to help you relax, de-stress, and prepare to go to sleep.
The type of diffuser you want, is a Cold Mist diffuser. You do not want to heat your essential oils, as you will destroy the therapeutic benefits.
If you share your bed with a partner, I highly recommend having a diffuser on each side of the bed. Then you can customize your diffuser blend based on your individual needs and preferences.
Applying essential oils topically is another great way to get them into your system.
My favourite way to do this, is by making a roller bottle. This is simply where you combine essential oils with a carrier oil, like Fractionated Coconut Oil, and make a custom blend to suit your needs.
Your roller bottle can then be kept on your night stand, ready to go when you need it.
If you don’t have roller bottles, or you can’t be bothered to make one, no worries! You can use the oils straight out of the bottle. I recommend having a carrier oil handy, so that you can dilute it right in your hand before rubbing it on.
Or, if you prefer something more convenient, you can also purchase roller bottles already made for you!
Like this Lavender Touch.
For sleep purposes, I find the best place to apply oils is to the bottoms of your feet. This gets the essential oils into your body very quickly. You also have many reflex points in your feet, so you can target multiple body systems at once.
I love finding ways to re-purpose empty essential oil bottles.
One of the ways I do this, is with a pillow spray.
Simply add 10-20 drops of the essential oil into the empty bottle, and top with water. (You can add a little witch hazel as an emulsifier, if you wish).Then you can spray your pillow case with the essential oil of your choice. I love lavender!
Since your head is resting on your pillow, this is a very direct way to inhale the essential oil while you drift off to sleep.
Adding essential oils to your bath before bedtime is a wonderful way to soak away your stress of the day.
I keep a jar of pre-mixed Epsom salts in the bathroom at all times. This inspires me to pamper myself regularly, and take Epsom salt baths. Fill up a quart-sized mason jar with Epsom salts, almost all the way to the top (leave room for shaking).
Add 20 drops total of your favourite, calming essential oils. (I prefer 10 drops each of Balance & Serenity). Give the jar a good shake, then add 1/2-1 cup to your hot bath water.
The salts will dissolve in the water, and disperse the essential oils into the water. If you try to put essential oils directly into your bath water, you’ll likely find that they will separate and pool together on the surface of the water.
The Epsom salts act as an emulsifying agent, allowing the oils to blend with the water.
Epsom salts are an excellent source of magnesium, and the easiest way for our body to absorb it is topically (rather than taking an oral supplement). Magnesium helps to relax your muscles and your mind, and also helps to detoxify your body. These are all very helpful with sleep.
Please only purchase PLAIN Epsom salts. You do not want to buy the scented ones, as they contain synthetic fragrance, which has no therapeutic benefit whatsoever, and can even cause harm to your body. Instead, buy plain Epsom salts and add your own high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils.
If you have a partner who will do this for you, wonderful!!
If not, you can massage your own neck and shoulders. You will want to use a carrier oil for this, like fractionated coconut oil. Add a quarter sized amount of carrier oil to the palm of your hand, and 1-2 drops of essential oil (my favourite massage blend is AromaTouch).
Then rub your hands together and massage.This will help you to relax, and feels very soothing.
A Word About Quality
You’ll probably see this repeated frequently throughout this blog, but quality matters.
You may or may not know, that essential oils are not a regulated industry. Meaning there are no government-enforced standards when it comes to essential oils.
95% of the essential oils on the market are adulterated in some way.
They may have fragrance boosters added, be diluted with various carrier oils, or worse, be entirely synthetic. Synthetic fragrance oils have no therapeutic benefit whatsoever. If you choose to purchase a low quality essential oil to save money, you may find that you are very disappointed with the results.
People who buy cheap essential oils, may find themselves turned off to the whole idea of essential oils.
At best, they didn’t work, or at worst, they may have caused a reaction, such as a headache, skin rash, or difficulty breathing.
This is not conducive to sleep!
This is not the experience I want you to have with essential oils.
I want you to fall head over heels in love with them, as I have!
The brand I personally use and recommend, is doTERRA.
I 100% trust their purity and potency.
They have multiple levels of testing on every batch and bottle, to ensure there are absolutely no contaminants or synthetics. What you’re getting is a 100% pure, safe, and natural essential oil.
This is the only kind you want to use!
Get a better night’s sleep with an essential oils starter kit
You can purchase essential oils individually (I linked to the recommended ones above), but the most cost-effective way to get started with essential oils is with a starter kit.
This way, you will have a basic foundation of essential oils + a diffuser, to help you get started right away. You can always add on additional oils later, but starting off with a good foundation is so important.
Having all the tools you need in order to have a wonderful, restful sleep is priceless.
When you order a starter kit from me, you also get a free, personalized wellness consult to address your specific needs.
You also get to join our exclusive, online community, where you can get community support and have a place to ask questions.
Are you ready to get a good night’s sleep?
Order your starter kit here.
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