Essential oils can be so beneficial to your health, and especially for your sleep. I have to admit, though, I came late to the aromatherapy party. It never dawned on me that sniffing some oils could possibly help my insomnia.
But once I found out how well they worked for me, though, I was all in. Now I use sleep promoting essential oils in balms, lotions and in my diffuser.
Good for me. Not so good for my husband who didn’t care for the odor. I’ve since converted him to be an EO lover, but every now and then I’ll use a sleep blend he doesn’t really care for.
That’s why when I want to use the recipes he doesn’t like, I use an essential oil sleep inhaler so I’m the only one who can smell it.
If you’re new to essential oils and not sure how to use them, or your bed partner doesn’t like the smell, an essential oil sleep inhaler is the best way to combat insomnia and reduce feelings of sleep anxiety.
How Long do Essential Oil Inhalers Last?
An essential oil inhaler will last you 2-3 months, and they’re really a cost effective way to use aromatherapy. If you were to use a diffuser nightly for the 2-3 months an inhaler lasts, you’d nearly go through an entire bottle of oil. A typical sleep inhaler only has around 15-20 drops of oil.
When I first learned how to make an EO inhalers, I gave some to my friends as gifts. It didn’t go over well. I expected “oh, wow, this is cool, thanks!” Instead I got, “this is gross. You want me to stick this up my nose?” They couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just sniff the oils straight from the bottle to get the same benefits.
Yeah, you could just inhale the oils from the bottle, but each time you open that bottle it exposes the essential oils to more oxygen which makes the oils evaporate and/or oxidize and ultimately reduce the shelf life of your oils.
The beauty of an essential oil sleep inhaler is you can take the cap off and take a deep breath anytime you need it, whether it’s before you crawl into bed or when you wake up in the middle of the night.
What Essential Oils Should I Put in an Inhaler to Help Me Sleep?
You can’t judge an essential oil on smell alone. Loving the scent of an essential oil doesn’t mean it will relax and calm you. In fact, it could even rev you up and make you bright eyed and bushy tailed. Not something you’re going for when you’re ready to crawl in bed.
There are nearly 20 essential oils that can help you sleep, either by making you drowsy, calming anxiety, and turning off a racing mind. I explain each oil in detail, how they aid sleep, and how to use them in my ebook, “The Insomniac’s Guidebook to Essential Oils,” but here are my top five go to sleepy time oils:
Frankincense. (boswellia carterii) Helps to ease anxiety and promotes a feeling of relaxation. It also encourages deep breathing, which helps to relieve stress and creates a sense of calm.
Neroli Pettigrain. (citrus aurantium) It’s a powerful sedative and helps sleep by lowering cortisol levels, a naturally secreted hormone that tells your body to stay awake. It also relieves stress and promotes a feeling of calm.
Lavender. (lavandula angustifolia) It fights insomnia from a number of angles by inducing drowsiness before bed, and improving the length of time you’re asleep. Lavender is also known to relieve restlessness and reduces feelings of anxiety.
Clary Sage. (alvia sclera) It’s a natural sedative, and is known to promote relaxation and relieve stress. It also helps to calm a racing or overactive mind.
Roman Chamomile. (chamaemelum nobile) Helps to calm a racing mind and nerves and bring about peaceful feelings. It can also have a sedative effect and relaxes nerves and muscles, which can help you fall asleep faster.
Use 15-20 drops of one of these essential oils, or a combination of 15-18 drops of several oils to make your own sleep recipes in your inhaler. Of course, if you’re not sure about mixing your own aromatherapy blend for your insomnia, you can also use a premade sleep blend.
Essential Oil Sleep Recipes for Inhalers
Not sure how to make your own sleep recipe? Here’s my favorite EO sleep blends from the Insomniac’s Essential Oil Guidebook you can use in your DIY sleep inhaler:
- 8 drops of Roman chamomile
- 5 drops of clary Sage
- 2 drops of lavender
- 10 drops lavender
- 3 drops cedarwood
- 2 drops neroli pettigrain
Make Me Sleepy
- 7 drops Roman chamomile
- 5 drops clary sage
- 3 drops bergamot
Drop off to Dream
- 5 drops lavender
- 5 drops frankincense
- 3 drops Roman chamomile
- 1 drop Neroli
Zen & Relaxation
You can basically use any diffuser sleep recipe in an inhaler as long you keep the total drops to about 16-20. (Half for kids 5-12)
What you’ll Need to Make Your Sleep Inhaler with Essential Oils
Before I knew how to make essential oil inhalers, I was kind of intimidated. I didn’t really think a personal inhaler was something I could even make, but once I had the right supplies I made my first one in less than 5 minutes.
In fact, it’s so easy to make your own sleep inhaler, they’re fun to make. After I made my first one, I immediately made about five more. I gave all my friends and family a sleepy time inhaler whether they needed one or not! LOL
===> To make it easier, here’s a kit that has everything you’ll need to make sleep inhalers. (minus the essential oils)
- Cotton wicks
- Inhaler Tubes
- Tweezers (optional)
- Sleep promoting essential oils, or your favorite sleep blend (this one is my favorite!)
- A small glass bowl
When shopping for inhalers, you’ll find there’s two different blank tubes: Metal/glass or plastic. They’re both equally effective and it comes down to personal preference.
If you’re concerned about sustainability, I recommend using glass or metal because they can be reused over and over. If you just want to give inhalers a try or if you want to make multiple sleep inhalers for different insomnia symptoms, then plastic is a good choice.
Step by Step Essential Oil Inhaler Instructions:
1. Start by gathering together your supplies and essential oils. For this tutorial, I’ll be making the Restful Slumber blend.
2. Add 10 drops lavender, 3 drops cedarwood, and 2 drops neroli (or your own recipe) to a small glass bowl. Swirl it around to mix the oils.
3. Place the cotton wick in the bowl. Turn the wick over in the oil with tweezers or your fingers until it’s absorbed all of the oil.
4. Using the tweezers, place the wick in the blank inhaler. Press the bottom lid until you hear a click.
Congrats, you’ve just made your own inhaler to help you sleep better! See, wasn’t that easy? 😛
How to Use Your Sleep Inhaler
When you’re ready to climb into bed, close off one nostril with your finger. Put the inhaler up to the other nostril and take a couple of slow, long, deep breaths. Switch and do the other side. If after you’ve gone to bed you’re still awake, repeat the process again.
I like to keep an inhaler next to my bed, too, in case I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep. I take off the lid and inhale deeply through each nostril. It usually relaxes me and I can fall back to sleep.
Always remember to put the lid back on your inhaler and keep it away from heat. The essential oils can evaporate in open air and heat can degrade them, which will decrease the effectiveness of your inhaler.
Make Aromatherapy a Part of Your Bedtime Routine
If you have trouble sleeping at night, Aromatherapy is a great natural insomnia remedy. A sleep inhaler is a good way to get the benefits from essential oils, without bothering your partner or pets with the scent.
And you don’t have to limit aromatherapy to just an inhaler. You can work sleep promoting essential oils into your nightly bedtime routine by making and using your own sleep balm, sleep lotion, or even a lavender eye pillow.
Once you make your first sleep inhaler, believe me, you’ll be hooked. You’ll want to make different flavors and try them all. And I can bet you’ll be like me and give one as gifts to your friends because everyone loves to sleep, right? So be that friend who gives awesome gifts by slipping your homemade sleep inhaler into a sleep gift basket you personalized just for them!