Which are the best 7 essential oils for sleep?

Which 7 essential oils are best for sleep?

When thinking about essential oils to help you sleep, you may instantly think of lavender and chamomile. They usually appear in sleep sprays and pillow mists and nighttime essential oil blends. They are very effective but there are other essential oils worth considering. Here are my 7 Best Essential oils for sleep 

First of all, consider WHY you’re not sleeping

When choosing the best essential oils for sleep it is worth considering WHY you’re not getting to sleep and what wakes you up if you do get to sleep ok.

Often people suffer from three main issues – stress, anxiety, and stuffed-up noses. If you’re stressed and anxious choose a relaxing, calming, sedative essential oil that is good to soothe the nervous system.  Many of the essential oils featured in this article are great for both relieving stress and anxiety and calming the nerves, all of which will help you fall asleep and hopefully stay asleep once you are asleep!

Using essential oils to unblock a stuffed up nose can be really helpful, but care should be taken not to wake yourself up too much as often those who have clearing properties also have stimulating properties and the last thing you want is to be wide awake with a runny nose!

essential oils to aid sleep neroli. Image of a bottle of neroli essential oil on a neroli flower and leaf

Neroli Essential Oil

The one of the best essential oils to use for sleep if you’re anxious is neroli. It has a gentle, delicate, floral aroma and is made from the blossoms of the orange tree.

It calms, soothes, eases anxiety and insomnia, and is overall a very supportive oil. It also lifts low mood and depression, so if you’re feeling a bit down and in need of a boost, try neroli.

Top Tip: Add a couple of drops of essential oil onto a cotton wool circle and pop between your pillow and your pillowcase.


This way it is easy to swap fragrances and you don’t get annoying essential oil drip marks on your pillow! 


essential oils to aid sleep bergamot. Image of bergamot on a twig

Bergamot Essential oil

Bergamot essential oil is also great for sleep, especially if you’re feeling anxious and in need of being uplifted.

This essential oil has a fruity, Earl Grey aroma and is great for soothing frayed nerves, giving you a bit of a pep up as well as making you feel more joyful.

It’s also great for helping shift colds on their way. So if a cold is keeping you awake try using bergamot essential oil! 

best essential oils for sleep ylang ylang

Ylang Ylang  Essential Oil

Ylang ylang essential oil has an exotic, floral aroma that is deeply relaxing and calming. Again, best for soothing frayed nerves and calming the nervous system this essential oil will have you off to sleep in no time! It has a sedative effect, perfect for helping you drift off.

Ylang ylang also has an uplifting effect but care should be taken when using ylang ylang as in large quantities it can induce headaches and nausea.

Top Tip: Pop a couple of drops of ylang ylang essential oil into a diffuser with the recommended amount of water as per manufacturers instructions and diffuse in your bedroom for a couple of hours before bed.

essential oils to aid sleep vetiver. Image of a dropper bottle and vial of essential oil on a plant based background

Vetiver Essential oil

The deeply grounding, heady, rather woody smelling aroma of vetiver is great for helping you feel tranquil.

It helps you feel calm, easing worries and tensions of the day. It is also good for reducing stress and anxiety as well as easing muscle aches and pains.

So if you’ve had a busy week and have tired, aching legs try using vetiver in a little carrier oil to massage into your legs before bed. If you’re not keen on the smell of vetiver, it does blend nicely with ylang ylang or lavender.

essential oils for sleep clary sage image of bottle of essential oil and dropper

Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage has a herby aroma and is great for reducing any feeling of panic or stress. It has a relaxing, sedative effect which makes it great for bedtime but not so great for concentration or when you’re having to drive somewhere or otherwise deeply focus! It blends well with lavender and rosemary. It’s also good for reducing muscle cramps and spasms.

It should not be used in pregnancy until labour is underway (and then only with caution!) 

essential oils to aid sleep chamomile

Chamomile Essential oil

Chamomile is a super relaxing essential oil, made from a beautiful flowering plant with a daisy-like appearance. 

It can be helpful for sleep as it relaxes, eases indigestion and other digestive issues and relieves tension, anxiety and stress. Roman Chamomile is the best type to choose. Be careful of German Chamomile as it tends to be bright blue and stains anything in its path! 

Chamomile blends well with bergamot, lavender, neroli and ylang ylang. 

Drinking chamomile tea before bed can also help you to sleep! 

essential oils to aid sleep lavender

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender I’ve saved until last as most people know about lavender and how great it is for helping you to sleep. It can be wonderfully calming if you like the smell of it (not everyone does!) Try adding 2-3 drops of lavender oil to 10 ml of unfragranced carrier oil and swish it in your bath. Just watch out as it may make your bath a bit slippery.

If you like you can add the carrier oil/ lavender blend to a couple of handfuls of epsom salts and stir. 

Lavender can be diffused in a diffuser before bed, or popped onto a cotton wool circle in your pillowcase. 

You could make a room spray by blending a little cooled boiled water with 2-3 drops of chamomile and lavender essential oils, gently mixing together to blend and then spraying the room.

If you’re not keen on the smell of lavender you can choose marjoram essential oil in its place. It has similar properties without that ‘old lady’ kind of smell! 

Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper

I am a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner and Writer from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. I love writing about Health and Wellbeing, Mind Body Spirit and Reflexology. When I’m not at work, you can find me in the kitchen cooking up a storm!

If you’d like to book a treatment please go to https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/book


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