9 Essential Oils to Help You Sleep Better

Struggling to sleep? Looking for a natural way to try and get your head down. We’ve identified 9 Essential Oils to Help You Sleep Better.  Read on and find out the natural secrets to a good night’s sleep!

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Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil is extracted from the flowers of the Ylang-Ylang tree using a steam distillation process. Pronounced EE-lang EE-lang, the Ylang-Ylang tree (Cananga Odorata) is a native tree typically found in the rainforests of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

The flowers of the Ylang-Ylang tree produce a lovely, aromatic oil that’s highly effective in reducing hypertension due to its sedative effects. You’ll find that you’ll fall asleep quicker, and aromatherapy using Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil can help alleviate anxiety and stress.

Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil should be applied to the skin in combination with a base oil like coconut oil or sweet almond oil, or even added to your favourite moisturising cream. It can also be used to promote relaxation, reduce high blood pressure, kill bacteria, and promote increased sexual desire. The health benefits of this wonderful essential oil are attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-seborrheic, nervine, aphrodisiac, and sedative substance. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil is also used for lowering high blood pressure.

This beautiful, aromatic Essential Oil has a naturally rich, floral scent that’s considered by many users to be uplifting and romantic. It can create a calming atmosphere in the home and the gentle aroma can have a positive impact on emotions. If you need some tender loving care at the end of a rough day, try adding some Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil to your bath. It can also be applied to other lotions and beauty-care products.

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine Essential Oil comes from the Jasmine flower, and this sweet-smelling oil is an ideal tool for promoting long and restful sleep. And, of course when we get a great night’s sleep by reducing insomnia, we immediately become more productive in both our personal and work lives. Studies show that using Jasmine Essential Oil can work just as effectively as Valium in providing a calming effect.

Jasmine Essential Oil has been widely used in parts of Asia as a natural therapy for insomnia, anxiety, low libido, emotional stress, and depression. It’s also widely used as a natural remedy for balancing hormones and improving mood. Jasmine Essential Oil blends well with Bergamot, Rose, and Sandalwood Essential Oils, and citrus fruits like limes, oranges, grapefruit, and lemons.

Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile Essential Oil is an extraction from the flowers of the very popular flowering chamomile plant. The wonderful thing about Chamomile Essential Oil is that it’s a natural sedative, which makes it a very useful essential oil for sleep. Whether the chamomile is being used in the form of an oil or whether it’s being steeped in water to make tea, it’s widely acknowledged that chamomile is one of the most popular ways to ward off insomnia. In fact, its use as a sedative has been documented for hundreds of years. Many studies have proven chamomile’s effectiveness in promoting sleep and relieving stress and anxiety. Chamomile can be used in aromatherapy by placing a couple of drops of oil into steaming hot water, then taking deep breaths. You’ll soon be feeling very sleepy and in no time at all you’ll drift off to sleep.

Neroli Essential Oil

Neroli Essential Oil is one of the most expensive Essential Oils which has typically been overlooked as an essential oil for assisting sleep, but today its wonderful blend of citrus and floral aromas is becoming more widely used for its therapeutic benefits. Used in aromatherapy for its relaxing scent and calming effect, Neroli acts like a tranquiliser, helping alleviate heart palpitations and anxiety. It’s a wonderful Essential Oil for relieving insomnia, and today it’s being acknowledged as an effective treatment for stress-related depression.

Neroli Essential Oil is a by-product of the Citrus Aurantium (bitter orange) tree, from which three Essential Oils are derived. Bitter Orange Oil comes from the fruit, Petitgrain comes from the leaves, and Neroli Essential Oil is steam distilled from the trees’ small white blossoms.

Neroli Essential Oil’s properties are tranquilising, antispasmodic, sedative, and slightly hypnotic. So, combined with its wonderful perfume, the therapeutic properties of this wonderful oil are almost endless. Try mixing just three drops into 2 teaspoons of almond oil and rubbing clockwise on the temples, nape of the neck, and solar plexus: you should experience relief from nervous depression and anxiety almost instantaneously.

Neroli Essential Oil is highly effective on insomniacs because the hypnotic effect of this wonderful oil acts as a natural tranquilizer and induces sleep. Before going to bed simply put a few drops of oil into your warm bath-water. One study on Neroli Essential Oil noted its ability to produce a wonderful calming effect, especially when combined with camomile and lavender oil.

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood Essential Oil is an extraction from wood pieces from the cedar tree. Cedarwood Essential Oil has been used by the Tibetans, Native Americans and Egyptians for thousands of years – it’s even mentioned in the Bible. Possibly its most well-known use is for its ability to calm the body whilst also rejuvenating the spirit and mind. As a sedative, Cedarwood Essential Oil has a wonderful ability to clear the mind and induce total body relaxation. As an aromatherapy treatment, Cedarwood Essential Oil promotes the release of serotonin, thus promoting restorative and uninterrupted sleep.

Cedarwood Essential Oil has a gentle and comforting scent, making it one of the most grounding essential oils for promoting a good night’s sleep. Perfect for using in a diffuser, this wonderful Essential Oil will help you drift off to sleep. Cedarwood Essential Oil has been proven effective as a natural sedative and can decrease heart rate and blood pressure, not only providing an amazing sleep-aid but also in reducing hypertension.

Vanilla Essential Oil

Vanilla Essential Oil is obtained by a solvent extraction method of the resonance substance from fermented vanilla beans. Vanilla beans come from a vanilla creeper known as Vanilla Planifolia which grows mainly in Mexico and neighbouring countries.

