You Too Can Sleep Better With These 12 Essential Oils


Essential oils (EOs) are everywhere, but can they help you sleep better? Today, getting a good night’s sleep is not a luxury; it is a requirement given that more than 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Many people with sleep disorders turn to pills to help them get the sleep they desperately need. But prescription sleep aid is not the only recourse to serene slumber!

Did you know?
Sleep loss and sleep disorders are among the most common yet frequently overlooked and readily treatable health problems. It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans chronically suffer from a disorder of sleep and wakefulness, hindering daily functioning, and adversely affecting health and longevity. (1)(2)

It is not difficult to see why so many of us are now looking for natural supplements for relief. So, how do you sleep better? And are there essential oils that you can benefit from? Fortunately, there are many different oils can help promote healthy sleep without any adverse side effects.

What are essential oils & how you can wake up to them?

Sleep loss can cause grave health issues such as:

  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep
  • abnormal movements, behaviors
  • sensations occurring during sleep

The cumulative effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke. (1)

But we’ve got you covered. Here’s a handy list of the top 12 essential oils that have shown to be good for sleep.

Brown essential oil bottle with fresh plants next to it

There are many different oils can help promote healthy sleep without any adverse side effects.

Let’s begin by understanding what essential oils are good for sleep and how best to use them.

Health benefits of essential oils & how they help you

Valerian oil: it’ll help you sleep in about 20 minutes

Valerian root pills are one of the most common herbal sleep aids used today. Studies show that valerian consumption can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep by about 20 minutes. (3)(4)

Did you know?
Valerian has been shown to lower levels of anxiety and depression, which can also help to promote sleep.

Valerian essential oil is extracted directly from the root and it provides all of the same benefits that the valerian pill does. Because of its soothing properties, valerian oil is a fantastic option for those looking to not only improve their sleep but also improve overall mental health.

How to use valerian EO: To optimally use all the benefits of valerian essential oil, apply a few drops directly to your desired area. Many people choose to use valerian essential oil on the bottoms of their feet.

essential oils diffuser next to bed in bedroom

The cumulative effects of sleep loss are associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences, but essential oils can help alleviate sleep disorders.

Cedarwood oil: It’s all about aroma (sleep) therapy!

The health benefits of cedarwood essential oil date back centuries. The pleasant aroma of cedarwood can help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and it’s filled with chemicals that can help to support healthy pineal gland function, which helps the body produce melatonin.

Did you know?
For some, the smell of cedarwood oil can be somewhat overpowering. Many choose to combine this oil with lighter, floral oil to make the aroma a little less overbearing.

How to use cedarwood EO: Before bed, you can apply a few drops of cedarwood to the hands, neck, or your feet. Not only will it help you sleep better, but it also is excellent for purifying your skin.

Ylang-ylang: reduce hypertension & fight depression

Made from the flowers of the herb Cananga odorata genuina, the Indonesian plant-based ylang-ylang oil is considered by many to be the best essential oil for better sleep. It was discovered somewhat recently for many uses including lowering blood pressure and is now used by millions of people around the world to help them with sleep aid and depression.

Ylang-ylang is popular because it is power packed with antioxidants, sesquiterpenes, and other potent organic compounds. It has an aroma that’s light and refreshing and can help to create natural endorphins.

How to use ylang-ylang: Unlike some other essential oils, ylang-ylang shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin. Instead, you should mix it with a base oil such as coconut oil and use it on any part of the body to draw on its immense health benefits.

Lavender oil: gain sleep without pain

For centuries, lavender oil has been used for pain relief, respiratory complications, and sleep aid. It’s no wonder that it has become one of the most popular essential oils. The pleasant and soothing aroma of this essential oil has popularized it as one of the most appealing aromas available in oil form. (5)

In a study of older patients who have insomnia, lavender oil was proven to be even more effective than traditional sleep medication.

lavender lavender flowers next to clear essential oil bottle

For centuries, lavender oil has been used for pain relief, respiratory complications, and sleep aid.

How to use lavender EO: Lavender essential oil, which combines well with base oils, is also shown to help relieve stress and anxiety and is great to rub on hands. It can be used as a perfume, air freshener and even as a fabric spray!

Vetiver oil: reduce stress and sleep well

Much like valerian, vetiver oil derives from the root of the plant. It has many proven health benefits, including as a sleep aid. Its deep, earthy aroma is not overpowering, and the oil contains sesquiterpenes, which help to calm the body and reduce stress levels. (6)

Did you know?
Vetiver oil contains many immune-boosting properties that will help make your body feel better overall. In fact, a remarkable finding shows that there are “refreshing properties of vetiver EO on electrical brain activity and alertness”. (7)

How to use vetiver oil: To take vetiver oil, either massage it into your body or add it into a diffuser. You may want to ask your healthcare practitioner for ways to mix this oil with others. Vetiver oil may not be as well-known as others, but several studies have shown it to be helpful for sleep.

