Written by Declan Davey (Health & Wellness Copywriter)
Key takeaway: Looking for a soothing essential oil sleep recipe? Try blending oils such as lavender, camomile, and eucalyptus in a diffuser.
Why is it that the older we get, the harder it is to consistently get a good night’s sleep?
Hmm… could it be the never-ending to-do list, phone notifications, or noisy neighbours (among other factors!)
Either way, we all know that the recommended amount of shut-eye for adults is between 7 and 9 hours. But how can we actually achieve this magical amount every night, rather than just a few nights a week or only on weekends?
Essential oils to the rescue! While they can’t solve every sleep issue out there, they’re a wonderful go-to for winding down.
In today’s blog, we’ll give you ideas for essential oil sleep recipes and blends that can calm the body after a long day.
It doesn’t end there, though, as we’ll also cover a few other topics related to sleep health...
Check out the preview below in case you want to scroll to the section you’re most interested in:
- Can Essential Oils Help You Sleep?
- Are Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea a Worthwhile Option?
- Which Essential Oils Should You Avoid Before Bed?
- Where to Apply Essential Oils for Sleep?
- 4 Essential Oil Sleep Recipes & Blends to R.E.L.A.X.
- What Is the Best Essential Oil for Sleep?
- Sleep Hygiene Tips: Checklists to Promote Better Sleep
P.S. Feel free to follow us on social media and share this page with friends or family who may benefit from essential oil sleep recipes!
Can Essential Oils Help You Sleep?
Essential oils are known to soothe and relax, so it makes sense that they can support sleep health.
While there aren’t thousands of studies on the use of essential oils for sleep, the research so far is encouraging…
A clear example of this comes from an aromatherapy study that looked at the effects of essential oil on young men and women.
The scientists found that participants who were given lavender oil to smell before bed had improved deep or slow-wave sleep (SMS), compared with those who were given a distilled water mixture.
What’s more, all the participants reported that they had more energy the day after being offered the lavender oil.
Additional options to add to an essential oil sleep blend include camomile and ylang ylang.
We’ll go into more detail on potential recipes in just a minute -- but first, let’s answer a couple of FAQs…
- Are Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea a Worthwhile Option?
If you have symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, shallow breathing, or gasping upon waking, there’s a chance you may have sleep apnea.
As it’s often caused by blockages in the soft tissues of the throat, it can be dangerous if left untreated, so make sure to get assessed by a doctor if you have concerns.
Sometimes, an airway pressure device (CPAP) is required to keep your airways open overnight. For milder forms of sleep apnea, though, you may find relief with lifestyle changes such as losing weight and avoiding alcohol.
Essential oils shouldn’t be your primary method to treat the condition, but they can be valuable as a supportive option.
Frequently promoted essential oils for sleep apnea include:
- Roman Camomile
- Ylang Ylang
Here’s an infographic from Advanced Sleep Solutions of Virginia with what they say are the best essential oils for sleep apnea:
Best essential oils for sleep apnea.
Which Essential Oils Should You Avoid Before Bed?
Essential oils such as lavender can have a welcome sedative effect, but other oils may do the opposite and may make insomnia more likely!
While the oils below could be super for a vitality boost, you’d be wise to steer clear of them if you’ve had a stressful day and need to unwind:
- Rosemary Oil: 20 healthy volunteers’ nervous system responses were recorded after inhaling rosemary oil. Significant increases were measured in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate.
- Petitgrain Oil: In a 2017 study on stress and work performance, participants exposed to petitgrain essential oil via a diffuser experienced an increase in arousal levels and alertness.
- Sandalwood Oil: A study in the Planta Medica journal found that inhaling sandalwood oil led to elevated blood pressure and pulse rate.
Where to Apply Essential Oils for Sleep?
This is a common question, and it’s no wonder...
Essential oils are certainly potent, so it’s essential (pun intended!) to know how to use them safely.
With this in mind, where’s best to apply essential oils for sleep?
Well, your first course of action should be to conduct a “patch test” on a small area of skin -- particularly if you’re introducing a new oil.
The reasoning for this patch test is to check for potential irritation or allergic reactions.
To carry out the test, mix a small amount of the essential oil with a carrier oil (e.g. avocado, olive, or jojoba oil).
Then, apply a couple of drops of the blend to your inner arm and cover with a plaster or band-aid. Make sure this is securely in place.
After 48 hours, you can take off the plaster/band-aid and see if the skin appears irritated at all.
If there are any signs that you have had an allergic reaction to the essential oil, don’t use the oil again. There are plenty of others to try instead.
But if your skin seems to have taken well to the oil, then it’s time to party!
Okay, maybe not LITERALLY throw a party (though that could be fun)... but you can now continue using the oil as you wish.
Here are a few snazzy ideas to choose from when it comes to using essential oils for sleep:
- Run a nice, warm bath with a few drops of oil
- Spray your pillow or mattress with oil before bed
- Add 1-2 drops of oil to your night-wear for beautifully scented PJs!
- Dab a drop of oil (mixed with a carrier oil) to your temples or wrists
- Soak a few drops of oil in a cloth or tissue to place under your pillow
- Rub in a skin cream or lotion that’s mixed with essential oil
- Keep an oil diffuser on your bedside table (one that sprays mist through the night is even better!)
And here’s the extra important bit...
Please never, never take essential oils internally.
