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Essential Oils for Insomnia Relief and Sleep

Five commonly recommended essential oils for insomnia relief and sleep are lavender, valerian, roman chamomile, marjoram, and sweet orange. You can diffuse one of these oils or place a few drops on a tissue by your pillow, though you may find an essential oil sleep blend more effective.

Diffuser Sleep Blends

Add a few drops of an essential oil blend for sleep to an aromatherapy diffuser and diffuse for 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime.

  • 8 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 4 drops sandalwood or cedarwood essential oil
  • 3 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Adapted from The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness   

  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 4 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 1 drop roman chamomile essential oil

Source: Essential Living

Grounding Blend

  • 1 drop sandalwood essential oil
  • 2 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 3 drops roman chamomile essential oil

Restful Relaxation Blend

  • 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 2 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 1 drop roman chamomile essential oil

Source: The Essential Oils Hormone Solution

Aromatherapy Massage Oil for Sleep

For a sleep-inducing massage, use this aromatherapy massage oil:

  • 6 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 2 drops roman chamomile essential oil
  • 1 drop frankincense essential oil
  • 1 drop rose essential oil (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons carrier oil

You can also add one tablespoon of the above blend to your bath, or add 5 drops of any single oil to your bath. Another option is to put a few drops on a tissue, and place it by your pillow when you go to bed.

Source: Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Dummies

Essential Oil Sleep Sprays

Combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:

  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops rose essential oil
  • 3 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 1 drop marjoram essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled water

Shake well before each use. Lightly mist your pillows and bedding before going to bed.

Source: Massage & Aromatherapy: Simple Techniques

Linen Spray

Add the following essential oils to a four-ounce spray bottle and then fill the bottle with distilled water:

  • 5 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil

Shake well and then spray on bed linens.

Room Spray

  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 5 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 1/4 cup distilled water or witch hazel

To a two-ounce glass spray bottle, add the essential oils and then the water or witch hazel. Close bottle and shake gently. Shake before each use spray into air or onto linens.

Aromatherapy Sleep Lotion

To use this aromatherapy sleep balm, rub a little under your nose and/or on your throat, temples, hands, chest, back, and/or soles of feet just before going to bed.

  • 5 tablespoons carrier oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon shea butter
  • 20 drops orange essential oil
  • 20 drops tangerine essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops geranium essential oil
  • 10 drops neroli essential oil
  • 5 drops vanilla absolute (optional)
  • 4 drops rose otto essential oil (optional)
  1. In a double boiler, combine the carrier oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, and shea butter. Heat until just melted.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir mixture to blend thoroughly.
  3. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the essential oils.
  5. Pour the mixture into a dark glass container.
  6. Lightly cover the container with a paper towel. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Place cover on container. Let set overnight before using.

You can store this balm at room temperature for 6 to 8 months.

Source: Organic Body Care Recipes

More Essential Oils for Insomnia

The following blends of essential oils for insomnia address problems that may be keeping you awake. Make the blend of your choice, and use it in one of these ways: 

  • Add up to 10 drops to a teaspoon of carrier oil. Stir the blend into a warm bath.
  • Use a few drops in an aromatherapy diffuser.
  • Mix with 2 tablespoons of carrier oil, and use the blend for massage.
  • Put one to two drops on a cotton ball and place it under your pillow. 

For Nightmares 

  • 15 drops lavender
  • 10 drops mandarin 
  • 5 drops roman chamomile 

For Noise 

  • 5 drops vetiver
  • 10 drops lavender 
  • 15 drops lemon 

For Restlessness

10 drops each of vetiver, lemon, and clary sage 

For Fitfulness

  • 5 drops marjoram
  • 10 drops lemon
  • 15 drops lavender

For Anxiety

  • 5 drops lemon
  • 10 drops roman chamomile
  • 15 drops sandalwood

For Worry

  • 5 drops cistus
  • 15 drops lavender

For Exhaustion

  • 5 drops valerian
  • 10 drops lemon
  • 10 drops mandarin

Source: The Fragrant Mind

More Insomnia Relief Tips

In addition to essential oils for insomnia, here's more of what to do for insomnia.

  • Avoid working in bed. Working signals your brain to become active, interfering with your ability to go sleep.

  • Avoid watching TV or a computer (or cell phone) for at least thirty minutes before going to bed because they can stimulate your nervous system and keep you awake. If you must use your computer at night, download a program that removes the simulating blue light from the computer screen. Alternatives to TV or a computer include listening to relaxing music while breathing deeply for 10 to 20 minutes or using self-hypnosis.

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening, because they stimulate your nervous system and can keep you awake. Some foods (especially those containing sugar) might also interfere with sleep. To determine if food is affecting your sleep, keep a food diary that also notes how you slept each night. Some foods, such as herbal teas and warm milk, may also help you sleep. Recommended book: Eat to Sleep.

  • Learn and practice ways to reduce stress and release excess tension. Daily exercise help relieves excess stress that can keep you awake. Meditation, self-hypnosis, gentle stretching, and similar techniques can help. Regular massage also helps release the tension and stress.

  • Put together a comfortable bed. Use a good-quality mattress, pillows, knee separators, leg wedges, and other sleep products that give you the support you need.

  • Keep the room at a comfortable temperature. The Sleep Foundation states the best temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius), though that may vary a few degrees depending on the person.

  • Make the bedroom as dark as possible. Too much light can interfere with sleep and your circadian rhythm. Use blackout curtains over windows or wear a sleep mask over your eyes.

  • Take a warm bath before bed. Add Epsom salts and/or calming essential oils to help you relax more.

  • Consider cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia. CBT works by teaching you to recognize and change beliefs that affect your ability to sleep and helps you change your behavior to include good sleep habits and avoid actions that interfere with sleep.

If your sleeplessness is severe, long-term, or getting worse, work with a doctor to attempt to identify a cause and determine how to deal with insomnia in a way that works for you.

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