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Best Essential Oils For Sleep: 11 Oils You Can’t Live Without

best essential oil for sleep - different sleep items and oils on a table

In today’s fast-paced world, sleep tends to become a luxury for many of us. But in order to function at peak performance levels, we need to be well-rested. 

Sleep can affect our moods and emotions, memory and thinking skills, weight and health, reaction times, and much more. Fortunately, there are healthy options that can help you get better sleep, even if you don’t have the full 8 hours.

Below we’ll give you some of the best essential oils for sleep which will aid in relaxation, better quality sleep, and we’ll even show you how to use them.

11 Best Sleep-Inducing Essential Oils

Choosing the best essential oils for sleep will make all the difference when you wake up in the morning. Some oils have sedative effects, while others can help keep your heart rate down. There are plenty of options to suit everyone’s sleep needs and below we’re going to cover the top choices. Get these and you’ll start sleeping better tonight. 

Bergamot Oil

bergamot essential oil

Bergamot is a citrus fruit used in Earl Grey tea. Bergamot oil comes from the peel of the fruit and helps people get more restful sleep. Some studies have shown that it helps lower heart rate and relieves anxiety.

Unlike other essential oils that function well on their own, bergamot is best when mixed with scents like lavender and ylang-ylang.

Check out our bergamot oil. It’s one of the purest essential oils you can get and is trusted by hospitals and medical facilities throughout the U.S. 

Cedarwood Oil

Cedarwood oil is an essential oil created from the bark, berries, leaves, and needles of cedar trees. Cedar oil has a very woodsy scent, so if you enjoy the outdoors, you may take to this oil quickly.

It also contains cedrol, a chemical that has shown sedative effects in people and animals. If you have trouble sleeping, the sedative effect of cedarwood oil may help you get to sleep and stay asleep through the night.

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil is made from the chamomile plant and is in the same family as the daisy. There are two types of chamomile: Roman and German.

Historically, chamomile has been linked to digestive relief, wound healing, and anxiety relief. Chamomile essential oil is often used effectively as a sleep aid. Chamomile’s relaxing properties are why you will find it in many “bedtime” tea blends.

Clary Sage Oil

Clary sage oil comes from the leaves and buds of the clary sage herb. Many studies focus on its medicinal purposes and antibacterial properties.

Clary sage oil’s effect, when used as aromatherapy, is linked to its antidepressant tendencies. Some studies indicate that clary sage lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol levels impact your circadian rhythm and how much you sleep. Breathing in clary sage before you sleep reduces your alertness and helps you sleep better.

Eucalyptus Oil

eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil serves as a natural bug repellent, and it can also help you breathe easier. If you’ve ever used Vicks VapoRub, you’ve used medicine with eucalyptus oil as the main ingredient. 

Eucalyptus oil helps you stop coughing and makes your cough more productive by dislodging mucus. Eucalyptus essential oil is helpful when you’re sick and trying to sleep.

Check out our pure eucalyptus oil. It’s also a great aid for sleep apnea caused by congestion.

Jasmine Oil

Jasmine essential oil comes from the flowers of the jasmine plant. The scent is associated with romance and is known primarily as an aphrodisiac. Jasmine oil, however, has lots of health benefits that can help you sleep better.

Jasmine oil not only smells lovely, but it can have a sedative effect on your body, helping lull you to sleep. Research has also linked it to reducing anxiety and helping combat insomnia by calming heart palpitations and reducing irritability.

Lavender Oil

bottle of lavender essential oil

Lavender oil is probably the most widely-known essential oil. There have been consistent links between lavender and reduced anxiety, insomnia, and stress. Besides being a popular flavor integrated into certain foods and drinks, lavender is also helpful in treating different skin ailments.

Lavender essential oil is a perfect choice for those who suffer from insomnia and need something to help them sleep. Its soothing scent helps your body decompress and prepare for a night of restful sleep. Our 100% pure lavender essential oil is one of our best-selling products for this reason.

Peppermint Oil

bottle of peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil can help relax you via aromatherapy. It can also be used topically or ingested to help relieve gastrointestinal discomfort and nausea.

