Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated February 3, 2021Essential oils are extracted from roots and plants. Extracting oils captures the plant’s essence, which could, when inhaled or rubbed into the skin, provide health benefits. These oils can relieve pain from a headache or give you energy during that midday slump. There are different varieties, including unique oil blends which combine different oils in one bottle to promote sleep.We’d like to focus on essential oils and how they can help you sleep better. Sleep-inducing essential oils include lavender, bergamot, and jasmine. These oils contain properties to help you relax and unwind. These essential oils help you relax at night and may ensure a good night’s sleep.How Do Essential Oils Improve Sleep?Sleep-inducing essential oils can help you relax by regulating hormones, slowing down your pulse, lowering your blood pressure, and soothing your nerves. These oils could even reduce sleep disorder symptoms, like insomnia. Once inhaled, sleep-inducing essential oils may decrease alertness and help you fall asleep faster.Soothe Stress and AnxietyStress and anxiety are contributing factors to insomnia. Feeling stressed out can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. That’s why essential oils can help, by soothing frazzled nerves and reducing stress.Improve DepressionEssential oils aren’t a cure for depression, but they can alleviate some symptoms through aromatherapy, like uplifting your mood. Essential oils, like lavender, can help you relax and induce sleep. Simply smelling an open bottle of essential oils can have an immediate effect—you may find it easier to breathe and feel calmer. Other essential oils, like clary sage, can enhance your mood by regulating hormone production.What Essential Oils are Good for Sleep?Specific types of essential oils are aimed to help you sleep better by relaxing tense muscles and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. You may find it impossible to fall asleep when you’re stressed about work or social events. Essential oils can help you wind down and fall asleep.LavenderLavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils for sleep and relaxation. Its sedative effects, including a slower heartbeat and breathing rate, make it an excellent remedy for anxiety and mild insomnia. One study found that inhaling lavender before bed increases slow-wave sleep. During slow-wave sleep, your brain is storing information as memory. More time spent in slow-wave sleep may help you become better focused and able to recall information the following day.Roman ChamomileA cup of chamomile tea before bed is good, but rubbing Roman chamomile oil on the inside of your wrist might be more effective. The skin absorbs chamomile through the skin and reaches the bloodstream faster than drinking tea. Roman chamomile, or true chamomile, is common in North America and found in herbal teas and essential oils. Chamomile promotes sleep and calms anxiety.BergamotBergamot oil comes from bergamot citrus fruits. The scent of citrus fruits normally makes people feel more alert during the day, but bergamot is different. Bergamot essential oil calms the nervous system when rubbed into the skin or inhaled through a diffuser. Bergamot can also lower blood pressure and slow your heart rate. Bergamot oil is an excellent way to reduce anxiety and help you sleep.Clary SageClary sage is a natural sedative. Diffusing the oil can calm your emotions and reduce stress. Clary sage is also known to reduce depression and anxiety.Ylang-YlangYlang-ylang oil is extracted from the ylang-ylang flower or fruit. Ylang-ylang oil alleviates stress by soothing the nervous system. One study shows how inhaling ylang-ylang essential oil can lower blood pressure and heart rate.Sweet MarjoramSweet marjoram oil is used to treat colds and indigestion, but it may improve sleep quality, especially if you’re a shift worker. Other research found that sweet marjoram oil improved sleep quality in nurses on the graveyard shift. The oil’s properties include regulating heart rate, relaxing muscles, and soothing emotions.VanillaVanilla has a sweet, appealing scent, almost reminiscent of baked cookies. Vanilla essential oil shouldn’t be confused with vanilla extract. Vanilla essential oil reduces restlessness, soothes nerves, and lowers your blood pressure.Vanilla extract is made for baking purposes only. The same is true for vanilla-infused olive oil—use it for cooking, not for relaxation.ValerianValerian oil is similar to chamomile. When inhaled, valerian essential oil slows down the nervous system and relaxes the muscles, which may help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality. Valerian essential oil is extracted from the valerian root and used as a natural remedy for sleep.JasmineA study shows how jasmine essential oil can act as an antidepressant. When participants inhaled jasmine oil, researchers found increases in their breathing and blood pressure. Jasmine oil also increased brain wave activity and positive emotions. Another study revealed that inhaling jasmine essential oil decreased heart rate and slowed nerve activity.Rose and GeraniumRose and geranium essential oils are extracted from their respective flower’s petals. Both have a gentle, floral scent that balances hormones and soothes headaches once inhaled. Diffusing rose or geranium essential oils can help ground you if you’re experiencing negative emotions, like anger or sadness.FrankincenseFrankincense can soothe your thoughts and slow down your breathing, reducing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure. Frankincense can also relieve stress. In a 2019 study, researchers applied a frankincense oil diluted with a carrier oil on several sleep-deprived rats. As a result, the rats’ stress levels decreased and improved sleep.Other Sleep BlendsEssential oil companies often create sleep blends, combining different essential oils to promote sleep. These blends vary—some may contain lavender and clary sage, while others may have vanilla, bergamot, and ylang-ylang. Each blend should list what essential oils they contain.How Do You Apply Essential Oils?There are many ways to apply essential oils, but the most common method is diffusing. Other methods include applying the oil directly to your body, adding to your bath, or creating a mist.Add to a