The Five Best Essential Oils for Insomnia

by Martin Reed Patient Advocate

There’s nothing more frustrating than dragging yourself to bed for some much needed rest, only to find yourself feeling wide awake. If you spend your days tired because you can’t fall asleep, why not try using one of these oils before taking an over-the-counter sleep aid?

Lavender oil

If you know anything about essential oils, you probably aren’t surprised to find lavender at the top of the list of insomnia-fighters. This delicate scent can pack a punch in the sleep department. It’s known to both help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your rest.

Roman chamomile oil

This essential oil has a light floral scent and is known for its soothing, calming qualities. It’s ideal for de-stressing after a hard day and can help generate a peaceful frame of mind at bedtime.

Majoram oil

If your insomnia goes hand-in-hand with aches and pains, marjoram essential oil should be one of the first you try. A more delicate, floral version of oregano, it can help relax joints and muscles, and it can create a peaceful feeling that induces sleep.

Sandalwood oil

If all else fails, try sandalwood essential oil. This oil has a chemical component that can stimulate the production of melatonin, the chemical that regulates the sleep cycle.

Vetiver oil

If your brain just won’t shut off at night, vetiver oil may work for you. This earthy smelling essential oil made from vetiver grass is powerful, and the oil may help quiet the thoughts that race through your mind at bedtime.

The two main ways to use essential oils:

For topical use, always dilute the essential oil. You can use vegetable oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil or another you prefer. Then, rub the mixture into ideal spots such as bottoms of feet or the back of the neck. To use the oil as an aromatic, buy an oil diffuser and place them in your bedroom, or you can add a few drops of the oil into your bathwater before bedtime.

One last point about essential oils and insomnia

Essential oils can be used alone or combined with other oils. The key is finding the right oil or combination that works for you. Each person is different and will react to scents in different ways, so there may be some trial and error experimenting before you find the right one. However, once you find the oil for you, your sleep may never be the same.

Martin Reed
Meet Our Writer
Martin Reed

Martin is the creator of Insomnia Coach, an eight-week course that combines online sleep education with individual sleep coaching. His course helps clients improve their sleep so they can enjoy a better life with more energy and start each day feeling happy, healthy, rested, and refreshed. Martin also runs a free sleep training course that has helped over 5,000 insomniacs. He holds a master’s degree in health and wellness education and studied clinical sleep health at the University of Delaware.