Peppermint oil is also a muscle relaxer, which can help physically relax your body before you lay down to sleep. If you decide to rub peppermint essential oil on your skin, always make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil. 

Considering peppermint oil? Check out our pure peppermint oil here

Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil comes from the wood and roots of the East Indian sandalwood tree. It has a distinct smell commonly found in air fresheners and perfumes. There are health benefits that come with sandalwood essential oil as well, including bacteria-fighting capabilities.

Sandalwood essential oil is best for those who need its anti-inflammatory and anxiety-reducing capabilities. While sandalwood works on its own, it’s best to find a mix with sandalwood for maximum effect.

Valerian Oil

Manufacturers derive valerian oil from the roots of the valerian herb. The valerian herb is present in different foods and beverages, especially tea formulated for drinking before bed. Valerian is a popular choice to help treat sleep disorders, especially insomnia.

If you decide to try valerian oil to help you sleep, you may have to wait a while before you see any real change. Consistency is key to seeing if valerian can help you sleep better at night.

Ylang Ylang Oil

bottle of ylang ylang oil

Ylang-ylang has a flowery, fruity, rich scent that has made it sought after in the perfume industry. Ylang-ylang comes from the star-shaped flower from the Cananga tree. Ylang-ylang essential oil is best used for aromatherapy, as its direct application to the skin can lead to irritation.

Ylang-ylang has a connection to reducing depression and anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate. This will help you sleep better at night, so it is a perfect essential oil choice before bed.

Ways to Use Essential Oils for Sleep

woman sleeping after using essential oils

There are many ways to integrate essential oils into your sleep routine. Most methods of sleep aromatherapy require you to smell a particular oil before and during your sleep cycle, but this isn’t the only way to do it. Here are a few other methods:

Direct Application

Direct application of essential oils means you apply the oil to your skin. When done with the essential oil only, it’s best to apply to small, concentrated areas like the neck or behind the ears. Also, make sure to dilute your oil prior to applying. 

If you mix the essential oil with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, you can rub more of the mixture into your skin. With direct application, you get the benefits of aromatherapy, you can target specific areas, and it has a soothing sensation on your skin. 

Essential Oil-Infused Candles

Essential oil-infused candles create a calming, soothing atmosphere for you before you go to sleep. But it’s a safety hazard to keep the candle burning all night. So if you use a scented candle, use it for a bit before bedtime to help you get some of the relief that essential oils provide.


Diffusers are the most popular way to use essential oils for sleep. To use this method, just place a few drops of your favorite oil into the water and it emits a pleasant and relaxing aroma while you sleep. You can also benefit from steam therapy or essential oil sprays. Soothing Scents specializes in inhaled aromatherapy and features multiple signature inhalation products.


There is a difference between essential oils you can ingest versus those you cannot, and it’s imperative you know the difference. You can bake with specific edible essential oils, like lavender, to help you get restful sleep but you have to be sure the oil is edible. It’s important to get medical guidance before ingesting any essential oil though.

How Do Essential Oils Work?

bottles of essential oils for sleep

Essential oils activate your olfactory system. The olfactory system is connected to your limbic system and your amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain. As you take in the smell of essential oils, your olfactory senses tell your brain to secrete serotonin and dopamine, two crucial neurotransmitters of mood regulation.

Many essential oils are adaptogens, meaning they give your body what it needs to regulate itself during that moment. If you need to be alert and decide to use peppermint essential oil, the essential oil will help you remain awake because of the energetic properties of peppermint essential oil.

The human brain can also begin to correlate certain smells with certain activities. For example, if you chew mint gum when studying, when the time comes for a test, you’ll want to chew the same gum. Your brain will associate that smell with the information you studied. 

The same goes for sleep. Your body can begin to associate certain smells with sleep. If you develop a routine, you may get a good night’s sleep simply after smelling your favorite bedtime scent.

In all, many studies support the fact that essential oils can improve sleep quality. They consistently show a positive effect in this regard. Still, you should always consult your physician about sleep problems before adding anything to your routine. There may be a more serious issue to address.

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