29 Jan 2023

5 best essential oils for sleep

author Ashley Owen
Here at Erbology, we’re big fans of finding natural ways to boost our sleep. From creating the perfect night-time routine to optimising your bedroom for slumber, there are plenty of little things you can do that will help you drift off. One of these is harnessing the power of essential oils. This post discusses five of the best essential oils for sleep. We’ll also cover some effective ways to incorporate them into your bedtime ritual to enjoy the maximum benefit. So, get comfy and we’ll begin!

A quick refresher on essential oils

Let’s start with a short overview of what essential oils are before going into detail about using them for sleep. Keeping it simple, essential oils are extracts that capture a plant’s unique fragrance and taste in a highly concentrated form.

You’re able to use essential oils in a number of different ways, depending on the benefit you want to gain. For example, they can flavour recipes, scent a room, level up your skincare products, or enhance your bath.

Each essential oil has its own individual advantages and effects on our minds and bodies. Some are energising, some help you focus, and others are great for relaxation. It’s the latter that we’re going to concentrate on in this article, as we investigate the best essential oils for sleep.

Why are essential oils good for sleep?

Scent can have a powerful effect on the brain. Certain smells may trigger particular memories or evoke specific emotions, and can also cause physiological responses in the body.(1) This could include changes in blood pressure, stress response, mood, and even our brain waves. Some fragrances stimulate us, while others calm you down, making it easier to get restful sleep.

Many of us have experienced this effect personally, but the science backs it up. Research has found that inhaling essential oils can be useful for people who suffer from mild sleep disturbances.(2) The best essential oils for sleep have a relaxing influence on the nervous system, and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.(3) They can slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and increase delta brain waves. All of this may help us enjoy longer, and deeper, sleep.

What’s particularly good about using essential oils to improve sleep is that you don’t have to worry about side effects. They won’t leave you feeling drowsy in the morning, nor are you at risk of becoming dependent on them. They’re simply a natural way to help yourself wind down in the evening ready for bed.

The importance of prioritising sleep

Why should we care about the best essential oils for sleep? Well, if you’ve ever suffered through a sleepless night, you’ll know that it can leave you feeling tired and irritable. However, the reality is that sleep deprivation may be more damaging than simply putting us in a bad mood.

Studies have linked chronic sleep deprivation to all kinds of harmful health conditions. These include obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression.(4) Not to mention, a lack of sleep increases your risk of accidents and injuries.(5)

Conversely, being well-rested could maximise your physical and cognitive performance in a variety of useful ways. For instance, sleep can enhance our motor skills, reaction time, strength, and endurance. Getting plenty of shuteye also boosts our concentration, productivity, memory, and problem-solving skills.(6)

As you can see, making sleep a priority in your life is vital for your overall health and wellbeing. We’ve covered what makes essential oils good for sleep, so now let’s turn to how you can harness their benefits.

The best ways to use essential oils for sleep

When thinking about the best essential oils for sleep, it’s not only the fragrance that matters. You also want to consider how you use them. Luckily, there are several relaxing methods available – so you’re sure to find an option that suits your lifestyle.

For instance, one practice that can help you wind down in the evenings is using an oil diffuser. You fill it with water and mix in a few drops of your chosen essential oil. When you switch it on, the diffuser emits a mist that disperses the scent throughout the space. In just 15 minutes, you’ll find your room infused with a calming fragrance. It’s a convenient choice because it enables you to reap the benefits whatever you’re doing.

Alternatively, pop 5-8 drops of oil into your evening bath before getting in. This technique is great because it multiplies the benefits you get from the essential oil. Firstly, the steam will suffuse the air with a blissfully relaxing fragrance. Secondly, you’ll also absorb some of the oil topically as you soak, which can do wonders for your skin.

One easy method is to put a couple of drops of essential oil onto your pillow before bed. That way, you’ll be able to inhale the soothing scent as you’re drifting off and throughout the night. This can ease you into a peaceful sleep and help you stay there. You can also apply the best essential oils to your skin if you dilute them with a carrier oil. Once blended, rub the mixture onto your face and body for a relaxing bedtime massage.

Among our favourite methods is adding a drop of one of the best essential oils for sleep to a cup of tea or hot chocolate. This transforms it into a perfect soothing bedtime drink!

Related reading


2 fl oz (Box of 12)

Organic Aloe Vera Shots