And if you manage a health condition or take medications, it’s recommended to speak with your doctor first before using essential oils.
Also, make sure to avoid getting any oil in your eyes, ears, or nose. We promise the result will NOT be fun!
5 Essential Oil Sleep Recipes & Blends to R.E.L.A.X.
One thing’s for sure about essential oils for sleep -- you have plenty of choices available to experiment with!
Here are 5 of the best DIY options for essential oil sleep recipes that you can try at home. Simply add the advised number of drops to your diffuser and away you go!
#1 Essential Oil Sleep Recipe: Drift Off with the “Goodnight” Duo
Keep it simple with of the easiest recipes to unwind and relax:
- Bergamot -- 3 drops
- Lavender -- 4 drops
#2 Essential Oil Sleep Recipe: Refresh with This “Clean the Air” Blend
Cleanse the air in your bedroom before you settle down for the night:
- Eucalyptus -- 5 drops
- Lavender -- 4 drops
- Peppermint -- 4 drops
#3 Essential Oil Sleep Recipe: Smell a “Bedtime Bouquet”
Imagine being in a summer field as you breathe in this fragrant blend:
- Lavender -- 3 drops
- Roman Camomile -- 1 drop
- Ylang Ylang -- 2 drops
#4 Essential Oil Sleep Recipe: Relax Into a “Night Night Wonderland”
Feel grounded and calm with an earthy scent:
- Bergamot -- 1 drop
- Frankincense -- 1 drop
- Lavender -- 1 drop
- Patchouli -- 1 drop
#5 Essential Oil Sleep Recipe: Enjoy a 5-in-1 “Best Sleep Ever” Blend!
Perfect for those who are 100% committed to achieving a good night’s rest:
- Cedarwood -- 2 drops
- Eucalyptus -- 2 drops
- Frankincense -- 1 drop
- Lavender -- 5 drops
- Marjoram -- 4 drops
- So… What Is the Best Essential Oil for Sleep?
Ooh, controversial! Do we have to decide?
Alright, go on then…
Based on the research so far, lavender oil is our winner! Colourful yet relaxing, the purple-tastic plant is hard to beat if you’re aiming for better sleep...
For this reason, lavender is one of the unmissable ingredients in our “Sweet Dreams” Life Essential Oil:
If you’d like to find out a little more about the Sweet Dreams blend, here are the key features:
- A carefully crafted recipe with Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Camomile
- 100% natural and pure essential oil
- Therapeutic grade, made in the UK
- Packaged in safe glass bottles with dropper inserts
- Available in 10ml, 50ml, and 100ml sizes
But how to best put it to use?
You can’t go wrong with oil diffusers and burners, but our favourite way to use the Sweet Dreams blend is by diluting it with a grapeseed carrier oil:
Grapeseed Carrier Oil -- perfect to mix with the “Sweet Dreams” essential oil
Source: Aroma Energy
Gently massage the mix onto your skin (e.g. forehead, neck, chest, or palms) for a deserved moment of self-care after a long, tiring day!
Sleep Hygiene Tips: A Checklist to Promote Better Sleep
As much as we love essential oil recipes for sleep at Aroma Energy, they’re not the only way to promote better sleep.
Right now, achieving good quality sleep might feel like an unsolvable puzzle for you. That’s why it’s a smart idea to pay close attention to your “sleep hygiene” (yep, we agree it’s a pretty strange phrase!)
Troubles with getting to sleep, waking often during the night, and daytime brain fog or tiredness are all signs that your sleep hygiene may not be tip-top.
The trick is to have as many pieces of the “sleep puzzle” in place as possible. This includes morning and evening routines, as well as optimising your bedroom setup.
Here’s a checklist (split into three parts) with a few excellent sleep hygiene tips:
- Set your alarm for the same time every day (ideally, weekends too!)
- Get outside for sunlight exposure to aid your circadian rhythms
- Only drink caffeine before midday
- Exercise (walks, weight training, and yoga are all great!)
- Don’t nap later than early afternoon
- Eat dinner earlier (allow a couple of hours for digestion before sleep)
- Limit alcohol consumption
- View sleep as priority number one in your life (more than work!)
- Protect 30-60 minutes to wind-down at night
- Block blue light from screens (search for apps that dim blue light)
- Meditate for 10-20 minutes to calm the mind
- Turn off technology overnight
- Try a relaxing activity (e.g. read) if you’re not asleep after 30 minutes
Bedroom setup checklist:
- Treat yourself to a mattress and pillow upgrade
- Wear an eye mask or buy blackout curtains to shut out unwanted light
- Keep the window open slightly for fresh air through the night
- Use earplugs if there’s noise in the home or outside
So, the big question…
How many sleep hygiene tips from the list did you check off??
Don’t worry if your score isn’t as high as you’d like. Nobody’s perfect!
We suggest trying to improve one point on the list at a time. Which do you feel is the most important to focus on first?
Many thanks for reading our blog on essential oil recipes for sleep!
What’s your pick of the bunch?
If you’re shopping for essential oils, you’re welcome to get in touch with the Aroma Energy team -- we proudly call ourselves the “oil nerds”!
RELATED - Essential oils for anxiety
Alternatively, please feel free to browse our range of oils below 😊
Until next time!
P.S. Feel free to share this page with friends or family who may benefit from essential oil sleep recipes!