6 Essential Oils You Need For That Perfect Night’s Rest
Ever since I could remember, I’ve always struggled with sleep. My mom would give me melatonin, though I kept having to increase the dosage and I got worried I could never sleep without it. I eventually just accepted the fact that I would never get my full eight hours of sleep...until I found out about essential oils.
I bought my diffuser and a few essential oils but I had no idea where to start. I finally started doing research to find out what each oil was used for. Like many, I was skeptical if it could work. I didn’t have any “medical” reason for not sleeping; I just wouldn’t be able to sleep despite waking up early every day. Little did I know that the night I dropped some blue chamomile essential oil into my diffuser, was the first night I fell asleep quickly and woke up with vigor.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are all-natural products that people have been using for thousands of years. They are hydrophobic (meaning they don’t dissolve in water) concentrated plant extracts with aromatic scents. Used throughout history for their medical and health properties, they are making a comeback as an inexpensive and safe method to help treat all types of mental and physical illnesses.
A few disclaimers...
* Please note that when buying essential oils, make sure they are 100% pure and organic, otherwise you may end up with something in the bottle that you don’t want.
* I always recommend doing a small patch test first. Dilute a drop of the essential oil with a carrier oil and apply a coin size over your inner forearm. Wait 24 hours and see if you have any adverse side effects.
* If you have any side effects at any point, wash out the oils immediately.
* Too much of anything is not good. Overusing any oils may cause oil build-up and may lead to other unwanted issues.
6 Essential Oils To Promote Sleep
1. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
For those of you looking for a fruity scent, consider trying out the ylang ylang essential oil. Use this natural approach to give your body what you need for a calming night’s rest. A study from 2017 found that college students sleep better with ylang ylang than without. Sprinkle a few drops on your pillow, or use it in a diffuser to rid your mind of anxieties. However you choose to use the ylang ylang essential oil, you will allow your mind to relax and drift off into a blissful sleep. Find the essential oil here.
2. Jasmine Essential Oil
Jasmine essential oil is one of the most popular choices for the sleep-deprived. If it’s your nerves that are bothering you, you're in luck. A study from 2010 found that jasmine essential oil uplifts the mood and receives the body of depression. It stimulates the mind and body in positive ways, releasing any tension that has been building up. Let yourself finally relax by diffusing the incredible scent in the room before you go to sleep. Find the essential oil here.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is an incredibly versatile essential oil for its numerous properties that benefit both the mind and body. The essential oil acts as a natural anti-spasmodic which means that it soothes the muscles and allows for a restful sleep. According to a study from 2005, patients found that lavender increased their sleep time and even reported waking up with more energy. Find the essential oil here.
4. Chamomile Blue Essential Oil
Chamomile blue essential oil has been used for thousands of years for its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. If you have trouble going to sleep because of pain or discomfort, use chamomile blue essential oil to better soothe your body. It also contains sedative properties which will no doubt help you wake up feeling better, both in the body and in the mind. A study done on the elderly found that chamomile blue pills significantly increased sleep quality. Since the elderly often have trouble sleeping, this can be interpreted to benefit the rest of the population as well. Find the essential oil here.
5. Bergamot Essential Oil
With the fresh, citrusy scent that bergamot essential oil offers, the only thing that makes it better is that it benefits the body through both psychological and psychological effects. A study conducted in 2015 found that it may reduce an anxious nervous system to promote a night of restful sleep. Consider using bergamot if you find that stress prevents you from falling asleep. Find the essential oil here.
6. Cedarwood Essential Oil
If you have a strong case of restless leg syndrome or you find yourself waking up constantly because of involuntary movement, do yourself a favor and purchase a bottle of cedarwood essential oil. Cedarwood naturally has powerful sedative properties that have been used for years to help those who have trouble sleeping. As found in a study from 2003, this essential oil has the ability to have a sedative effect on even those who are caffeinated. So if you’re someone who has late coffees, early meetings, or just want a deeper sleep, let the cedarwood do its magic. Find the essential oil here.
How To Use Essential Oils
In a clean spray bottle, mix a few drops of the essential oil(s) with water. Spray around the bedding to infuse the scent so that you go to sleep surrounded by the aroma all night long.
Using a pre-purchased diffuser, pour in water, and then your chosen essential oil(s). Have it run a little before you go to sleep and throughout the night. For safety reasons, make sure it has the ability to shut off automatically. This is my preferred method since it’s easy and works perfectly for small rooms.
Dab a couple of drops of the essential oil(s) onto a piece of cloth or a handkerchief. Place it in your pillowcase on the side your head will lay while you sleep. This is a great way to keep the scent by you and keep you sniffing pleasant aromas all night long.
Adib-Hajbaghery, Mohsen, and Seyedeh Nesa Mousavi. “The effects of chamomile extract on sleep quality among elderly people: A clinical trial.” Complementary therapies in medicine vol. 35 (2017): 109-114. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2017.09.010
Goel, Namni, et al. “An Olfactory Stimulus Modifies Nighttime Sleep in Young Men and Women.” Chronobiology International, vol. 22, no. 5, Jan. 2005, pp. 889–904, doi:10.1080/07420520500263276.
Hongratanaworakit, Tapanee. “Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil.” Natural product communications vol. 5,1 (2010): 157-62.
Kagawa, Daiji et al. “The sedative effects and mechanism of action of cedrol inhalation with behavioral pharmacological evaluation.” Planta medica vol. 69,7 (2003): 637-41. doi:10.1055/s-2003-41114
Sayorwan, Winai. “Effect of Ylang Ylang Oil Aroma on Sleep Quality of Kanchanabhisek Medical and Public Health Technology (KMPHT) Colleges Students, Nonthaburi, Thailand.” Alternative & Integrative Medicine, Hilaris SRL, 27 July 2017.
Watanabe, Eri et al. “Effects of bergamot ( Citrus bergamia (Risso) Wright & Arn.) essential oil aromatherapy on mood states, parasympathetic nervous system activity, and salivary cortisol levels in 41 healthy females.” Forschende Komplementarmedizin (2006) vol. 22,1 (2015): 43-9. doi:10.1159/000380989