best essential oils for sleep

Sleep is a very important factor in the overall health of an individual. It is when both the body and mind rest and recover. Lack of sleep is linked to many different chronic illnesses, as well as mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Despite this, many people still suffer from problems sleeping. Experts recommend that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but more than 30% of adults state they sleep less than that, for varying reasons. If you’re having problems with either falling asleep or staying that way, we’ve come up with a list of the best essential oils for sleep and anxiety to help you!

Common Causes of Sleep Deprivation 

Sleep deprivation itself isn’t a condition. Generally sleep deprivation comes from other underlying causes, such as illness or other circumstances. However, there are sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and sleep apnea. Other common reasons people struggle with sleep include:

  • Prescription Medications
  • Health Problems
  • Mental Illness
  • Shift Work
  • Child Care
  • Stress

If you are suffering from sleep deprivation you may feel drowsy during the day, have concentration and memory problems, and possibly suffer from low immunity. Lack of sleep can also lead to a high risk of mental illness, anxiety and depression, mood swings, and other physical and mental issues. Our list includes essential oils for insomnia, as well as essential oils that help you sleep if you suffer from stress and anxiety. 

The Top 10 Best Essential Oils For Sleep and Relaxation

1. Chamomile Essential Oil

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first oil on our list of the best essential oils for sleep is chamomile oil! Chamomile can come in many different forms, including capsules, tea, and of course, essential oil. In traditional medicine, chamomile is a common treatment for sedation and insomnia. It contains certain components that bind to benzodiazepine receptors, similar to how an anti-anxiety medication works. 

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Another oil famous for its calming effects is lavender essential oil. One of the most popular aromatherapy oils, lavender is well known for helping improve sleep patterns. There is significant scientific data on lavender, and research shows that it is an effective natural sleep aid. Participants slept better at night and were more wakeful during the day. Additionally, a study on patients who were dependent on benzodiazepines found that lavender aromatherapy helped decrease their withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia. 

3. Cedarwood Essential Oil

Research shows us that cedarwood essential oil is one of the best essential oils for sleep due to its sedative effect. Something interesting to note is that the experiment showed that cedarwood oil does not work via the olfactory system, which means that the sedative effect happens via a different pathway. Animal studies also indicate that it can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, which can lead to sleep deprivation.

4. Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil is extremely versatile, and one of its benefits includes its ability to help promote better sleeping patterns. It can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure, which helps to ensure the body is ready to switch over to sleep. Furthermore, bergamot also helps to improve mood, reducing feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. As all these conditions can lead to problems sleeping, we believe bergamot is one of the best essential oils for sleep!

5. Marjoram Essential Oil

Sweet marjoram essential oil contains multiple constituents that can help promote sleep. Linalyl acetate and linalool can help to soothe and calm, while also producing sedative physiological effects. Marjoram also blends well with other essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, to create a sweet-smelling blend that can help you drift off to sleep in no time!

6. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage essential oil is another one of the best essential oils to help sleep. Anecdotal evidence indicates that it is an effective mood-booster, whereas scientific study tells us that clary sage is also capable of reducing blood pressure and bringing on feelings of relaxation. It is also famous for its ability to help improve symptoms of menopause and PMS, which can contribute to sleep loss. 

7. Valerian Essential Oil

Valerian essential oil is famous in traditional medicine. It is most commonly used in treating sleep disorders and is considered to be one of the best essential oils for insomnia. There is also anecdotal evidence that it may be effective in treating anxiety, but there is a lack of research to back this up. Researchers believe that valerian works as a type of sedative, which is why it is so effective. 

8. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang essential oil comes from the bright, beautiful flowers of the Cananga tree, native to Indonesia. Research indicates that ylang ylang can be one of the best essential oils for sleep and anxiety, as it helps to slow the body’s nervous system, eliciting a feeling of calm and relaxation. It also has a gorgeous tropical aroma, making it perfect for adding to nighttime lotions and creams. 

9. Rose Geranium Essential Oil

The sweet and floral fragrance of rose geranium oil makes it one of the number one essential oils to help sleep. Its rose-like aroma is soothing and relaxing, helping to calm the mind and the body. Many people like to add rose geranium to their cosmetic products, as this allows them to also reap the benefits this oil has for the skin. Try adding it to a base lotion to create one of the best essential oil blends for sleep. 

10. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is one of the oldest essential oils around! Dating back to biblical times, it is common in aromatherapy for soothing the mind. Many people rave about the use of frankincense in yoga and meditation, and how it can help to promote mindfulness. For this reason, we consider it to be one of the best essential oils to help sleep. 

Best Essential Oil Blends for Sleep: Diffuse the Situation

10 best essential oils for sleep

Sweet Dreams:

Counting Sheep:

The Sandman:

Rest and Relaxation:

Other Methods to Improve Sleep

In addition to using essential oils, there are other great ways to help get a good night’s rest. Some of these include:

  • Making sure that your sleep routine is consistent. If you go to bed at the same time every night, your body will eventually fall into a pattern it recognizes
  • During the day do your best not to nap, and to get a healthy amount of exercise 
  • Meditation is known to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which can disrupt sleep. Try meditating before bed to help clear your mind of any thoughts that may keep you awake
  • Practice deep breathing. The most famous breathing exercise for sleeping is the 4-7-8 technique. This is when you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7, and then exhale for 8. Repeat 4-8 times to help calm anxiety and slow the body
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine if possible, as both can negatively affect the pattern and quality of sleep 


Often, being unable to sleep can be an indication of a more serious problem. If you are suffering from sleep deprivation it is best to see your doctor or even a sleep specialist. They will help get to the bottom of what is causing your sleep problems and rule out anything more serious. Speak to a medical professional before using essential oil therapy, especially if you are pregnant, suffering from other health problems, or taking medication. Additionally, make sure to keep essential oils away from children and pets, as many are toxic. Do not ever ingest essential oils, and always dilute them first before applying them to your skin. 

The Best Essential Oils for Sleep: Conclusion 

While there is much we don’t know about sleep, the one thing that is clear is how important it is. Expert recommendations say that adults should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Less than this can cause sleep deprivation, which can lead to other, potentially serious, health conditions. While we hope our list of the best essential oils for sleep is beneficial to you, we advise consulting with a medical professional if you believe you are suffering from sleep deprivation. If there are other oils you like to use to fall asleep faster, drop us a comment and let us know!

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