DiffuserThree common oil diffusers include candles, reed diffusers, and electronic diffusers. Some manufacturers infused candle wax with essential oils—when you light the candle, the oil is released into the air.A reed diffuser provides consistent fragrance without the use of heat or electricity. The reeds or sticks are partially placed inside a container of oil. The reeds absorb the oil and disperse its scent into the air.An electronic oil diffuser uses water and electricity to disperse the essential oils. Some devices give you the option to control how long or how much oil is dispersed. These diffusers can also have a light with interchangeable colors or an automatic shut-off setting.Directly to the BodyApplying essential oils directly to your body is a faster way of feeling the oil’s effects, but not before diluting the oil first. We recommend mixing the essential oil with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil. Your skin may be sensitive to undiluted oils, so adding a carrier oil will be more gentle. Typical areas you can apply essential oils include hands, the bottom of your feet, chest, forehead, and the inside of your wrists.Add to BathwaterAdding drops of essential oils to warm bathwater can make you feel relaxed and help you unwind after a stressful day. Soaking in warm water mixed with essential oils opens up your pores, allowing you to feel the oils’ effects. Plus, a warm bath relieves muscle tension and induces sleep.Create a MistIf you don’t have a diffuser, using a spray bottle is an excellent way to diffuse essential oils. Combine a few drops of your favorite relaxing oil blend with water before spraying in the air. You don’t have to limit the spray to your bedroom—you can spray it anywhere you want to promote calm and relaxation.Read the InstructionsBefore applying any essential oils, read the instructions first. You may experience harmful or negative effects if you misuse an essential oil. If you’re not sure how your body will react to essential oil, run a patch test. Rub a small amount of oil on the inside of your wrist and wait at least 24 hours. The oil is safe to use if there’s no allergic reaction, like itchy or inflamed skin.If you want to use essential oils on your children, run a patch test before applying. Children can be sensitive to some substances, so it’s a good idea to check first. Never use essential oils on babies less than a year old, unless advised by a doctor.FAQsWhere do you put essential oils for sleep?One of the most basic methods of applying essential oils is placing a few drops on the palm of one hand, then rubbing both hands together and inhaling the scent. Other ways include rubbing essential oil on the bottom of your feet, inside your wrists, forehead, and chest. Make sure to do a patch test first to make sure you won’t experience any allergic reactions.Apply 1 to 2 drops of essential oil to the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours. After this time, if you don’t experience any negative effects, the oil is safe to use.What scents help you sleep better?Several essential oils can improve your sleep, including clary sage, bergamot, and vanilla. Lavender is a popular oil used to relax muscles and promote calm, especially during stressful situations. Some essential oils may appeal to you more than others, which could affect how well you sleep.What is the most calming scent?Lavender oil is one of the most common oils used to promote calm and relaxation. You may have noticed lavender as a key ingredient in items aimed to boost relaxation. These include essential oil blends, teas, and Epsom salt. Lavender is a natural sedative—it relaxes tense muscles and regulates breathing.What are the different ways not to use essential oils?While essential oils can be helpful, they are not always recommended. Avoid using them in these ways or if these circumstances describe you.UndilutedEssential oils are highly concentrated—applying the oil without first diluting it with a carrier oil may cause negative effects, including rashes. Mixing an essential oil with a base oil, like coconut oil, makes it safer to use.By consumptionEven though essential oils can be safe to inhale or apply to your skin, you should never consume the oil without first talking to your doctor. Essential oils could badly react if you’re taking any medication or have a pre-existing condition. Talking with a healthcare provider first prevents any unnecessary risks.If you’re allergic Before regularly using an essential oil, do a patch test to make sure you’re not allergic. Apply a small amount of essential oil to the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours. If you don’t experience any rashes or itchy skin, the oil is safe to use.If you’re pregnantUsing essential oils mixed with a carrier oil may have negative effects on you and your baby. There’s still unknown information on how essential oils can affect us internally. If you’re pregnant, it’s strongly recommended that you avoid consuming any essential oil. Lotions or bath products that contain essential oils are generally safe but check with your doctor just in case.What scent helps anxiety?Essential oils, like lavender, bergamot, and ylang-ylang, may reduce anxiety. These oils contain properties that decrease stress, boost your mood, soothe nerves, and regulate hormones. Diffusing these calm-inducing essential oils can cut down on negative emotions and decrease the likelihood of a panic attack.ConclusionEssential oils are an excellent way of improving your sleep quality. These oils contain calming properties aimed to calm you down and help you feel more stable. Trying to sleep when you feel stressed out sometimes makes it worse—you may struggle to fall asleep and wake up during the night. Essential oils made to induce sleep can reduce stress and unwind your body, so you can sleep better and wake refreshed and ready to tackle the day.About the author Malik Karman“Professional sleeper” Malik Karman is a freelance writer for the eachnight blog. Over the years, Malik has read countless medical studies and explored hundreds of different bedding products in an effort to better understand what goes into a restorative night’s rest. Malik curates many of our “best mattress” guides to assist readers in the mattress buying process. Find more articles by Malik Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.