It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep nowadays with all the bad things happening around us. It’s perfectly understandable if your head is full of thoughts about the impeachment trial, Kobe’s death, and the on-going novel coronavirus outbreak. Of course, each one of us has our problems that keep us up at night. However, it’s not okay to lose sleep over these matters. In fact, you’re not doing yourself or your family any favors by staying up all night worrying about stuff. To help you get your much needed shuteye, here are some of the top essential oils for sleep.
Before we talk about ten of the best essential oils for sleep, you might want to know about the story of one Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Deny. The 19th century expert on anything China also happened to be proficient on dreams. He did experiments focused on controlling one’s dreams.
In one experiment, D’Hervey brought a bottle of some unknown scent to France, splashed some on his hankie, and took a whiff every day. When he returned home, he hid the bottle and asked his servant to put some of the scent on his pillow each night. D’Hervey supposedly had dreams of the same French countryside he was in while sniffing the scent. This proved that scents can encourage lucid dreams.
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Essential Oils for Sleep
Number one on the list is lavender. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since lavender is known for its calming effects. Plus, there have been numerous studies proving lavender has positive effects on sleep quality.
One study done by doctors at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences determined that aromatherapy improved the quality of sleep among ischemic heart disease patients. The doctors used lavender oil to help the patients sleep better.
Lavender is a hodgepodge of everything good. In fact, if lavender was a person, you’d take it home to meet the family. These pretty looking herbs have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, antiparasitic, emmenagogue (increase of menstrual flow), and decongestant properties. Lavenders are also known for their antidepressant, calmative, and sedative qualities, which are the main reasons why they are the top essential oils for sleep. Plus, they smell really nice.
Lavender contains linalool and linalyl acetate, which demonstrates sedative or tranquilizing effects. It also interacts with the GABA neurotransmitter that calms the brain down helping suppress agitation, aggression, and anxiety.
This is why aromatherapy pillows are infused with lavender. These pillows are often recommended for people with anxiety and depression to help them with their sleep and overall mental well-being.
Lavender essential oil can be used on children. In fact, many baby products contain lavender, which may have a hand with helping babies sleep peacefully.
The Spark Naturals Lavender Essential Oil is extracted from the flowers of the Lavandula vera or “true lavender” through the process of steam distillation. This variety is supposedly the best there is with regards to therapeutic effects.
Lavender essential oil can be used by simply taking a whiff from the bottle. Do this right before bed to get a good night’s sleep. One study conducted by Taiwanese doctors determined that inhaling lavender essential oil for 20 minutes once every two weeks improved the quality of sleep among midlife women with insomnia.
Lavender essential oil can also be used topically as long as it is diluted using a carrier oil. This is great for people with skin conditions. Other popular methods of using lavender essential oil for sleep is to use a diffuser or to add a few drops to your bath.
If you love tea, you probably heard of bergamot tea or more popularly known as Earl Grey tea. It has this distinct taste to go with a fragrant citrusy scent. Few people are probably aware that there’s such a thing as bergamot essential oil.
Both the tea and essential oil are packed with health benefits. Drinking the tea version supposedly helps in weight loss, blood sugar reduction, better digestive function, and protection from heart disease. It also helps reduce sweating and fever.
Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the fruit peel using the cold press method. It is used topically with a carrier oil or body lotion to treat stomach pain, muscle pain, headache, cold sores, and chicken pox. Remember not to go out after applying bergamot oil to your body especially if the sun is out. Bergamot is photosensitive or phototoxic and exposing yourself to the sun will cause skin irritation.
A few drops in your homemade are freshener will help neutralize bad odors and kill germs. You can also add it to your deodorant and beard oil. Add it to your bath to relax at the end of the day.
Bergamot oil used with a diffuser will reduce cortisol levels thus helping relieve depression, stress, tension, and anxiety. It also builds your confidence and uplifts your spirits. Since it has relaxing effects and sedative properties, bergamot essential oil also aids in sleep.
Cedarwood essential oil is known for its earthy, woody scent, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering it is extracted from the wood of the cedar tree through steam distillation. What’s also not surprising is that cedarwood is one of the most effective essential oils for sleep.
Cedarwood oil contains cedrol, a kind of alcohol with sedative effects. In fact, researchers found that elderly dementia patients slept longer and when towels with cedarwood were placed near their pillows. Other studies showed that the instances of sleep-wake disturbances among patients with coronary heart disease and elderly with dementia were lower after inhaling cedarwood essential oil before sleeping.
