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How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep

If insomnia has you tossing and turning, using essential oils for sleep might help. Five common choices 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.

Aromatherapy for Sleep Blends

Here are recipes for diffuser blends, a massage oil, two linen sprays, a foot salve, a sleep lotion, and a sleep balm that you can use to promote a good night's sleep.

Diffuser Essential Oil Sleep Blends

Add a few drops of any 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: Aromatherapy for Dummies

Essential Oils for Sleep Spray

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

Aromatherapy Spray for Sleep

DIY 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.

Sleep-Inducing Foot Salve

Here's a foot salve with essential oils for sleep:

  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 drops ginger essential oil
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil
  • 20 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 10 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
  • 4-ounce glass jar with lid
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with warm water.
  2. Place the beeswax, coconut oil, and olive oil in a small heat-proof container.
  3. Place the small container in the saucepan with the warm water.
  4. Stir the wax/oil mixture every few minutes until it's melted (takes 10 to 15 minutes).
  5. Add the essential oils to the 4-ounce glass jar.
  6. Pour the wax/oil mixture into the jar and let cool.
  7. After the mixture completely cools, place lid on the jar. You can store this slave for up to eight months.

To use: After you get in bed, massage some salve into the bottoms of both feet. If you like, you can then put on lightweight socks.

Adapted from One Good Thing.

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

Sleep Balm

  • 1 tablespoon beeswax pellets
  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 30 drops lavender essential oil
  • 30 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 20 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
  1. Melt beeswax in double boiler over low heat.
  2. Add the jojoba and coconut oils and stir until melted and mixed with the beeswax.
  3. Remove mixture from heat.
  4. Stir in essential oils until well blended.
  5. Pour the mixture into a glass container. Let cool.

Adapted from I Dream of Sleep

More of the Best Essential Oils for Sleep

The following essential oil blends for sleep 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, and 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

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