Best Essential Oils for Sleeping Soundly

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

We know that essential oils are for helping us look better. But what about to help us have sweet dreams at night. Can they help us have solid and restful nights of sleep as well? Essential oils are supposed to make people look beautiful and smell nice. Who ever heard of an essential oil helping people to sleep better? What happened to counting sheep? Now, they want us to believe that essential oils will help us sleep better? Let’s look into this claim?

Sleep Well with these essential oils

It is said that babies need 11 to 14 hours a sleep a night. Young children need 9 to 10 hours and adults ideally need at least 6 hours. A psychiatric study conducted at the University of California San Diego, found that those people who lived the longest slept for 7 hours a night. Sleep deprivation is one of the worst things we can do to our bodies. It makes us feel groggy and irritable and it affects our immune negatively. It’s so harmful to the immune system that it will lower the white blood cell count. When this happens the immune system is weakened, it cannot effectively fight off disease and sickness. When we sleep the body heals itself, the skin regenerates itself and wounds are allowed a chance to heal themselves.

1. Lavender Oil

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There was a study conducted at Wesleyan University, Middletown Connecticut, with 16 men and 15 women between the ages of 18 years old to 30 years old. These 31 young healthy sleepers were asked to complete 3 consecutive sleep sessions in a sleep laboratory. One adaption, one stimulus, and one control night. For a 30 minute period at the beginning of each 10 minute interval (the first 2 minutes) the groups were given either lavender or distilled water. Three sleep data measurements were collected: standard  polysomnographic sleep and self-rated sleepiness and mood data. Lavender increased the percentage of deep or slow-wave sleep in men and women. The sleep subjects all reported an increased vitality after taking the lavender which proved the increased slow-wave sleep. Lavender also increased (in the women) stage 2 sleep, decreased Rapid Eye Movement, and the time to reach wake after falling asleep. Lavender had the complete opposite effects in men. According to this study lavender will help women fall asleep better in different phases and the same conclusions were reached for the men.

2. Rose Oil

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This sleep study was conducted in a cardiac care unit with 60 patients. The 60 were randomly placed in two separate groups one was the controlled group and the other was the experimental group which was given the rose essential oil. One group, the control group, was given routine care and, the experimental group, was given rose aromatherapy each for three consecutive nights.   Both groups were measured by the Pittsburg Sleep Index. The experimental group according to the two mean indexes used to measure sleep activity found the experimental group had lower numbers. The conclusion rose essential helped the subjects in the experimental group sleep better than the subjects in the controlled group.

3. Cedarwood Oil   

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This sleep study was conducted on different groups of rats and one group of mice. One group of rats was given cedarwood through direct inhalation. The other groups of rats and the mice were given different controls to see if their motor activity would slow down. All groups had the same conclusion their motor activities slowed down. Next, the researchers treated the nasal cavities of (the rats who were exposed to cedarwood) with zinc sulfate. So were a group of rats who had been given lavender-roman chamomile and their nasal cavities were treated with zinc sulfate. Treating the nasal cavities with zinc sulfate would interfere with the sleep of the animals. After measuring the sleep time of the two groups the chamomile group’s sleep time was decreased. The group exposed to cedarwood slept the same amount of time despite their breathing functions being blocked. The study concluded that cedarwood entered the rat’s (the cedarwood controlled group) body by means other than the olfactory system. Also, cedarwood may help different species of animals sleep. This may not have the same effect on humans. Research needs to me conducted to see if humans will react the same way as the rats did.    

4. Vetiver Oil

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Vetiver is a virtually unknown essential oil but it is supposed to help you sleep better. It’s pleasant moist and earthy smell is supposed to promote relaxation and is a superb oil for grounding. It is said to quell anxiety and reduce stress allowing the mind to calm down. This will induce the body into a deep sleep.

5. Ylang Ylang Oil

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Ylang Ylang essential oil when inhaled is supposed to relax you. With its flowery and bubble gum like smell it will calm nerves and reduce tension. By eliminating these two factors the body will be freed from sleep deprivation. The final result you will be able to phase into a restorative deep sleep. But you must inhale it for the maximum results.

6. Roman Chamomile

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Chamomile essential oil is supposed to help you sleep well during the night. If you sip chamomile tea it will calm the mind and the body. These have historically been a well-known facts. Additionally, the tea will promote peacefulness and help the body to sleep. Applying chamomile topically will have sedative effects. Try adding chamomile to bath water right before you go to bed. It is said it will relax your entire body helping you to fall asleep quite rapidly.

8. Marjoram Oil

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Marjoram essential oil will help to calm and relax every part of the body. Its secret is tied into the aroma it exudes. It has a slightly, warm, spicy aroma that will relieve anxiety and stress and send you into dream land peacefully.

9. Bergamot Oil

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Bergamot is a double barreled essential oil that can have two opposite effects on your system. With its floral citrus aroma which acts like a adaptogen (it will either calm you or uplift you) allowing your body to either calm down or become stimulated depending on what you need at the time of consumption. In our case you will want it to calm you so you can relieve your body from stress and anxiety. You will position yourself to sleep peacefully and deeply.

10. Orange Oil

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Like bergamot this orange essential oil is an adaptogen you know it will either calm you down or uplift you depending on what the body needs. In the case for sleeping you will want to consume it at a time when you need to relax and fall asleep.

Universal Sleep

Grounding blend is a generic term for many different essential oil blends such as:blue tansy, frankincense, and spruce. These blends will promote tranquility and relaxation so the body can unwind and fall asleep.

We have discussed 11 essential oils that are supposed to effectively promote sleep when the body is full of anxiety, stress or just run down from a lack of sleep. A couple of the essential oils mentioned have been proven to help people/animals sleep by studies being conducted. The other essential oils have no studies to support their claims that they are sleep enhancers. But they have been mentioned to be able to effectively help people fall asleep. The common factor for their success in helping a person to sleep is tied into their aromas.