Aside from helping you go to sleep, cedarwood oil is also used for treating skin problems such as blemishes, acne, and eczema. It’s also supposed to help tighten skin and lessen the visibility of stretch marks. Add a few drops to your shampoo and conditioner to help prevent hair loss and to promote hair growth if you want that hipster look.
Cedarwood oil is also effective against asthma, phlegm build-up, cough, and other respiratory issues. You can use diluted cedarwood oil to massage achy and stiff parts of your body. The massage blend will provide pain relief while also helping detoxify your body.
Clary sage is a relative of the more popular common sage, the flowering herb used in cooking. Clary sage, which has a musky and bittersweet floral scent, is also known as eyebright herb since it was traditionally used to treat the eye.
Clary sage is also used for regulating menstrual periods and treating issues with the womb and uterus. It’s also known to help provide relief from muscle cramps and control the production of sebum, which lessens acne, wrinkles, and cellulite. Clary sage also has antimicrobial and aphrodisiac properties.
Like the rest of the essential oils in this list, clary sage is used in aromatherapy to provide relief from stress and anxiety by lowering the levels of stress hormones like cortisol. All these plus its sedative and antidepressant properties work together to give you a good night’s sleep.
When you’re looking for clary sage essential oil, make sure there’s the word “clary” since sage essential oil is different.
Marjoram is a popular herb in the kitchen because of the unique flavor it lends to different dishes. It’s also a good source of nutrients such as vitamins A, K, and C, calcium, manganese, beta carotene, zeaxanthin, iron and more.
Marjoram is a potent diuretic, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory herb. It is quite popular as a medicinal herb for treating muscles and joint pain. It also has antiviral, antispasmodic, fungicidal, laxative, and analgesic properties. The herb also aids in lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, and preventing gas.
Marjoram is also considered an essential oil for sleep. Use it with a diffuser to relieve stress, headache, and tension. Since it relaxes the muscles and calms the mind, you’re better equipped to have deep sleep.
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Roman Chamomile is the best of all the different types of chamomile in terms of anxiety and insomnia relief. It has a floral scent and is great for calming and relaxing, which is why it’s often used in spas.
You can recreate your favorite spa at home by simply getting your hands on the right essential oils. The Spark Naturals Roman Chamomile essential oil provides you with that distinct sweet scent and sedative effect that will help you relax at home and fall asleep easily.
Aside from being one of the top essential oils for sleep, chamomile also has antibiotic, analgesic, antiseptic, anti- inflammatory, anti-infectious, and anti-spasmodic properties. It also helps treat depression, relax muscles, heal scars and skin blemishes, and prevent flatulence.
There are studies saying there’s a possibility that chamomile essential oil can also help relieve headaches and migraines. Others say it can probably work against allergies, back pain, arthritis, and anorexia, though further studies are necessary to prove all these.
Sandalwood has this unique woody scent that makes you feel like you’re in an isolated cabin in the middle of the woods miles away from the nerve-wracking noise, ungodly pollution, and nosy neighbors. At least that’s how I imagine the effect of the sandalwood essential oil would be.
In scientific parlance, sandalwood essential oil is oil extracted from the valuable East Indian sandalwood tree through steam distillation. The oil and the wood itself give off this distinct scent that has been popular for centuries. Sandalwood essential oil is used as base for perfumes, for making soaps, and for aromatherapy.
Sandalwood is also a staple in Ayurvedic medicine. It is mainly used to treat the common cold, digestive problems, hemorrhoids, liver and gallbladder issues, muscle conditions, scabies, and urinary tract infections. It also fights bacteria, prevents skin cancer, and helps heal wounds.
Sandalwood is also one of the most effective essential oils for sleep because of its calming properties. It helps manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
It’s good to have something like the Premium Therapeutic Grade Sandalwood 100% Pure Essential Oil from Alphrodith at home. The ethically made essential oil can be used not only for improving sleep and treating medical conditions but also for making your own soaps and cosmetic products.
Valerian is a flowering plant that has been used to treat insomnia and other medical problems for quite some time now. It was a popular medicinal and ornamental plant since the 9th or 10th century. A certain Hippocrates and other later used the plant in his healing adventures while Emperor Nero’s doctor also gave props to different members of the valerian family.
Nowadays, valerian root is used to treat hot flashes, digestive problems, muscle pain, fatigue, anxiety, and headaches. It’s supposed to be effective against insomnia, which is why Valerian is often one of the recommended essential oils for sleep.
