Essential Oils Help Sleep and Relaxation
I’ve only been using aromatherapy oils for sleep for about a year, and I am amazed at how well they’ve worked to help my insomnia. But I admit I knew absolutely nothing about essential oils in the beginning.
I was just desperate to get some sleep and decided to try them!
I made a lot of mistakes using essential oils for sleeping though. It was definitely a trial and error type deal for me!
I eventually discovered how to use aromatherapy oils for sleep correctly and they’ve turned out to be one of the easiest (and most effective) way I’ve dealt with my insomnia.
How Aromatherapy Affects the Brain and Body
Before you start using essential oils to sleep and use them effectively, it’s important to know a little bit about how your body responds to aromatherapy and how they’re absorbed into your system.
When you inhale essential oils, their airborne molecules stimulate the olfactory nerves which then sends out neurochemical signals to different parts of the brain. The olfactory nerves then send signals to the limbic system, which controls emotions, regulates sleep/wake hormones, and controls the stress response.
Essential oils are great to use topically because they’re easily absorbed through the skin. They then easily pass through the cellular wall because their molecules are so small. This means not only is your body receiving the potential healing properties of the sleep promoting oils via the brain, they’re also entering your bloodstream at a rapid rate.
First, A Few Essential Oils Safety Tips
While essential oils are generally considered safe, it’s important to know how to use them the right way to avoid burns or adverse reactions.
When using aromatherapy oils for sleep, you should:
- never use them near or in your eyes, ears, or nostrils
- don’t take them internally
- don’t use them if you are pregnant or nursing
- use caution if you have a lung condition, such as asthma, COPD, or chronic lung disease
- keep essential oils out of the reach of children, and do research before using them on your child
- discuss using essential oils with your doctor if you’re on medication. Some medications interact with essential oils.
- When using aromatherapy oils topically, ALWAYS dilute with a high quality carrier oil to prevent skin burns.
- Don’t diffuse essential oils in the same room as your pets.
So Which Essential Oils Help You Sleep Anyway?
Up until a few years ago, I only had a general idea of essential oils. I didn’t have a clue there were so many, let alone what they all did. I just knew that lavender oil was good for sleep. But big woo, everybody knows that, huh?
When I was doing research for my insomniac’s essential oil guidebook, I learned there are nearly 20 essential oils that promote sleep! Some have sedative effects, some reduce stress and tension. In fact, those 20 essential oils may help eight different symptoms that keep most people from sleeping.
Here’s a short list of the most effective aromatherapy oils for sleep:
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Valerian Essential Oil
- Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil
- Bergamot Essential Oil
- Clary Sage Essential Oil
You can certainly use each essential oil on its own. Personally, I like to make custom sleep blends, like the ones I’ve put in my Guidebook, depending on what’s keeping me up. Once you know which essential oils do what, it’s easy to tailor a recipe to suit your needs.
How to Use Aromatherapy Oils for Sleep? Let Me Count the Ways!
One of the reasons I love using essential oils to help sleep is because they’re so versatile and easy to use. I can mix a custom sleep blend in less than two seconds, or I can get a little more Martha Stewart and whip up a batch of lavender sleep lotion, lavender sleeping spray, or homemade sleep balm. It’s really all up to you and how much effort you want to put into it.
In the I Dream of Sleep essential oil guidebook, I explain several different ways to use essential oils for sleep, like sleep sprays and cotton balls. However, the simplest ways to use aromatherapy oils are in diffusers, massage oils, and bath salts.
Use Them with Diffusers for the Bedroom
BellaSentials Bedroom Essential Oil Diffuser – Long Lasting Diffuser Runs 8 – 12 Hours
Even if you’re an essential oil newbie, you probably know what a diffuser is. Aside from rubbing oils in your hands and taking a deep breath, it’s the easiest way to use aromatherapy oils for sleep. Choosing a diffuser for your bedroom isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things to keep in mind before buying.
Since you’ll be using it to help you sleep at night, be sure to buy a diffuser that will run at least 4-8 hours. It’s also important to choose one that doesn’t light up because it can disrupt sleep by blocking melatonin production.
You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to get a quality diffuser. I bought this one for less than $30 and use it everyday and love it.
To use a diffuser, just add water to the fill line and add 4-6 drops of sleep promoting essential oils. Turn it on, hop into bed, and breathe it in.
Make Aromatherapy Massage Oils for Sleep
Next to diffusing, massaging essential oil infused massage oil into your skin is the simplest way to use aromatherapy oils for sleep. A massage oil recipe consists of basically two ingredients: Carrier oil and one or more drops of essential oil.
Any quality carrier oil will work in a massage oil recipe, but these are considered the best:
Add 4-6 drops of a sleepy essential oil to 4 oz of carrier oil. You can get fancy and make a sleep blend if you like, but this is a good general recipe for beginners.
Mix Essential Oils in Bath Salts to Sleep Better
I love using bath salts to help me unwind and relax before I go to bed. The warm water, combined with the bath salts and essential oils, knock me out almost every time.
A typical bath salts recipe consists of bath salts, essential oils, and a carrier oil. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Can’t I leave out the carrier oil so it doesn’t mess up my tub? I say that because I thought the same thing! But you still have to mix essential oils with an oil, even though you’re adding it to a tub of water. The carrier oil helps to disperse the essential oils in the bathwater.
And it couldn’t be easier to make your own bath salts. Just mix 10 drops of sleep promoting oils to 1 cup of Epsom salts.
Organic Lavender Essential Oil Epsom and Dead Sea Bath Salts – Sleep Formula – 64 Ounce Jar“NATURAL SLEEP THERAPY” – 100% Pure Dead Sea Bath Salts / Sweet Dreams, Insomnia ReliefSleep Bath Salt 3 Pounds (48 Ounces) – Epsom Salt Bath Soak With Tansy Essential Oils
Are you Ready to Try Aromatherapy Oils for Sleep Tonight?
I’ve had trouble sleeping on and off for over 10 years. During that time I tried a lot of natural sleep aids. Sure, I found a lot that’s helped and I do turn to, but essential oils are at the top of my sleep arsenal because they work for me.
Once you know which essential oils help sleep, and how to make your own sleep blends, it’s easy to use aromatherapy oils to help insomnia. But if you have any questions, just leave it in the comments below. Or better yet, visit I Dream of Sleep on Facebook and post your question there.
*Please remember that I’m not a doctor. So I cannot give medical advice or make any claims that remedies published by I Dream of Sleep will cure your insomnia. All I can do is share my own experience of how I’ve used natural remedies to help improve my sleep.