Bergamot oil: sleep without anxiety (8)

Bergamot oil, derived from the peel of the bergamot fruit, has a pleasant citrus aroma that is great before bed. This oil has long been used to help with digestive problems, yet more and more people are beginning to discover its value as a sleep aid. Bergamot is also full of properties which help to release pain-relieving hormones, making it an excellent choice before bed for anyone suffering from aches or pains. (9)

bergamot in fruit form cut up

Although bergamot oil has long been used to help with digestive problems, yet more and more people are beginning to discover its value as a sleep aid.

How to use bergamot oil: Many people choose to apply bergamot oil directly to their hands or feet right before bed. To derive maximum benefit from this EO, some people combine it with an additional oil such as lavender oil.

Frankincense oil: the miracle EO

Frankincense— also known as olibanum— has been used in aromatherapy for centuries. (10) Derived from a tree originating from Somalia, it appears in many historical texts that tout it as a miracle plant.

Did you know?
Recent studies have even linked this oil to cancer treatment thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to a study, “frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability.” (11)

For sleep, frankincense oil is one of the best essential oils on the market. It’s great for stress relief and opening breathing passages. This oil blends nicely with coconut or another carrier oil, and when combined with other essential oils, it provides additional relaxation.

How to use frankincense oil: You can use this essential oil as a scent or even as a room freshener.

Marjoram oil: benefits include relief from muscle spasms

Marjoram oil—extracted by steam from both fresh and dried leaves of the marjoram plant— is full of sabinene, alpha-terpinene, cymene, and many other health-boosting components. The pain-relieving and calming aspects of this oil are one of the main reasons for its popularity as a sleep aid.

Did you know?
This oil is also useful for stopping muscle spasms and respiratory problems.

Many people who suffer from insomnia list spasms as a reason for their inability to sleep; marjoram oil is a fantastic way to curb this problem.

How to use marjoram oil: It is excellent when applied to areas of pain on the body on its own, and it also combines well with base oils.

Roman chamomile oil: it’s tea time before bedtime

Chamomile is one of the oldest and most trusted natural medicines known to humanity. (12) The most common form of extracting the health benefits of this essential oil is to infuse this herb with tea. No wonder many people are now beginning to discover the incredible benefits that Roman chamomile oil provides. This oil will help to calm the mind and reduce inflammation.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the benefits of chamomile oil is the anti-anxiety properties it offers. A recent study conducted by the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that the aroma of chamomile helped to significantly reduce anxiety levels in patients within an intensive care unit. It’s also a natural muscle relaxant, which works wonders before bedtime. (13)

Chamomile oil next to chamomile flower

Chamomile oil is a natural muscle relaxant, which works wonders before bedtime.

How to use chamomile oil: You can apply chamomile oil directly to your skin or add a few (5-8) drops of this essential oil to your warm bath. It can also be used in a diffuser.

Patchouli oil: it also keeps dryness away

This essential oil, extracted from the leaves of the patchouli plant, is one of the best essential oils for better sleep. It’s been used to heal and treat dry skin for many years and is also known to be a fantastic way to help with insomnia and stress.

Did you know?
This plant—a native of India and other Southeast Asian countries— can be an acquired smell. You have to sniff it to see if it works for you!

Patchouli oil is full of patchoulol, a chemical that’s been proven to provide relaxation. When combined with other oils such as peppermint, this essential oil can help promote serotonin which allows for a great night of sleep.

How to use patchouli oil: You can apply this essential oil directly to the forehead or back of the neck for the best results.

Neroli oil: say goodbye to that headache

One of the few essential oils that’s produced by more than 1,000 different flowers, the citrusy neroli oil is fast-becoming one of the most popular natural sleep aids. Full of chemical components that help reduce inflammation, neroli oil also has many pain-relieving substances that help the body relax. (14)

How to use neroli oil: One of the most common usages of neroli oil is alleviating headaches. Simply put a few drops of this onto a warm compress and apply it directly to your forehead. Of course, the pleasant aroma of this oil also helps to aid sleep.

Hawaiian sandalwood: calm your nerves to sleep better

Finally, there is one more essential oil that makes it to our list of the top oils for better sleep. Not to be confused with the Indian sandalwood — which has many benefits of its own — the Hawaiian sandalwood is one of the best and most popular essential oils available today (15).

With thousands of years of usage for everything from refreshing the skin and your mood, the Hawaiian sandalwood is an essential oil with many health benefits. It has a rich, sweet aroma that helps to calm down the body’s central nervous system, and can also be taken internally to help boost the body’s immune system.

How to use Hawaiian sandalwood: Those with sensitive skin may want to mix a few drops of Hawaiian Sandalwood with coconut oil. Put this directly on your neck, hands, or feet for the best results.

The bottom line

With so many options to choose from, it’s no wonder that folks are turning to essential oils and their many benefits to get better sleep. From lavender oil to valerian, EOs are without a doubt one of the best ways to achieve healthy, natural sleep. All you have to do now is sleepwalk your way to a good night’s rest!

If you are a practitioner, consider signing up to Fullscript. If you are a patient, talk to your healthcare practitioner about Fullscript!