The homesteader in you will also be happy to have a steady supply of valerian oil such as the Diffuse Essential Oils 100% Pure Valerian Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil. These essential oils, which come in UV resistant amber glass bottle and includes built-in Euro dropper, can also be used for your homemade soaps, lotions, shampoos, candles and other DIY projects.
Aside from using diffusers or oil lamps, you can benefit from valerian essential oils by using your homemade products. You can make a valerian bath bomb, for example, and use it when you relax in a tub before you call it a day.
If you’re not familiar with vetiver, you’re not alone. This perennial grass is native to India though it’s quite popular here as one of best essential oils for sleep and other health concerns. The citronella relative is also a common ingredient in men’s cologne due to its unique earthy scent.
Vetiver oil contains antioxidants that help rid your body of toxins or free radicals. It is used to treat anxiety and ADHD while also working well against ticks. Other medicinal benefits of vetiver oil include improved alertness, better brain function, and improved sleep quality.
A study conducted in 2010 found that vetiver essential oil enhanced exhalation and lessened inhalation when asleep. Further studies are needed to prove its effect on snoring but the initial thought is that it may help prevent or reduce it.
Artizen boasts of having the most potent essential oils around. Based on the almost 20,000 Amazon buyers that gave the 100% Pure and Natural Therapeutic Grade Vetiver Essential Oil a 4.5 star rating, they may be speaking the truth.
Artizen essential oils are all-natural, don’t contain any adulterants, and are not diluted. This ensures you get the most out of their products. The essential oils are stored in bottles with UV colored coating to keep the sun from affecting
Ylang Ylang is best known for its fragrance. It gives of this nice and romantic flowery scent that’ll surely be a hit come Valentine’s Day. In fact, Indonesians are known to scatter ylang ylang petals on beds of newlyweds. A bottle of ylang ylang essential oil like the Spark Naturals Ylang Ylang 100% Pure Essential Oil will definitely be a great Valentine’s Day gift for women who value romance. People who need help with their sleep will surely appreciate this, as well.
A study conducted by college students in Thailand looked at the effects of ylang ylang oil on insomniacs. The subjects answered the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) on the first day of the experiment. Half of the group used ylang ylang oil while the other half, the control group, were given sweet almond oil. After 7 days, the PSQI scores of the ylang ylang group significantly decreased lower compared to the control group. This signifies that the sleep quality of the ylang ylang group improved.
Aside from its anti-depressant and sedative effects that make it one of the best essential oils for sleep, ylang ylang also has antiseptic, antiseborrhoeic, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, and nervine properties. It is effective against high blood pressure, high heart rates, stomach aches, intestinal infections, impotence, frigidity, stress, and bad mood. This flowering plant is also great for hair and skin health.
Spark Naturals Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be inhaled, used with a diffuser, or applied topically without dilution (neat).
How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep
We’ve mentioned throughout the article the different ways essential oils can be used. The most common method is to use them with a diffuser. You only need to add specific amounts of water and essential oil and let the small device disperse the oil into the air.
Another common method is to add drops of the essential oil to your warm bath. The combination of warm bath and essential oils for sleep will help you unwind and relaxed enough to have a somber sleep.
You can also combine a few drops of essential oil and water in a spray bottle. Spray it around your room anytime you need to calm you nerves. Spray a bit on the underside of your pillow when you go to bed to help you sleep better. Make sure not to make direct contact with the area you sprayed on to avoid skin irritation.
Speaking of, most companies recommend applying the essential oil directly to the skin. This should only be done if the oil is diluted with a base salve or carrier oil. DO NOT use pure essential oil on your skin. Be wary of the effects of the oil to your skin. Once you notice something amiss, consult with a professional immediately.
Another important reminder: not all essential oils can be consumed. This may seem strange considering we eat most of the herbs or plants listed here. Take marjoram, for example. It’s a popular herb in the kitchen and we basically consume the essential oils in them. However, essential oils are more potent when extracted compared to when they’re still raw plant material. Plus, we only eat or use a little amount of the herb when cooking. A small bottle of essential oil is made from a significant amount of these herbs. As the old saying goes, too much of a good thing is bad.
There’s no need to count sheep. Just get yourself any (or all) of the essential oils for sleep listed above to get some much deserved shuteye. Of course, there are lots of other factors or methods that contribute to improved sleep quality such as healthy eating, avoiding vices, meditating, exercising regularly, not using a device in bed, and not binge-watching on Netflix. For best results, try these essential oils for sleep combined with other tips you can find. Besides, essential oils do more than just help you sleep. Check out Gentleman Pirate Club to read more about the many benefits of essential oils and tips on how you can make your own stash.