There are many ways in which Vanilla Essential Oil can soothe the body, including reducing hyperactivity and inflammation in the body’s systems, like the nervous, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and excretory systems. It has the ability to reduce inflammation caused by fever, in addition to reducing stress, anxiety, convulsions, and hypersensitivity to allergens. Vanilla Essential Oil has a wonderful calming and relaxing effect on the brain and nerves, providing relief from restlessness, anger, and anxiety.

Try using Vanilla Essential Oil to help you get a good night’s sleep. The relaxing and sedative properties of this aromatic oil have a tranquilizing effect on the brain making it difficult to stay awake. Interestingly, studies show that Vanilla Essential Oil can soothe breathing problems, calm your mind, and reduce the startle reflex.

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium Essential Oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and fragrant flowers of a popular geranium plant native to southern Africa.

Geranium Essential Oil was used by the Egyptians to promote radiant, beautiful skin, but today this wonderful, sweet-smelling oil is used to relieve anxiety, reduce inflammation, treat acne, and balance hormones, in addition to lessening fatigue, uplifting mood, and promoting emotional wellness. Wonderful for reducing stress, Geranium Essential Oil has a calming, sedative effect, so should you awaken during the night you’ll probably find it quite easy to drift back to sleep again. Massage 2 to 3 drops of Geranium Essential Oil onto your shoulders, neck, and scalp, and see if this helps with your insomnia.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for at least 1000 years. Lemon Essential Oil comes from cold pressing the peel of the lemon, because, due to its fat-soluble phytonutrients, the peel is the most nutrient-dense part of the lemon. An extremely versatile oil, Lemon Essential Oil is widely used as a beauty product, for cleaning, and for boosting good health. Perhaps one of the standout benefits of Lemon Essential Oil is its ability to relieve nausea. An extremely versatile and powerful antioxidant, Lemon Essential Oil comprises many natural compounds, including aldehydes, terpenes, alcohols, sesquiterpenes, sterols and esters. Today, this amazing product has been nicknamed Liquid Sunshine because, out of all the essential oils, it probably has the most powerful antimicrobial activity.

Lemon Essential Oil blends well with a variety of other oils, including rose oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, sandalwood oil, tea tree oil, and geranium oil; which makes it a very popular oil for herbalists and practitioners of aromatherapy. Interestingly, studies show that your heart rate can be lowered in just 10 minutes with lemon aroma, which allows you to calm down and prepare your body and mind for sleep. Prior to going to sleep, try adding 2 to 3 drops of Lemon Essential Oil to your pre-bedtime drink.

Lavender Essential Oil

And now we come to perhaps the most widely reputed natural source for promoting a good night’s rest, and that’s Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender Essential Oil can be applied directly to the skin, but we do suggest you test a small amount on your hand first. Dab a small amount of Lavender Essential Oil on pulse points before retiring, or alternatively try rubbing some between your palms and inhale with a few deep breaths. Our 10ml Lavender Roll On is ideal for this.

Another luxurious way of enjoying Lavender Essential Oil is to add a few drops of this wonderful oil to your evening bath to help you unwind after a busy day.

Many therapists say that Lavender Essential Oil is the most versatile of all the essential oils, and that if you choose only one essential oil, Lavender Essential Oil should be the one you choose. Widely regarded as having a relaxing effect on the body, this fragrance is emotionally and physically relaxing, calming, and balancing. Use the same cupping and inhalation method as for sleep aid, and/or rub a drop of Lavender oil onto your palms then smooth on your pillow as you prepare for sleep. Lavender Sleep Pillow Spray from Zoom Health is perfect for this.

The Science Behind Essential Oils and Sleep

Essential oils have been used for centuries to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. But why do they seem to be so effective? Here’s an overview of the science behind some of the most common essential oils used for better sleep.


Lavender essential oil contains a compound called linalool which has been shown in animal studies to have sedative and relaxant effects when inhaled. Linalool is thought to act on receptors in the brain that regulate sleep-wake cycles and calm activity in the nervous system. Human studies have found lavender aromatherapy reduces heart rate, blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, creating physiological conditions that make it easier to fall and stay asleep.


The effects of jasmine essential oil on sleep and mood have been demonstrated in multiple human trials. Studies found jasmine improved quality of sleep, reduced anxiety and uplifted mood compared to placebo. Its active ingredients like linalool and benzyl acetate are thought to interact with brain receptors controlling our emotional state and ability to relax.


Apigenin is the key sleep-promoting compound in chamomile essential oil and herbal tea preparations. Animal research discovered apigenin binds to specific receptors in the brain which stimulates sleepiness. Chamomile consumption increased time spent in deep, slow-wave sleep in a small study of healthy men. Slow-wave sleep is the restorative stage of sleep associated with feeling refreshed upon waking.

Ylang Ylang

This essential oil was found to increase calmness and lower blood pressure by inhibiting adrenaline and noradrenaline production in animal trials. These hormones activate the fight-or-flight nervous system response. High adrenaline is linked to anxiety and sleep issues in humans. Additionally, the scent of ylang ylang essential oil eased psychological distress in medical staff in a human study.

Choose a Relaxing Routine to Promote a Good Night Sleep

All the Essential Oils mentioned above can be extremely beneficial for those who struggle to get a full night’s relaxing sleep. However, there are other ways to prepare yourself for a great night’s sleep, like creating a routine of taking a warm bath or shower just before retiring for the night, completely banning electronic devices from your bedroom, and listening to soothing music or reading an interesting book as you prepare to drift off to sleep. All these can help your mind switch off from your busy day and lead towards a restful and full night’s sleep.

Essential Oils That Promote a Great Night’s Sleep

At Zoom Health we offer a great range of Essential Oils to Help You Sleep Better. Why try one or two of these oils? They may just be the solution you were looking for!

Photo Credit: “Sleeping Beauty” (CC BY 2.0) by Juz.Andy

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