The Sleepy Recipes

Here are some essential oil recipes you can whip together to help you have a deep and solid night of sleep. This is putting sleeping into practice.


“Mind and Body Calming” Essential Oil Blend for Sleep


  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 5 drops ylang ylang essential oil

These three essential oils were mentioned above for their effectiveness in helping all systems to shut down so the body will sleep.


This essential oil blend is for you if your mind races and you’re having trouble winding down and relaxing. You will  find this one helpful when you’ve had to work late and having trouble shutting your brain off.

The Roman chamomile works to calm your racing mind and calm your nerves, while the ylang ylang busts stress and gives you a relaxed feeling.

“Make Me Sleepy” Diffuser Recipe for Sleep


  • 10 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 5 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 5 drops bergamot essential oil


If you’re wide awake when you should be sleepy, this is a really good recipe to diffuse in the evening. It’s good to use while you sleep, but it’s more effective if you diffuse this recipe for an hour or so leading up to bedtime so you fall asleep easily.

You can use this one on nights when you’re wide awake staring at the ceiling. It’s even good if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep.

The reason why this blend works so well is because clary sage works as a sedative and calms your overactive brain, while the bergamot increases the quality of REM sleep.

“Restful Slumber” Essential Oil Blend for Sleep


  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 5 drops Neroli essential oil


Do you have nights where you never fall into a deep sleep and you toss and turn? I know there are times where you may sleep, but it’s not a restful, deep sleep, and you still wake up tired.

If you never seem to fall into a deep sleep, or wake up often in the middle of the night “restful slumber” is a blend you need to diffuse tonight.

So what makes this recipe so restful? Lavender promotes a sound quality sleep. Neroli is a lesser known essential oil, but it is a powerful sedative. Cedarwood helps you fall asleep, stay asleep, and have better quality sleep.

This could become one of your favorite sleepy recipes, and you will love the earthy smell of this blend.

Calm Me Down” Essential Oil Sleep Aid Recipe


  • 10 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops wild orange essential oil


Anxiety and/or worry keeping you up at night? When they rear their ugly head, it can be near impossible to calm down enough to fall into a restful sleep.

Don’t ashamed to admit you are a worrier. You can take steps to turn your brain off and sleep. You will like this blend because this recipe will  put you in the right frame of mind and it will make you sleepy.

This recipe blends three of the best essential oils for insomnia due to anxiety. Frankincense relaxes your mind, and promotes deep breathing while calming your frayed nerves. Rosemary also targets your nervous system and promotes a sense of calm.

But the dark horse in this recipe is the wild orange essential oil. It reduces anxiety, and relaxes your body AND mind.

“Sleep, Don’t Snore” Essential Oil Sleep Blend


  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 2 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 drop frankincense essential oil


No, this doesn’t magically stop you from hearing your partner snore, (I wish!)  but it does help him/her lessen their snoring and allowing you both to sleep peacefully.

Your husband snores. Loudly. To get some sleep, you can use your earplugs for snoring spouses. Recently we have come across this essential oil recipe for snoring, and you can be try it on nights when your hubby is pulling the paint off the walls.

The sleepy oils are naturally the lavender, cedarwood, and frankincense. But the oil that may open up the nasal passages and promotes freer breathing is the eucalyptus.

Four Blends in One

The following recipe is for four different essential oils that will help to tone your body down and help you to unwind. This general diffuser recipe will help you sleep better. The ingredients are for the different essential oils. The directions may be followed for whatever blend of essential oil you choose to incorporate into your diffuser.


  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 20 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 20 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 20 drops bergamot essential oil
  • diffuser
  • small dark-colored bottle with a tight lid


  • Combine all oils into a small, dark-colored bottle.
  • Cap the bottle tightly, and shake well to blend.
  • Follow directions for your diffuser by adding water as needed.
  • Add about 10 drops of your blend into your diffuser.
  • Place in your bedroom at night a few minutes before bedtime and turn on.

More Sleepy Recipes

Luscious Lavender


  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil

These two essential oils will knock you right into a restful sleep.

Bergamot Bomb


  • 3 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil

Put this explosive pair into your diffuser and your sleep problems will be a thing of the past.

Wild Thing


  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops sweet (wild) orange essential oil

Remember sweet (wild) orange essential oil?  This blend will put you over into the dreamland in style.

Velvet Vetiver


  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 2 drops marjoram essential oil

Diffuse this blend and you will feel like you are sleeping on velvet cushions.

This Roman Road leads to sleep


  • 3 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil

You have heard of the term “All roads lead to Rome”? Well this blend will lead you right down the road to sleep.

Punch out Time

  • Ingredients:
  • 3 drops patchouli essential oil
  • 2 drops wild (sweet) orange essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil

These blends will put you to sleep so fast you don’t know what hit you.

help you have a deep and solid night of sleep

Sweet Dreams


  • 3 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil

You will fall into the sweetest sleep you can imagine after diffusing these super sleeping blends.


We have come to the conclusion of the best essential oils to help you to sleep. You need to try out which essential oil will work best with your type of personality and your physical makeup. Please keep in mind that not every essential oil will have the same effect on people. Some may work for you while others will not. You just need to find that happy balance where you feel comfortable consuming a certain essential oil or diffusing just the right blend of essential oils. The one that will work for you is the one that will relax you the most and set your mind and body free from all stress and anxiety. Once you reach that state of calm you will be able to fall asleep in no time. You will have a peaceful sleep and wake up refreshed and restored every morning. Do some research and find your perfect blend.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.