Essential Oils to Support a Good Night’s Sleep

I never knew what true lack of sleep was until I had a baby.

When I experienced night-after-night of interrupted sleep and having to function with just only a few hours of rest, I understood how poor quality sleep can affect every area of life.

Having a fully restful night of good sleep doesn’t just make you feel more cheerful and able to cope, it can affect your body and mental faculties.  Your stress levels will rise and can ultimately hurt your immune system,  making you susceptible to illness.

Not everyone needs a solid eight hours.  Some people feel fine with six, others need a good ten to feel well.   The importance isn’t the number of hours, but the quality of the sleep.  Sleeping a good quality six hours a night is more beneficial than sleeping a poor, restless ten hours.

How can essential oils help you to sleep better?  They can help you relax before bed to prepare you for sleep, allow drawn up tight muscles to let go and loosen, help ground you and still your overactive mind.  If you keep a bottle next to the bed, inhaling a calming oil can even help you get back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night.

Below is a list of my personal top three oils for sleep (and where to purchase them)

  • Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) I wrote a post about Lavender here that will give you a lot of information about this basic aromatherapy oil.  It has loads of healing properties!  Above all, Lavender is relaxing and calming, making it a perfect compliment to a warm bath at the end of the day or added to a linen spray misted across the sheets.  I also keep a bottle next to the bed to inhale when I wake up.  Sometimes I pull back the covers and just sprinkle a few drops around the bottom sheet.  Do what’s easy, I say!
  • Marjoram (Origanium marjorana) Has always made me really sleepy.  I like to add it to a diffuser with lavender and keep it by the bed while I’m reading.  Before I know it, my book is laying on my chest and I’m snoring away!
  • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)  In this recent post I talked about Bergamot being uplifting, which might seen an odd choice for sleep.  Bergamot is not stimulating,  but rather cheering and uplifting.  Sometimes just having a lighter heart before bed can help you drift off to sleep.   Add it to your bath or a nice linen spray.

You can use any of these oils alone or in combination to help support a restful night and help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day!

Buona Notte!

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  1. Hi Liz,
    I usually just add a few drops of oil to water for a linen spray, but I think I’m supposed to add something else to preserve it, like maybe witch hazel? Can you give me some guidance on number of drops for the oils above and any other ingredients needed? Thank you!

    • Such a great point, Annie, and thank you for bringing that up! I have now added a link on this post that will take the reader to my page on diffusing essential oils: You don’t need to add anything to the bottle, Annie. Just add 5-6 drops of essential oil per each ounce of distilled water and you’ll be fine. Shake it well before you use it to help disburse the oils. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I had the same experience, Liz. I had an infant and a 14 month old. They tag teamed me at night for many months. That drove home the importance of rest and rejuvenation to me. For many years I have kept a bottle of my lavender lotion beside my bed to rub on the bottoms of my feet, hands, and lastly to inhale deeply. That literally knocks me out and I usually sleep through the night. If not, I repeat the process and out I go again. An added benefit is soft skin and the lavender heals all the little scrapes and nicks my hands acquire through the day. Now that’s a win-win!

    • Ahhh, I think every Mother can related, Robin! The Lavender lotion is a superb idea! Just make sure you’ve got essential oil of Lavender in your bottle, and not synthetic fragrancing. And yes, a TOTAL win-win!

  3. After a wonderful massage, I took a very warm bath with bergamont and ylang-ylang. I love how the smell individually so I tried them blended (very nice btw) in my bath. Found myself drifting off to sleep in the bath lol.

    • Ally, No falling asleep in the tub! :-)
      Ylang Ylang and Bergamot are a gorgeous combination, and would indeed help you relax! Do you remember how many drops of each you used in your bath?

  4. Glad to have found this resource! My interests in aromatherapy are renewed as I would like to help a friend battling cancer.

  5. I’ve found that lavender is one of those oils that can be relaxing or stimulating, depending upon what you pair it with. Although for some reason, I recently bought and used some geranium oil in my diffuser, and it made me REALLY tired. Maybe it was just because I had been up all day, so I will try it again. However, do certain oils have different effects on different people?


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